Nathan's Take on Xbox Play Anywhere

See the source image Xbox Play Anywhere was announced at E3 2016, and was met with some criticism as well as some praise. The program entitles gamers that purchase specific digital games to access the game on both Windows 10 PCs and Xbox One, allowing your achievements, progress and saves to travel back and forth between your Windows 10 PC and Xbox One.

Critics of this program say that this proves that Microsoft is distancing themselves from the console market, or that now there is no need to own an Xbox One since more titles (some exclusives) can be played it on PC.

To me, however, I don’t see this as Microsoft exiting the console space, but trying to widen their net so more people can experience great content and use the Xbox ecosystem on their PC. In this article, I wanted to share my experience with Xbox Play Anywhere.

Before I go too far down this path, I should probably share some of my PC specs: 4GB GTX 980, 32GB RAM, SSD for Windows 10 OS & 7200RPM for game install, playing with an Xbox One S controller on a Samsung 4K 28” monitor.

Most of my experience with Xbox Play Anywhere comes from Forza Horizon 3. That was one of the first titles released with this feature (ReCore was the first). As you may have seen from yesterday’s Top 25 Xbox One Games article, Forza Horizon 3 is among the best offerings on Xbox One. The fact that it is also available to PC players on Windows 10 just makes it so many more people can enjoy this fantastic game.

I began playing Forza Horizon 3 on my Xbox One console, racking up all those miles and skills on my TV from the comfort of my recliner. A few days later, my wife was watching a show on the TV via my Xbox One, but I felt the need for speed! Since I bought Forza Horizon 3 digitally, I had access to it on my Windows 10 PC. I went to my office and began the install, wondering how well this whole thing would work out. After installation, I clicked play on the Windows 10 Xbox app, and Forza Horizon 3 booted up. The first thing I saw was a box pop up, saying it was syncing my save data from the server. Indeed, a few seconds later I was loaded in to Forza Horizon 3 exactly where I left off.

Forza Horizon 3 looked great on my Xbox One, but it looked even better on my PC! I was able to kick up the graphics and play in 4K at about 30 FPS, or I could knock down the resolution and get to the 60FPS mark for an amazingly smooth presentation. It felt good to finally use my PC for some gaming, as I had upgraded it earlier, but never really put it to task. I saw a buddy pop online, and wondered what the experience playing together would be like. To my amazement, it worked without issue! I was playing on my Windows 10 PC, and he was on his Xbox One, we were in a party chat and racing around, as if we were both playing on the console! After played an hour or so on the PC, and called it a day.

Returning to play on my Xbox One console, when loading the game a familiar box came up, telling me that it was syncing data from the server. Again, seconds later, I was able to pick up where I left off on Windows 10! For me, this was a seamless experience, and made me wonder about the possibilities this feature could unlock in the future.

After this positive experience, I began looking to see if a game was Xbox Play Anywhere. If it was, I bought it digitally, because of the freedom of playing back and forth between Windows 10 and Xbox One. The only thing lacking right now, in my opinion, is the number of games available for Xbox Play Anywhere. As of this writing, there are nineteen currently available, and seventeen announced. Most of these titles are exclusives, but there are a few notable third party games such as Resident Evil 7: Biohazard and Middle Earth: Shadow of War in the program. I would love to see Star Wars: Battlefront 2, Madden, or Injustice 2 as part of this initiative in the future, as I believe expansion into third parties would be a shrewd move by Microsoft. This would serve to unify the player base, and make a case for PC gamers to eventually get an Xbox One if they want to game on a TV as opposed to a monitor.

In all, the Xbox Play Anywhere feature is a great benefit if it is included with a game purchased digitally. If you have a Windows 10 PC and an Xbox One, this may be something you want to consider when purchasing games in the future. The freedom offered, as well as the cross-play between Windows 10 and Xbox One is well worth it!

Have you tried Xbox Play Anywhere? What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below or send me a tweet: @VoicedByNathan!

PSVG's Top 25 Games for Xbox One

[et_pb_section bb_built="1" admin_label="section"][et_pb_row admin_label="row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] This list does not necessarily represent the best, highest reviewed or critically acclaimed games on the Xbox One, but the games that Donnie, Josh, Mo and Nathan have had the most fun with on the console. Compiled in May of 2017, this list may be revisited later, but for now here is the official PSVG Top 25 Games on Xbox One!

