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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iiRickk

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The big exclusives like Halo, Gears of War and a couple of others will not go to Windows 10. The Xbox One needs to have these exclusives to stay interesting since the hardware of the Xbox One is a bit weaker than the competition.


A game like Halo or Gears of War would not even work with Cross-platform gameplay because it would be a huge disadvantage for controller users on the Xbox One if they had to play against mouse and keyboard users on Windows 10 PC.


Microsoft has a very clever strategy here: They make it extremely easy to port PC games to Xbox One and vice versa which means the game library of the Xbox One will see a significant growth in Microsoft exclusives (meaning they are not available on PS4) and will also see a growth in population on Microsoft exclusives since they will support cross-platform gameplay because the games that will be go to Windows 10 and Xbox One are fair for bothe even when someone is using mouse and keyboard.


Making it so easy to port a Windows 10 game to Xbox One is a amazing way to make the Xbox One Games library A LOT bigger. A lot more indie games will be released on Xbox One as well because they can be ported so easily and Microsoft can take advantage of this by making exclusive deals to make those games Microsoft exclusives. You can call those games not real exclusives but as long as they aren't on the PS4 they are still a win for Microsoft and the Xbox One.


So you will have the Xbox One with a nice collection of major exclusive titles, a large selection of Microsoft exclusive titles, a large selection of Indie titles because porting from PC becomes much easier and a large selection of 3rd party games.



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oflow

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<< LINK REMOVED >> I think they will bring both to PC when Windows 10 launches. The MCC has already been out and they finally got the bugs out of it so it will be perfect timing to re-release it. They have a long term vision of taking on Steam, Google and Apple. What better way to bring people on board than to give out Windows 10 for free and put the MCC and a Gears Collection on cross buy?


I dont really think they will care about the controller disadvantage, people will cross play for fun mostly. It might also be used a marketing tool, to make people compete. You can plug a mouse and keyboard in the the Xbox One if you need to, or will be able to once Windows 10 is out. Its basically a weak low mid gaming pc at that point. Xbox could have already had a flood of indies, their own parody clause was blocking them, but now with the new OS coming they are basically gonna loosen it up.

I think their long term goal is to make the Xbox another one of their devices that works on their platform. They actually tried to hammer it thru already at the X1 announce but had to reel it in a bit because people werent ready. The whole selling point of 10 is being able to use everything on all your devices. So if they are really going to go that route they will go all in. The next Xbox will probably be a pre-built gaming pc called Xbox 10. They can just the logo for to shorten it.


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iiRickk

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> I tried playing with a controller on PC and you have no idea how big of a disadvantage I had. Also if you are going to have cross-play with a shooter PC will also have a bigger FPS advantage which is also a BIG deal.

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H0RSE

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<< LINK REMOVED >>
"The big exclusives like Halo, Gears of War and a couple of others will not go to Windows 10. The Xbox One needs to have these exclusives to stay interesting since the hardware of the Xbox One is a bit weaker than the competition."


- Weaker hardware isn't as severe as you think. Will was weaker than PS3 and 360, yet it crushed in sales. Consoles in general are weaker than PC even more so, yet they are wildly popular. You're right that Xbox One needs something to keep it interesting, but the whole cross-play and xbox/PC integration aspect as a whole, pretty much has that covered.


--

"A game like Halo or Gears of War would not even work with Cross-platform gameplay because it would be a huge disadvantage for controller users on the Xbox One if they had to play against mouse and keyboard users on Windows 10 PC."

- I don't think they will be at a huge disadvantage, because I don't think MS will support controller and m/kb cross-play. I don't know this for sure, but every instance where I have seen them demo this feature, it's always being showcased with a controller on PC. They don't even hint at m/kb support.

But even if they did support it, it could still be fair by having different server options - controller only, m/kb only, and mixed. The "controller vs m/kb" debate has been going on for years, and this would be a good way to put it to the test. If they do support it, I really hope they don't "balance" it by gimping the m/kb players, like they did in Shadowrun.

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iiRickk

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Try it for youself. It has been proven many times that playing against a mouse and keyboard while using a controller is A LOT harder. I know it because I tried it with Halo 2.


Also on a shooter framerate is a huge deal and PC will simply have a much higher framerate making it even more unfair.

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H0RSE

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >>

1) I know that m/kb has an advantage over controllers, but that's really irrelevant here. See, as I already stated, they could have multiple servers for games - controller only, m/kb, and mixed. If this were the case, and controller players still chose to play mixed, well then that's on them. IF it was just PC players can use a m/kb whenever they want, then the most practical thing to do would to allow m/kb support for the xbox.

I honestly don't think they will allow for m/kb support, because in addition to advantages it has in competitive gaming, even if they offered m/kb support on xbox, many players still wouldn't use it, because they still prefer using a controller over a mouse. It would just be a vicious cycle of players being frustrated and annoyed that their refereed control method, can't compete.

