Now that Microsoft has made the Anniversary Update official for August 2, it's as good a time as any to refresh ourselves with what we can expect across the board. The next version of Windows 10 will bring Xbox and PC much closer together, as well as updating the user interface and feature set on the Xbox One.
From Microsoft's official blog post detailing the update, here's what Xbox gamers can expect:
- With the Xbox Play Anywhere program, you can buy a game once and play on your Windows 10 PC and Xbox One with shared progress, shared game saves and shared achievements. Every new title published from Microsoft Studios will support Xbox Play Anywhere and will be easily accessible in the Windows Store.
- Xbox Play Anywhere games will be offered within the new unified Windows Store on both Windows 10 and Xbox One. You'll be able to find the content you want faster and purchase game and app bundles, pre-orders, pre-downloads and subscriptions such as Xbox Live Gold.
- On Xbox One, gamers will be able to use Cortana commands to find great new games, see what your friends are up to, start a party, accomplish common tasks and turn on your Xbox One by saying "Hey Cortana, Xbox On".
- Top fan requested features for Xbox One, such as Language Region Independence (allowing gamers to choose any supported language, regardless of their location) and support for background music, will come with the Anniversary Update.
The Xbox Play Anywhere system was detailed a couple of weeks ago at E3, with big new titles such as Gears of War 4, ReCore and Forza Horizon 3 all being enabled for buy once, play anywhere on console and PC. Being able to flip between the two on the same game save information is a big deal.
Of everything else coming, one in particular catches the eye; Background music. It's been one of the most requested features pretty much since the console launched without it, and it reassures us to see that it's talked about here. The latest preview build is currently in the hands of testers, so we're already seeing bits like Cortana and the refreshed design, as well as what the unified Store is going to look like. But between now and August there's still plenty to be done so we'll be following progress carefully.
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Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine