Xbox One, Windows 10 Games Getting Cross-Buy Support

Microsoft shows off cross-play, announces an Xbox One controller wireless adapter for PC, and more.

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During a panel at the Game Developers Conference, Microsoft made a variety of announcements, including the fact that cross-buy support is officially coming for games and apps on Xbox One and Windows 10 devices.

Cross-buy will work similarly to what we've seen elsewhere, including PlayStation systems: Buying certain Xbox One or PC games will provide you with copies that can be played on both your console and any Windows 10 devices. Pinball FX 2 is the first game to support cross-buy; if you own content for it on Xbox One, you already own the in-development Windows 10 version.

Cross-buy support comes as part of Microsoft's Windows Universal App Platform, which we first heard about in January. Developers will be able to create a single version of a game that can run across all Windows devices (including Xbox One). To show how easy it is, Microsoft said Shovel Knight developer Yacht Club Games was able to port the game to Xbox One in a single day.

It's currently unclear how commonplace cross-buy will be. The decision will be in the hands of developers, as Spencer says it's "nothing something that we'll mandate." But he made it clear that Microsoft's overarching vision is to make games on the Windows 10 platform available in some way no matter what device you're accessing it from.

Issues with input--a controller-oriented game may not be suited to a Windows 10 phone's touchscreen--will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Cross-buy, to be clear, is separate from the ability to stream Xbox One games to your PC.

Microsoft also demonstrated the previously announced cross-play feature, which allows multiplayer to be played with different players on different platforms. This was shown using IDARB, with one player on Windows 10 and another on Xbox One.

Spencer described this year's GDC as "the most important" since 2000, when Microsoft announced the original Xbox. He said this is "not because we're announcing a new console, not because of any games I'm going to announce today," but because "this is the first time that all of Microsoft's efforts in gaming will show up with one unified voice, with one unified vision around what we want to do and the impact we want to have on the games industry."

Other announcements included a wireless adapter for PC that will support wireless Xbox One controllers, and an Xbox One version of space sim Elite: Dangerous that is in the works. We also got some new word on that Battletoads comeback.

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