Original Xbox title 'Phantom Dust' hits Xbox One and Windows 10 tomorrow, for free!

Phantom Dust is an action RPG from the original Xbox era. Phantom Dust isn't a remake, and perhaps shouldn't even be considered a remaster, due to the way the engine was hard-coded for the original Xbox. It is instead a port, with some additional free-to-play features.

As a game both with a single player campaign and a competitive multiplayer mode, Phantom Dust fits well into Microsoft's efforts to create service-driven games, as one of the earliest console titles with a deck-building card system powering its ability systems.

Phantom Dust will hit Xbox One and Windows 10 both tomorrow, as a free Xbox Play Anywhere title, complete with progression syncing and roaming in-app purchases.

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Phantom Dust is set in a future where the surface of Earth is inhospitable. Some humans, "Espers," are gifted with the power to control the blanket of dust that has shrouded the world, and use it to wield magic-like abilities.

The game's ability system revolves around deck building mechanics. Each card represents a different skill in your loadout, and you can customize your character as you see fit. This extends to the game's multiplayer, which will enjoy cross-play between Windows 10 and Xbox One.

Phantom Dust joins Voodoo Vince (opens in new tab) as a recent revival of original Xbox titles. Microsoft has previously discussed bringing OG Xbox backwards compatibility to the Xbox One device family, but the licensing issues make this virtually impossible, even if the technical hurdles are far easier to overcome. It seems as though porting classic games might prove a more viable option for Microsoft moving forward, and it will allow them to gauge interest in possible franchise reboots.

Microsoft previously had Phantom Dust slated for a full blown remake, but the project fell through. If enough of us jump in to Phantom Dust's magical world on Xbox One and Windows 10 tomorrow, maybe Microsoft will reconsider.

We'll have download links up for you as soon as they become available.

