Microsoft dropped quite a number of bombs throughout its press conference at this year’s E3. Some of the most notable was no doubt the formal announcement of the upcoming Project Scorpio system, and the surprise announcement of Xbox Play Anywhere: a new service that will fully bridge Xbox and PC by means of offering cross-buy and data synchronization with select games.
Aaron Greenberg, the Head of Marketing at Xbox, was recently interviewed by GameReactor. He reiterated that Microsoft is keen on making sure that the brand-new system, Project Scorpio, will have full compatibility with everything Xbox One, and vice-versa. Here’s what he had to say about the comparability of Project Scorpio:
“Yes, we have committed that all of the games that you have, all of your Xbox One games, will work on Project Scorpio. We really think of this as one big family, and so the idea is wherever you want to enter into the family – today, there are millions of people still on an Xbox 360 who haven’t bought an Xbox One – those people buy an Xbox One S today, in the future, whenever they are ready to upgrade to Scorpio and get the next step of true 4K gaming, they bring their games catalog with them.”
Greenberg pointed towards the way that other entertainment industries have kept older works going throughout the decades as what Microsoft is basically trying to emulate with the Xbox family of systems. He told GameReactor:
“Consumers think about digital entertainment in other industries [music & movies], those go with you from device to device, so we had the same sort of vision to do that for gaming. And really it goes back to us focusing on putting the gamer at the center of whatever we do.”
Microsoft isn’t just focusing this strong commitment to compatibility on the Xbox systems, this also includes what it’s doing with the new Play Anywhere program. As mentioned before, Play Anywhere is set to bridge the cap between the console space and PC by allowing Xbox owners and PC gamers to connect like never before. The new service will allow customers to buy select games on either an Xbox system or a Windows 10 PC and that will unlock the other version for no extra charge. Data will also be synchronized via the cloud, allowing players to start their game on one device and finish it on another. Microsoft also demonstrated cross-platform online multiplayer during the Forza Horizon 3 on-stage demo which was a part of its E3 2016 conference. There, we saw three players, two of which were playing no Xbox systems (Xbox One & One S), along with the other player who was on a high-end PC. The three started off in their own individual sessions, but seamlessly connected with each other later on in the demo.
Greenberg had this to say about Play Anywhere:
“When we looked at where gamers play, we found most gamers play on both, console and PC. And so as we thought about how can we bring our games to a broader audience? Allow more gamers to experience things like Gears of War 4 or Forza Horizon 3, big titles like that, we knew bringing them to the PC would allow a broader audience to experience them. But traditionally you’ve had to buy those games a second time. But that’s the beauty of being able to build this on one platform with Xbox Live, leveraging Windows across both console and PC, so we can link your purchases to your account, so when you do buy our games digitally from us, our first party titles, you’ll be able to play them across your devices, and only have to pay once, and not multiple times.”