Microsoft worked really hard to merge the world of console gaming and PC gaming. Its Xbox One Play Anywhere feature is the program it launched to do so. This program will see any Xbox One exclusive game also release on Windows 10 around the same time. Users will only need to buy the game on one platform and it will be playable on the other. You will also be able to carry across saves and play with other players on the other platform.
As much as this seems like a saving grace, how well does it work? We put the latest Xbox One Play Anywhere title, Forza Horizon 3, to the test.
First thing we noticed, was that as soon as we opened up the Windows 10 Store, we were able to find our purchases, and head over to the game to start the download. We were also pleased to see that Recore, another Xbox One Play Anywhere title, was also available to download.
Yes, you will need to download the game again on your PC or Xbox One. There is no way to copy it across. For our testing sake, Forza Horizon 3 weighed in at 49GB on both Xbox One, and PC. It took a while to download, because the Windows 10 store is not very stable. Often our download would stop for a least 30-minutes before picking up again. We hope this works better in the future as we would hate to have it stop while we left it overnight, only to find no progress in the morning.
Starting Up the Game
We were pleasantly surprised to see how seamless the game’s launch was. We opened the app, and within seconds it was up and running. It required us to sign in, in order to sync data, and it downloaded our save from our progress on the Xbox One. It was really great to not have to do anything else but sign in and we were good to go. Forza Horizon 3 is a very demanding game, but we managed to run it pretty well on our GTX 980, at full HD. Although the settings are there to tweak if you want more or less power. We then plugged in our Xbox One Controller to the PC, and got ready to race.
The most assuring thing about the Xbox One Play Anywhere feature is that all our content was available across both Windows 10 and Xbox One. All our available content was on both platforms. We had an Xbox One running the game, and a Windows 10 PC. We made sure that both accounts had each other as a friend, and we then launched the online co-op feature.
Within seconds of starting up the co-op campaign, and inviting the Xbox One player, he joined and we were immediately synced together into the same online space. Our avatars were carried into each other’s lobby, and our progress in the campaign was carried across too. All we had to do in the game was meet up somewhere, and then we were free to race each other.
Once we were going, we could not tell the difference from the Xbox One and Windows 10 copy, as the gameplay and experience became so seamless, that it was like we were both playing on the same platform. This is the best thing about Xbox One Play Anywhere, as the gameplay and the way Microsoft has coded this feature, makes it so easy to get into. It is really something that we never experienced before. Racing in the same races, jumping over the same ramp to complete a PR stunt, and just crashing into each other for the fun of it.
As more Xbox One Play Anywhere titles are released in the coming months, we cannot wait to take them all for a spin. If anything, we felt like we just received an extra Xbox One in our household.