What is Xbox Play Anywhere?

Play games across platforms on Xbox One and Windows 10 with Play Anywhere, coming soon on the Windows 10 anniversary edition update.

15 Jul 2016

Xbox Play Anywhere was revealed at the E3 gaming show in Los Angeles in 2016 and was touted as one of biggest announcements of the show.

But what’s it all about?


Credit: Xbox Wire

What is it?

When you buy a digital game for your Xbox One you’ll also be able to play it on your Windows 10 PC.

So when you purchase a game from the Xbox Store or the Windows Store you’ll get both the Xbox and Windows versions included. It’s set to launch in September, and is connected to the Windows 10 anniversary edition update released in August. 

You can play cross-platform at no additional cost, and switch between the platforms during gaming sessions. Microsoft describes the programme as ‘buy once, play anywhere’.

It was announced alongside 2 new Xbox consoles at E3 – Xbox One S and the VR-and-4K-gaming friendly Xbox Project Scorpio.


Xbox Play Anywhere – the best bits

  • Shared game saves: Start a game on Xbox and finish on your Windows 10 laptop and vice-versa – game saves, progress, add-ons and achievements will be carried across
  • Windows Store: Find and purchase games in the new Windows Store on both Windows 10 PCs and Xbox One, as well as from the Xbox Store
  • Play online cross-platform: You can be playing on your Xbox One against a friend who is playing on a Windows 10 PC. And the same vice-versa in Xbox Live
  • Impressive graphics: Games look gorgeous on Windows 10 machines, with impressive DirectX 12 graphics that use the full breadth of your PC's video hardware


What games can you play?

Xbox Play Anywhere works with select games. Look out for the Xbox Play Anywhere logo to know whether a game is compatible.

It doesn’t work with discs, though – it has to be the digital version of the game.

Favourites such as Killer Instinct Season 3 and Ark: Survival Evolved are already available and include Play Anywhere coding so you can take advantage of the update straight away. Other upcoming titles include popular shooter Gears of War 4, racing game Forza Horizon 3 and Halo Wars 2. 

For the full list of titles available now and coming soon visit the official Xbox Anywhere website.


How to play

Simply install the Windows 10 Anniversary Edition update on your PC as well as the latest updates on your Xbox One and you’re ready to play. The Windows update is due for release 2nd August. 

Once you log into your Xbox Live/Microsoft account, your games will be available to download. Play Anywhere games will be available in the Xbox Store.


Windows 10: Uniting console and PC gamers?

Windows 10 is Microsoft’s latest operating system.

As well as working with PCs and laptops it’s also designed for tablets, smartphones and the Xbox. The idea is you get the same fluid experience across your different devices. 

Gamers have for years been split into 2 distinct camps: console gamers vs PC gamers. Each had their own hardware, culture and games.

But with Windows 10 and Xbox Play Anywhere this gap is narrowing.

‘Gamers have never had more choice in how and where they play,’ said Xbox chief Phil Spencer. ‘We are bringing our biggest games line-up ever to Xbox One and Windows 10, uniting gamers across networks on Xbox Live to give gamers more choice in how and where they play. There’s never been a better time to be an Xbox gamer.’


Another reason to consider Windows 10?

From working in Word and Excel on your laptop to writing emails and setting voice reminders on your phone, Windows 10 is fast becoming a great all-rounder. 

You can work with your keyboard or on a touchscreen, and you can even write directly onto webpages with a stylus. The new Xbox gaming features open a whole new door.

If you were a casual Xbox One gamer, why wouldn’t you choose Windows 10 for your next laptop?

Xbox or Windows 10 laptop? Find your perfect gaming set-up

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