Microsoft has long searched for a way to improve the integration between its gaming system (the Xbox One) and its computer operating system, Windows. The Windows 10 preview starting this month offers a sneak peek at their latest tool to achieve this crossover, the Xbox app. The app will be a featured component of the Technical Preview for the operating system’s January build.
According to statements issued by the company, Microsoft intends to make the gaming experience of Windows 10 users just as outstanding at that it delivers to Xbox players. This is intended to be a major goal for 2015. The company also intends to give serious credence to user-submitted input and feedback to maximize the utility of the Xbox app. A regularly-scheduled update process will facilitate this user-driven development of the app.
The initial release being presented in the January preview concentrates primarily on laying good groundwork. It should handle mouse and keyboard input smoothly and support most common resolutions used on desktop monitors. The development process is ongoing, and Microsoft expects the app to have greater functionality when it ships with Windows later in 2015.
Functionally, the Xbox app currently gives you three major areas to investigate. These are a Friends List, an Activity Feed, and My Games.
My Games collects all of your Windows games in one location, regardless of the device you use to play them (i.e. Windows Phone, PC, or Xbox One). You can use the Friends List to keep in touch with friends from Xbox Live no matter what platform you’re currently on. As you might expect, you’ll be able to see your own achievements through the Activity Feed, as well as see DVR clips, track your friends accomplishments, and provide your own commentary.
The Xbox app is going to include the ability to save gameplay video while you play games on your PC (although this feature isn’t live yet). Once it’s ready, the app will provide a quick recording UI whenever you punch Windows + G on your keyboard. This will not only make it easy to start recording, take screenshots, and alter settings, it will also include the option to retroactively capture gameplay from up to 30 seconds ago.
When Windows 10 is released for purchase later this year, the full-featured version of the Xbox app will be included.