Microsoft announced late Friday that it had enabled Xbox One game streaming to Windows 10 PCs and tablets. It also announced a few changes to the Xbox app on Windows 10.
Game streaming was previously available only to Xbox One preview program members. It allows you to remotely play an Xbox One—and, soon, via backwards compatibility functionality, Xbox 360—games on a Windows 10 PC or tablet. The console and PC must both be on the same network, and you will of course need an Xbox One controller attached to your PC. (Today, that is USB-based, but Microsoft recently announced a wireless adapter.)
Setup is simple enough: On the console, navigate to Settings, Preferences and make sure the option “Allow game streaming to other devices (beta)” is enabled. On your Windows 10 PC or tablet, connect an Xbox Wireless controller with USB cable and then launch the Xbox app and navigate to Connect and connect your Xbox One console. When you do, you will see a new Stream option for game streaming.
From here, you can launch and play Xbox One-based games form your PC or tablet. Oddly, you can’t actually use your console for anything else while you’re doing that. But Microsoft tells me this option can free up the TV the Xbox One is connected to, letting two or more people enjoy separate entertainment experiences (gaming and TV or whatever) on different screens.
In addition to enabling game streaming for everyone, Microsoft also announced some new features for the Xbox app on Windows 10:
Cross-platform party Chat. A new option called “Start a party (beta) will be found above the Friends list, providing a way to start a party chat or game chat with your Xbox friends across Xbox One and Windows 10.
My Games. The Xbox app will automatically discover Windows Store games (a curiously old-fashioned name) and many older traditional PC games and then add them automatically to your game collection in the app. If a game is not automatically added, you can add it manually by selecting My games, Add a game from your PC.
Home. The Home view has been updated, providing easier access for game streaming quicker game launching from a Recently played list. The Featured games section has been updated so you can discover and install new and popular games available from the Store.
Profile. Now you can choose whether to use your avatar or gamerpic as how you’re represented to Friends. You can also customize your avatar, change your gamertag, gamerpic, and user color, and update your name sharing settings, under Customize.
Share with your friends. You can now upload local game clips and screenshots for Windows Store games to your shared collection on Xbox Live. To do so, navigate to Game DVR, On this PC, Share. You can now capture game clips and screenshots for non-Windows Store games and access them via Game DVR, On this PC, Open folder.
Xbox avatars. The Avatars app is being updated so you can take a virtual photo of your avatar and use that as your gamerpic.
Day One Experience. To make it easier for new PC gamers, the Xbox app will help users without Xbox gamertags to create a new account, get their own gamertag, and then use more a basic user experience so they can figure things out like the noobs that they are.