2) Framerate wouldn't necessarily be a problem if it is capped. Besides, once you go higher than 60fps, which most console games can reach anyway, you've pretty much hit the diminishing returns point, as far as advantage goes.

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wolf503

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Meanwhile; Sony still won't let me play PS1, 2, or 3 games on my PS4 or even add the entire library from those games to PSN for me to freaking buy again. MS is taking the industry in possibly the right direction with this. If I buy a game on PC, now days I'm buying the license to play it and the disc is meaningless but if it's also on consoles I should be able to play it on consoles without having to pay full price for a 2nd version, like I had to with Dying Light because of performance issues (but you know, PC master race right? -.-) on a PC that should have been able to run it on medium to low just fine but nope, ended up grabbing it on PS4 because I really wanted to play it without a hiccup, it's what I should have done from the start. Maybe Sony would consider doing something similar for their 3rd party titles. Obviously I'd expect console exclusives be remain exclusive though, i.e. Halo.

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iiRickk

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<< LINK REMOVED >> The flagships like Halo and Gears of War and other important Xbox One exclusives will not go to Windows 10 indeed. Halo and Gears would not even work with cross-play since a mouse and keyboard player would dominate a controller player which would make it unfair and would kill the multiplayer on Xbox One which is why it won't happen. They need to keep the exclusives as well to keep the console interesting and worth buying.



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wolf503

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<< LINK REMOVED >> yeah I keep forgetting Spencer is running the Xbox division now and not Don Mattrick so my faith in Microsoft is still tainted. lol I can't imagine multiplayer games from both console and PC on the same servers, I honestly don't get why some people would actually want consoles and PC on the same multiplayer servers. I wouldn't even want XOne and PS4 on the same servers because even then the controllers are different enough to give different people an edge.

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iiRickk

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Agreed. But luckily we won't see any games go to Windows 10 with cross-platform play if it's unfair, Phil Spencer knows what he is doing and I doubt he will do something stupid like that.


Games like Halo, Gears of War and Forza will not go to Windows 10 either since they are important for the Xbox One to stay relevant. This may sound harsh but it's the truth. The Xbox One needs it's exclusives to stay interesting other wise it won't sell.


I think Quantum Break, Scalebound and Phantom Dust will stay exclusive to the Xbox One as well. Rise of the Tomb Raider will eventually go to Windows 10 but will not offer cross-platform play for multiplayer since it would be unfair. Maybe Cross-buy though?


Phil Spencer is bringing gaming back to Microsoft in a huge way and he will definitely make the Xbox One shine this year like never before.

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wolf503

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<< LINK REMOVED >> yeah when Phil Spencer took over I kind of realised I want an XOne, I don't think they won't sell without exclusives because now days I get most of my 3rd party AAA titles on console, not going to bother with PC for a while with respect to any FPS games I might really, really want or indies mainly due to the fact a new graphics card which is all I need atm, will cost me more than my PS4 actually more than twice what I paid for my PS4. I definitely think cross-buy needs to occur more in the industry though, I bought Helldivers the other day, got it on Vita, PS3 and PS4 all in the 1 bundle for $30. It was pretty good value and because I hate PS+ I can play it on PS3 whenever I want to play multiplayer. And I'm not sure about Tomb Raider because it's a timed exclusive to my knowledge so it'd come to PS4 and PC later on either way, unless Microsoft timed it all so they could get the PC release in before another publisher.

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PinchySkree

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Building for the lowest common denominator.


Forced exclusivity to mine preorders as a form of life support since the beginning.

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<< LINK REMOVED >> What?

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nomadie

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Still not going to make me buy an Xbox One or Windows 10...

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BusterFriendly

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Some people are just dedicated to obsolescence. Nothing anyone can do about that.

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Cyberjin

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cross-buy with PC has the potentiel to take a market from steam

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BusterFriendly

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Well, yea, that's why Valve is so worried and did that SteamOS thing which is completely pointless except to prevent you from using the Windows built in stuff. That's been since Windows 8.

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Fordy269

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How is it a bad thing to increase player base and give gamers more options on how to play their favourite games

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BusterFriendly

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<< LINK REMOVED >> It's not of course but fanboys have to conjure up something negative when the platform they don't like just keeps getting so good.

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Terminator95

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If you buy a Xbox 0 you get: Windows 10 , 2 games, 2 controllers, AND ....... 2 free happy meals at Mcdonals !

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Tacanacy

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How exactly will this be profitable to Microsoft? Windows is already on... 9/10 computers? So it's not like cross-play will increase sales on that front by a significant margin. I see nothing but a decrease in sales of Xbox One if exclusives seize to exist and become available on Windows 10. If not, then there's no point in cross-play. Compared to other computers, mine is a pretty decent gaming PC, so as a person who doesn't own an Xbox One and have no intention of buying one, and if I ever were, exclusives would be the sole reason to it, will be able to take good advantage of cross-play if Xbox One exclusives become Windows 10 exclusives. I'm primarily a PS3/4 gamer, so that would almost feel like an exploit.

Someone please enlighten me here.

