The Xbox application will now ship standard on every single Windows 10 device and will function as a comprehensive front-end application for managing a games library across multiple devices.
With the heavy push Microsoft is putting on unifying the kernel and development code across the various versions of Windows, it’s likely that the company will roll Windows Phone games over to the Windows desktop platform at some point.
You’ll be able to record, annotate, and share video across a variety of services on both touchscreen devices and traditional laptops.
This functionality can be used by other services — one of Microsoft’s demos showed video being recorded from a Steam title before being shared through Xbox Live.
Microsoft is also claiming huge power efficiency increases — up to 50% improvements in performance per watt in some cases.
The company’s comments on Xbox were more interesting.
Even knowing that there will be caveats attached, Microsoft’s decision to give Windows 8 away to a large chunk of its market base is a significant development.
Throw in the price cuts and free offers for OEMs that commit to shipping Windows devices in various form factors, and it’s clear that Microsoft is fundamentally rethinking its entire approach to OS monetization.
To say that the unveil was important would be something of an understatement; MIcrosoft’s Windows 8 is arguably the least-successful OS Microsoft has launched in decades, with an adoption rate that has generally lagged even Windows Vista.
This could be the killer feature that gives Microsoft a real leg up over Sony if it’s executed properly.
While Sony and Nintendo both offer a form of game-shifting / streaming, both manufacturers lock the option to a specific piece of hardware — either the Play Station Vita or the Nintendo Wii U.
The two players explored the area and killed multiple monsters without any lag spikes, visual degradation, or any other sorts of problems.
The implication of this demo is that going forward, Xbox One and PC players will be able to compete against each other or play cooperatively in a wide array of titles.
With new, universal apps simultaneously coming to the Xbox One, we could see intriguing cross-platform options.