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Microsoft turns it around, working on streaming PC games to the Xbox One

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Today the official launch of Windows 10 begins, and while you may or may not be excited about the standard features of the operating system, it brings one very important new feature for Xbox One owners. With the new OS, gamers can now stream games from the console to any computer in the house running Windows 10.

Gamers taking part in both the Windows Insider and Xbox One Preview programs have been able to test the new functionality for some time now, but as of today it’s officially rolling out to everyone. While this new feature is undeniably cool, it leaves some asking the question, “what about the other way around?”

Microsoft is asking this question internally as well, according to an interview with Xbox boss Phil Spencer. While the company isn’t making any promises, Spencer has confirmed that Microsoft is working to enable streaming PC games to the Xbox One. As you might imagine, it isn’t easy.

“We understand if you’re going to go PC to Xbox, we need to get keyboard and mouse working completely so you could play those games,” Spencer told The Verge. “In terms of where we want to go with our platform, those are absolutely in scope of things that we want to do.”

Supporting keyboard and mouse input isn’t the only problem Microsoft will have to tackle to get this working. When encoding to stream from the Xbox One, the hardware is always the same, but the sheer variety of PC hardware out there ups the difficulty. “It’s actually a little more challenging doing the encoding on the PC side to the Xbox, but challenge is good,” Spencer said.

While the task is likely a difficult one, it’s not impossible — just ask Valve. The company’s Steam In-Home Streaming not only works from PC to PC, but will soon also stream to the Steam Link, a $50 piece of hardware launching this November that will allow gamers to stream from their PCs to a TV.

While it seems more likely than not that PC to Xbox One streaming will be a reality some day, there is currently no word of a possible launch date for the feature.

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