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iiRickk

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Well the major exclusives like Halo for example will NOT go to Windows 10. Halo and Gears would not be fair with Cross-play but that's not the only reason it won't happen. The XB1 has weaker hardware and if they would release their flagship titles on PC than they would hurt their Xbox One sales too much.

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deactivated-5897603b5d106

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<< LINK REMOVED >> The key thing is that it's offering more for less. Probably the simplest market strategy there is.

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clarens56

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Not really you're still buying their exclusives sounds you were never gonna buy an X1 anyway there never throw your money at them for their exclusives at least they'll take your money as well on windows 10

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BusterFriendly

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<< LINK REMOVED >> The story is really about the cross buy support which is the same concept as their universal apps. It gets away from the old school single platform concept like Sony is still stuck to.

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cashboyzz

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How are you a pc gamer then go and downgrade to say you're primarily a PS3/4 gamer at the end? Sony fans man smh. Give it a chance before assuming and it clearly explains everything that we need to know until the product reaches the surface. Give it a chance bruh.

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Tacanacy

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Learn to properly read what people write. Even if I was a secondarily or tertiarily PC gamer, it still wouldn't exclude me as a PC gamer. But I didn't even write that I am a PC gamer.

Only a stuck up fan of the Xbox would manage to interpret my comment, which was completely neutral and an attempt at objectively reasoning how cross-buy support would affect the gaming community, like that. I also asked to be educated on the subject.

You're making an irony out of yourself by calling people fans. And btw, being fan of the entire company and one distinct line of products are two very different things.

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Terminator95

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Xbox is TRYING everything and anything to stay alive.

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cashboyzz

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So is playstation your point?

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cashboyzz

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So is playstation... Your point?

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Metallinatus

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With this, Valve just won the generation.


PC and Steam Machines cross-buy FTW....

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Bazongaman502

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<< LINK REMOVED >> So you want to spend $600 - $5000 for a steam machine just so you can cross buy, while you can buy an Xbox One and a PC for less and it has cross buy as well... Pretty sure, if anything, Valve just f***ed themselves hard with how much it costs for a steam machine. A $600 steam machine is under powered compared to a XB1 or PS4 and both are selling around $400 right now.

If anything, Microsoft just took a dump on valve of of their mistake with the pricing just like how Sony did it to Microsoft when it was announced

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soullessshadow

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Is Steam Machine still a thing? Valve just announced a little box that will allow you to stream games from your PC to your tv for 50 bucks.

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Explain you would ever want to completely lock into a single company's DRM? What's the point of a "stream machine" except to prevent you from using other options?

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Chippiez

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With this, Microsoft just won the generation.

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cashboyzz

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I agree @metallinatus

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yofielmalachi

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<< LINK REMOVED >> until you are required to use their client or things of the like.

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thebeachguy90

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Not really. Trying too hard to be a PC. Then what's the point of buying an Xbox then? I'll just play on PC.

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> PC = Windows = Microsoft
Xbox = Microsoft

Go ahead and stay on PC. You paid for Microsofts operating system, they already got your money. That's why Microsoft doesn't really care if the PCs are better, because they can do their own thing and still make money off of its OS from the PC owners

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Consoles are more convenient and cheaper, and cross buy does not mean the console games will work on a PC. At least not at this point although that's a technically feasible enhancement.

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cashboyzz

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Microsoft is a pc company. I don't see what the problem is. You have a all in one gaming console which is slowly moving towards being a pc. (Which Microsoft's company is). I don't see why anyone would hate on this or be mad at that. This only means the next xbox will be a even larger step to true next gen not the (ps4 & xb1) we have now. . These are only slightly next generation even though I do enjoy these consoles. Back to your comment. First they're trying to be a "tv" now they're "trying too hard to be a pc" maybe you should just purchase a xb1 and experience it for yourself instead of simply trying to ruin a good products name. That's my peace about it.

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McGregor

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> I think they are trying to say, "play on your favorite device". There are people that won't build a PC and would just rather have an xbox, Microsoft has a solution for them. People like myself, would rather not have to buy a console at all, if they have a solution for me (xbox exclusives on my PC, yes please), I will gladly embrace it.

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megakoresh

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The only way they are gonna make this profitable is by making these games available exclusively in their own store. I don't have a problem with that as long as it works well, but on the other hand if the store sells games at purely console prices with no discounts and good deals like bundles, it won't be very competitive.


Who knows though, maybe that will be motivation enough for MS to knock those prices down on both stores. As long as I don't have to install some extra client and as long as it works well, I am totally fine with having Windows Store exclusives, if it means I get to play games like Halo on PC. If I can buy a game on PC and play it console as well with Kinect, that's even better. Maybe MS will indeed pull through with this OS. They have shown positive signs so far. If that is what they choose to show, at the very least this demonstrates that they finally understand what people actually want to see.

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clarens56

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<< LINK REMOVED >> All this stuff will happen on the xbox app its where you buy the game dont expect to see halo 5 on steam

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