Microsoft has been at the top of its game lately and it appears it’s not about to stop any time soon.
According to an article from Thurrott, there’s a chance that Microsoft is setting up their own emulation environment that will allow Xbox One games to play directly on Windows 10 instead needing to be ported to the store.
At the start of the month, Xbox Wire posted about ‘helping gaming’ by playing State of Decay. People in the Windows Insider program who had a version of Windows 10 that was 18329 or higher could take part in a playtest for the game.
Upon downloading State of Decay, Sams noticed that the game’s assets were downloading from assets1.xboxlive.com instead of the usual Microsoft Store server (serverdl.microsoft.com).
This implies that Microsoft is using the Xbox installation frame/service plumbing instead of porting each game one by one.
The game installer is also an .xvc file format, which was introduced by Microsoft back in 2013 and used particularly for Xbox One games. The .xvc file format can be installed using PowerShell in 19H1.
Lastly, WalkingCat found the new GamingService app installs elements of the Xbox One File system on Windows 10.
xsapi.dll = Durango Storage API
XCrdApi.dll = Durango XCRDAPI pic.twitter.com/jbgFrirRss
— WalkingCat (@h0x0d) February 25, 2019
It looks like Microsoft is trying to lessen any differences between PC and Xbox gaming, meaning that players (and more importantly games) should get the exact same experience regardless of platform. Sams adds that this isn’t ‘some half baked port’ either – it’s an impressive and updated mechanism.
If Microsoft is indeed aiming to make PC and Xbox gaming so similar that their venn diagram will be one circle, that’s good news for almost everyone.
As well as making things easier on developers who want to port to the two platforms, it’ll make the gaming market a more interesting place (and a more lucrative development for Microsoft).