Buy a game on Xbox, get a copy for Windows – if Microsoft’s cross-buy works out

xbox one upgradable vision phil spencer windows 10
In recent years, we’ve seen both Nintendo and Sony offer cross-buy perks to customers, a scheme where buying the console version of a title gives players access to its handheld counterpart and vice versa. Given that Microsoft has no dedicated gaming portable, they’ve been unable to join in — but now the company is establishing its own twist on the promotion.

Microsoft is forging plans to offer some of its biggest releases on both the Xbox One and PC, with consumers only needing to purchase the console version to gain access to both. The long-awaited Quantum Break will be among the first titles taking part, with pre-orders securing a copy playable on Windows 10 per a report from PC World.

Related: Xbox One Special Edition Quantum Break Bundle

It’s no secret that a huge part of the strategy behind Windows 10 was bringing Microsoft’s disparate array of hardware together under one banner. The Xbox One has seen plenty of change as a result, with its UI brought in line with the styling of Windows 10 on PC, and functionality like streaming console gameplay to a networked computer.

Having been an Xbox One exclusive since its release in 2013, critically lauded fighting game Killer Instinct will make its way to PC when its third season arrives this year. Earlier today, a now-removed report from Gamespot stated that exclusives Gears of War 4 and Scalebound will also be available on Windows 10, as documented on Reddit.

Responding to a question from a fan on Twitter, head of Xbox Phil Spencer expressed a desire to make cross-buy a “platform feature,” going on to note “we think it’s good for gamers.”

Bundling a PC version of the game with its Xbox One release will certainly add value for some consumers. However, there’s a risk that Microsoft’s focus on making big-name exclusives available on both platforms will harm the Xbox One in the long term, as PC gaming continues to become more popular.

The console wars are no less competitive today than they were when Sega and Nintendo jostled for power back in the 1990s. However, given the expanded scope of a company like Microsoft in contrast to the video game centric manufacturers of that era, tactics like this cross-buy gambit demonstrate the complex nature of the industry as of 2016.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: heat-powered watches, phone cases with reflexes

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Watch out for these top-10 mistakes people make when buying a laptop

Buying a new laptop is exciting, but you need to watch your footing. There are a number of pitfalls you need to avoid and we're here to help. Check out these top-10 laptop buying mistakes and how to avoid them.

These point-and-shoot cameras make your smartphone pics look like cave paintings

If your smartphone camera just isn't giving you the results you're looking for, maybe it's time to step up your game. The latest and greatest point-and-shoot cameras offer large sensors, tough bodies, and long lenses -- something no phone…
Emerging Tech

Why wait? Here are some CES 2019 gadgets you can buy right now

Companies come to CES to wow us with their cutting edge technology, but only a few products are slated to hit the market right away. Here is our list of the best CES 2019 tech you can buy right now.

Don't spend a fortune on a PC. These are the best laptops under $300

Buying a laptop needn't mean spending a fortune. If you're just looking to browse the internet, answer emails, and watch Netflix, you can pick up a great laptop at a great price. These are the best laptops under $300.

Dell XPS 13 vs. Asus Zenbook 13: In battle of champions, who will be the victor?

The ZenBook 13 UX333 continues Asus's tradition of offering great budget-oriented 13-inch laptop offerings. Does this affordable machine offer enough value to compete with the excellent Dell XPS 13?
Product Review

LG Gram 14 proves 2-in-1 laptops don’t need to sacrifice battery for light weight

The LG Gram 14 2-in-1 aims to be very light for a laptop that converts to a tablet. And it is. But it doesn’t skimp on the battery, and so it lasts a very long time on a charge.

Take a trip to a new virtual world with one of these awesome HTC Vive games

So you’re considering an HTC Vive, but don't know which games to get? Our list of 25 of the best HTC Vive games will help you out, whether you're into rhythm-based gaming, interstellar dogfights, or something else entirely.

The Asus ZenBook 13 offers more value and performance than Apple's MacBook Air

The Asus ZenBook 13 UX333 is the latest in that company's excellent "budget" laptop line, and it looks and feels better than ever. How does it compare to Apple's latest MacBook Air?

AMD Radeon VII will support DLSS-like upscaling developed by Microsoft

AMD's Radeon VII has shown promise with early tests of an open DLSS-like technology developed by Microsoft called DirectML. It would provide similar upscale features, but none of the locks on hardware choice.

You could be gaming on AMD’s Navi graphics card before the end of the summer

If you're waiting for a new graphics card from AMD that doesn't cost $700, you may have to wait for Navi. But that card may not be far away, with new rumors suggesting we could see a July launch.

Is AMD's Navi back on track for 2019? Here's everything you need to know

With a reported launch in 2019, AMD is focusing on the mid-range market with its next-generation Navi GPU. Billed as a successor to Polaris, Navi promises to deliver better performance to consoles, like Sony's PlayStation 5.

Cortana wants to be friends with Alexa and Google Assistant

Microsoft no longer wants to compete against Amazon's Alexa and Google's Assistant in the digital assistant space. Instead, it wants to transform Cortana into a skill that can be integrated into other digital assistants.

Microsoft leans on A.I. to resume safe delivery of Windows 10 Update

Microsoft is leaning on artificial intelligence as it resumes the automatic rollout of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update. You should start seeing the update soon now that Microsoft has resolved problems with the initial software.