25. Quantum Break

24. Ori and the Blind Forest

23. Halo 5: Guardians

22. Injustice 2

21. Gears of War 4

20. Firewatch

19. Forza Horizon 2

18. Rare Replay

17. Grand Theft Auto V

16. Final Fantasy XV

15. Madden 17 Mo's Overall Top Pick. "Madden 17 is the greatest? What's wrong with you? Here are my 3 reasons for Madden 17 being my best game on Xbox One: 1. Amazing game-play. Yes it's a sports game but just like many gamers love to crawl through dungeons, I love to go after stats, awards, and of course build up a franchise to be proud of. 2. Heroes I know and love. Yea that's all I have to say. 3. Countless hours of game play with friends, solo, etc. That's not even the tip of the iceberg but the user interface is fantastic, servers are great, and have just loved playing. This is why Madden 17 is my favorite game on Xbox one." - Mo

14. Overwatch

13. Star Wars: Battlefront

12. Shovel Knight

11. Tom Clancy's The Division

10. Titanfall

9. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare

8. Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition

7. Dragon Age: Inquisition

6. The Witcher 3

5. Destiny

4. INSIDE

3. Halo: The Master Chief Collection

2. Rise of the Tomb Raider

1. Forza Horizon 3 Donnie, Josh and Nathan's Overall Top Pick "There's no doubt in my mind that Forza Horizon 3 is my favorite Xbox One game. It took a lot of encouragement from our Xbox team for me to give it a chance, but I'm so glad I hopped in to experience one of the best video games this generation has to offer. Forza Horizon 3 is everything every gamer could want from a racing game. It has incredible visuals to offer with an amazing setting that's varied and diverse, as well as a massive selection of rides to please any kind of motor-head. The driving game-play is as close to perfect as can be in a video game, but doesn't venture too far into the simulation that is not very fun for newcomers. Add in the constant loops around the island with your friends, the solo adventures of challenges, time trials, and finding hidden boosts and cars and you'll quickly understand why this is my favorite Xbox One game." - Donnie

"Forza Horizon 3 is my number one game for a few reasons. First of all, it's a groundbreaking game. Everything it does is new (for the Xbox one). It seamlessly blends racing and open world gaming without that crushing anxiety that some people complain about while playing said open world games. The sheer amount of different cars and different race types leaves you with almost unlimited replay-ability. Lets not forget that they somehow managed to make every car feel different. You will very rarely experience a similar controller feel on another car. It's so unique. I could go on and on, but this is a game you just need to go out and buy!" - Josh

"Forza Horizon 3 is everything I want in a car game. It looks great, the controls are tight, the soundtrack is superb, and the racing is epic! Whether it's racing against boats, helicopters or trains, oh yea, and cars, this game has it all! Adding in the Blizzard Mountain and Hot Wheels expansion packs, Forza Horizon 3 offers a ton of fun and variety to keep you playing! It's always cool to see someone from your friend's list pop in as a Driveatar, which makes you really want to beat them, and let your friend know how their Driveatar represented them! If you say "it's a racing game, it can't be that good," then, madame or sir, you should broaden your horizons and give this amazing game a spin!" - Nathan

 

So, there you have it! These are 25 of our most favorite games available on the Xbox One! What are your favorite games on the console? Hit us up @PSVG on Twitter or leave a comment below!

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This Week's Xbox Gem

[et_pb_section bb_built="1" admin_label="section"][et_pb_row admin_label="row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] The gem that rises above all others this week isn't a stand alone game, but an expansion to one of the best games on the Xbox One and Windows 10!

 

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For me, this release came out of left field, but I instantly fell in love with the idea of racing on Hot Wheels tracks, with crazy loops, fire jumps, and amazing new Hot Wheels cars! This is the latest expansion for Forza Horizon 3, and is included in the Expansion Pass. If you prefer to buy this DLC by itself, outside of the Expansion Pass, it costs $19.99.

The Forza Horizon 3 Hot Wheels expansion races on to Xbox One and Windows 10 (remember, it's a Play Anywhere title!) Tuesday, May 9th!

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