Microsoft’s anticipated Windows 10 Anniversary Update will be released on August 2nd, which will be the first ‘major’ update since it was released last July.
Since Windows 10 has been released, over 350 million devices are now running Windows 10, with more than 135 billion hours of use since the platform’s launch on those devices.
While there are a multitude of improvements spread across the entire Windows 10 interface, the improvements that this article will be discussing focus on the ones that direct impact Windows 10’s performance in gaming.
Since Windows 10 has been launched, Microsoft has noted that there have been over ’19 billion’ hours of gameplay thus far. In recognition of the achievement, Microsoft has decided to help gamers ‘stay connected’ with the introduction of a new program.
This new way of ‘connection’ is the new ‘Xbox Play Anywhere program’, a system in which gamers can buy a game once and play them on both your Windows 10 PC and Xbox One. Doing so will allow players to share progress, saves, and achievements across platforms. Microsoft also notes that from now on, each title published from the Microsoft Studios label will support Xbox Play Anywhere and will be found on the Windows Store.
The Xbox Play Anywhere program will be available on a ‘unified’ Windows Store on both Window 10 and Xbox One. It is Microsoft’s aim to have content available in a manner that allows players to find content faster and purchase items such as game and app bundles.
This update is the culmination of over a decade long struggle for Microsoft to find relevancy amongst PC gamers once more. With Windows 10, it seems as though Microsoft has finally decided to try and treat PC and console gamers equally, although even with that approach Microsoft has had some problems. Over the past year, Microsoft’s Windows Store has been derided as slow, walled in, and lacking in features. While the Windows 10 Store was released with the launch of Window 10 last July, it took until May to release FreeSync, G-Sync, and unlocked framerate support, features that were synonymous everywhere but in the Windows 10 store. While these features have finally been included in the Windows 10 Store, mods are still disallowed, and that’s not even mentioning the problems that major releases have had in the Windows 10 Store on launch.
While this is another step in the right direction for Microsoft and Windows 10, there is still more work needed to bring Microsoft inline with competitors such as Steam. Openness is something that Microsoft has said they would do, but have not really acted upon thus far. If they want to truly be a force in the PC gaming market, then they will have to make some more difficult decisions. Will they? It’s hard to tell, but since we are finally getting a Halo game on PC, who knows for sure.
What do you think of this update? Are you going to buy any Microsoft Studios titles? Let us know in the comments!