Jez Corden
Managing Editor

Jez Corden is the Managing Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

  • Yes! Still have the original and I thought it was ahead of its time!
  • Wow free!! :-) Gotta give this a try asap!
  • Was really weary until free, now I'll definitely give it a go
  • Nice.
  • So no physical release? Booo
  • Seriously??? Where you actually expecting a physical release for this?
  • I actually was when it was they said it would be redone in hd. It was supposed to be.
  • Booing a free release on top of it.
  • You, sir, win the most ridiculous comment of the month award.
    Why would you even want a physical copy for a free game? Just to take up space on a shelf?
  • Loved this game to pieces
  • So it's a free-to-play. Hmm I'll surely try it out on PC, but I guess this is what Spencer refered to when he talked about game as a service. Trying to get people to spend cash on microtransaction like some of these mobile phone games. Anyway it's good news I think. Now I hope MS does the same thing with a game like Sea of thieves. It looks like a game that will have a lot of microtransactions and if it does I hope it's free-to-play. 
  • Sea of Thieves is already confirmed to not be free to play.
  • Thank god! I'm really looking forward to the game from what I've seen and FTP would point to it being a let down IMO. I really don't like microtransactions and would rather pay more for a game that doesn't use them - I HATED that Halo Spartan Assault was paid for AND you had to pay if you wanted to take specific weapons at the start of the level
  • Well, at this stage we don't know the actual price of the game. Let's just hope it's not a $60 game that will ALSO focus on microtransactions
  • I know. All I'm saying is that I hope it'll end up being a free to play if they are going to include and focus on microtransactions. 
  • That's a big big stretch and you know it. Not a single MS first party game is effected by Microtransactions at all. Some have some in it for Cosmetic items. But all can be earned normally. And none effect gameplay if you don't purchase. It's not like Overwatch or any other Blizzard game.
  • Uh, Overwatch micro transactions are purely cosmetic. As are the ones in Heroes of the Storm. Hearthstone you can buy packs, but you can also earn everything just by playing, so maybe don't spread false information.
  • Overwatch use underhanded gambling mechanics not found in any other gaming microtransaction process. I'll post the article for you. On top of that Blizzard spend more resources making loot than actual gameplay content. And also remove content of game modes people like after short periods of time. As an example Halo 5 has a single player story. It also has 60gb worth of multiplayer content. Maps, game modes, they're etc etc. With Overwatch Cosmetics and lootboxes are the draw of the game. That's all you see posted about on the Blizzard forums. Sure gambling is something people can ignore, but there should be an automatic 18 rating for a game like Overwatch. Which purposely preys on the gambling senses. If you read the entire article I post afterwards you will see there are systems in play by Blizzard which are just wrong. Forcing you to spend extra money when you are already doing so. The whole design is setup to make spare change out of you. When you already want the item.
  • Here's the article. You will see Blizzard have set things up completely different than any other developer. https://www.geek.com/games/blizzards-slow-trudging-parade-of-disgusting-...
  • Odd, because of all the people I know that play Overwatch absolutely none of them spend money on micro transactions.
  • Yeah, out of all the in game microtransactions, Overwatch has to be the most I have never cared to buy any. You can't even see your character so the skins are worthless, and the rest is just meh... There can't be that many people that actually want to collect everything in the game.
  • It's hugely lucrative for Blizzard. Sure there's people who enjoy the game as is. But when a developer spends more development time making loot boxes and skins than actual playable content its a pretty big red flag. You only have to visit the Blizzard forums to see just how much the loot is discussed. In a game like that it should be a discussion about epic matches and awesome kills. Bit that never gets discussed with Overwatch. As opposed to a game like Halo, or Battlefield where weekly there are top 10 kills, top 10 skills etc etc. There's even a specific mode in Warzone where you can play competitively without the Moba style cards.
  • Oh please..., Req packs for Halo 5, Gear packs, Forza tokens, Blitz cards for Blitz Mode, booster pack, Killer Instinct... MS already said they have incorporated mechanisms in its Xbox One games with microtransactions to monitor player buying behavior.  
  • No said they didn't. If you read the article you would know that Ovwrwatch is designed vastly different on purpose to bleed money. And Micros in First party MS games are not the focus. In KI you can own everything in the game for £39.99. In Halo 5 and Gears you have entire separate modes where you can't use the cards. You clearly don't play MS games. In the Arena on Halo 5 you can't use req packs at all. You can only use them in Warzone game mode. And even then there's a separate Warzone games mode where you also can't use req packs. So in a nutshell you can play the entire game and all its modes with Req packs completely banned. And unlike Overwatch the Dev hasn't purposely made it impossible to just get stuff without buying credits. Blizzard have made it impossible to get everything without playing the game naturally. Also take Forza. You can buy cars instantly with Micros. But the important thing is you can earn everything normally. They haven't changed anything. Your just trying to find further reasons to slam MS. Their Microtransaction systems are applauded because they don't effect the games at all. Competitively or otherwise. And they don't use underhanded tactics like Blizzard and co.
  • You know something is fishy when someone who is known to defend certain company supports and defends microtransactions for a full price game. ALL microtransactions for a full price games are bad WHOEVER is doing it MS, Sony, Nintendo, Blizzard or whoever. It's not black or white. There is no good microtransaction or bad microtransaction. 
    The concept of microtransactions is that the game is design in such a way as to entice people into spending. Something is done to try and tempt you, because that’s how freemium elements work.
    The very fact that they have modes where you can spend money to have an advantage is part of the problem. Like I said MS already said they have incorporated mechanisms in its Xbox One games with microtransactions to monitor player buying behavior.  Anyway here are few links about some of the games you talked about. Killer instinct:
    Here are fans of the game (not company fanboys) discussing this:
    Here is a video of an actual frustrated gamer and not a fanboy defending his beloved company. He actually bought the Supreme Edition and still had missing stuff.
    https://youtu.be/Sq70-qeweZY?t=309 Halo 5
    Warzone was heavily marketed at E3 and other ads for multiplayer.
    https://youtu.be/rYxHCsT7C8E?t=479 Here is a video of a Halo fan who talked about how things was with Bungie's Halo 3 vs 343's Halo 5.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVGw8_njodc They kind of did this same thing with Halo wars 2 where more than half of their promotion video is about Blitz mode.
    https://youtu.be/eqTnnkzmIRQ?t=166 And about Gears 4?
    I don't need to say much about that... There are enough actual FANS of the game that are pissed.
    https://www.giantbomb.com/gears-of-war-4/3030-45269/forums/the-microtran... And don't even get me started with Forza. You're actually defending pay to win LOL I know you won't listen and you'll keep defending them NO MATTER WHAT THEY DO because you're a company fanboy. So this last link isn't for you but to any gamers reading this. This is about microtransactions in general and why it's not great for a $60 game no matter what.
  • Some people always find someone to complain about. Don't like it don't get it. Micro transactions are optional.
  • I'm saying it's ok as long as it's free to play. But if you are supporting full price game focused on microtransactions then type "jimquisition pay to play" on google and you'll understand that it' not exactly optional.
  • Nice. Can't beat that price!
  • Touch support?
  • Lol no
  • Mate, I don't think it will work well with touch screens. Things can get hectic and the touch tech can be laggy (depends on the design), so you may end up getting pissed.
  • @onysi - ah well, won't be playing it on by tablet then. I play more tablet games than regular games these days. Shame, it sounded interesting.
  • Hook up Xbox controller?
  • Guess I'll stick to trine 2, and the shadowrun series.