An in-depth look at the new Windows 10 Xbox app

For years, users have scoffed at Microsoft’s half-hearted efforts to build a PC game store for its Windows platform (including me). Finally, Microsoft reacted. Say hello to the new Xbox app for Windows 10, known simply as “Xbox” right now, it comes with Xbox Game Pass for PC and (almost) the entire catalog of major PC titles available through Microsoft’s own store.

It’s only the early days, still in beta, but it’s already far superior to the standard Microsoft Store Windows 10 for browsing PC games and worth a try if you’re using Windows 10 Update (1903 ) May 2019 or later. You can grab it from the Microsoft Store here, or with an Update Assistant for Windows 10 here.

Netflix for PC games

Xbox Game Pass for PC

Endless fun

Microsoft’s premium PC game subscription service offers unprecedented value for those looking to try new games.

Navigation and connection

Connection is simple. All you need to do is click on the avatar icon at the top right and click on Login. You will be prompted to enter your Microsoft account, which can be created for free here.

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Once you’re signed in, a variety of new options are available to you, both at the top of the screen and at the bottom left.

The new options include:

  • Game pass is a subscription service, currently priced at $ 5 during beta, giving you access to over 100 PC games for Windows 10. This section introduces the catalog.
  • Social is where you can add friends, send messages or start voice chats.
  • Shop lists everything Microsoft has for sale from a PC gaming perspective.
  • The left bar is where your games live, for launching and uninstalling.
  • The search bar at the top right allows you to quickly find games either in the store or in the Game Pass.
  • The notification bell gives you a history of all your recent notifications on Xbox Live.
  • Profile button Gives quick access to settings, your library, code usage, and your online status.

The Xbox app is currently missing a few notable sections, such as Xbox Clubs and other social features like the Xbox app social feed, but these aspects will likely come to light in future updates.

PC Game Pass

The first section that loads is Xbox Game Pass for PC, which shows the library of games available as part of the subscription. Signing up for Xbox Game Pass for PC costs $ 5 during the beta phase, with an introductory price of $ 1 for the first month. You can register on the Microsoft website.

Once your subscription is active, you get immediate access to the complete library of Xbox Game Pass PC titles. The games available change in and out on a monthly basis, depending on the contractual conditions between Microsoft and its partners. Some games stick around for months, while others come out much faster. Microsoft’s own games, however, are permanent items as part of the subscription, which is arguably worth it. Forza, Halo, Gears of War, and other major Microsoft franchises are all on the program, with future titles like The Outer Worlds, Wasteland 3, and Bleeding Edge all confirmed to join the party as well.

Finding games to play on Game Pass is as easy as scrolling down the page. Microsoft has some of its own recommendations, but at the bottom you can sort by category, browse the entire list, or just pick a game entirely at random.

Social features

The social features available in the new Xbox app are relatively straightforward at the moment, with streamlined profiles, missing Xbox clubs, and no social feeds. However, the available features work very well and showcase Microsoft’s efforts to speed up its historically relatively slow Xbox Live messaging system.

The search bar at the top of the Friends List allows you to quickly and easily search your current Friends List and will dynamically expand beyond your Friends List if the system detects that you are actually trying to add someone new, the same as Skype. Next to the search field is a button for creating new message groups.

Below the search box are two tabs for your friends list and active chats. At the bottom is Microsoft’s new “Request for Message” section, which attempts to combat spammers. If someone from outside your friends list sends you messages, the messages will end up in this overflow section instead.

Once you’re in an active chat, it’s simple to turn the chat into a voice room by clicking the headset icon on the screen. New control sections will open below using your Windows 10 accent color (red for me), allowing you to control your microphone settings, as well as the ability to exit chat. You can right-click a message to remove individual notes and click the ellipsis menu (…) to completely remove the chat, bring it back to message requests, or turn it off for now.

Xbox PC Store and Settings

The new Xbox PC store as part of this app is a huge jump in quality from the Microsoft Store itself, ditching casual mobile games in favor of basic PC titles. From there, it’s easy to browse the entire catalog of PC titles Microsoft offers. Each listing shows details on PC specs, screenshots and trailers, Mixer live streams from the game, and posts from developers who use the official Xbox Club system to deliver updates to their games. games. The system offers user reviews as well, but they currently lack some of the additional context that Steam reviews provide, although this can still be a useful tool in learning more about a game from the people who own it.

Fortunately, the new PC store also offers the option to select a storage device before committing to a download, something the main Microsoft Store has historically struggled with. Once your game is installed, it will appear in the left sidebar, along with a context menu for uninstalling.

If you click on your profile picture at the top of the app, you can access the code redemption, the ability to set your online status, your game library, and the main settings page. The options available at the time of this writing are a bit slim, but all the important things are on offer.

Some of the parameters that you can manipulate are as follows:

  • Account gives you access to your order history, the status of your subscription, the ability to connect to another account and change your gamertag.
  • General allows you to decide whether to launch on startup, configure background processing, change the default install location, and access offline game permissions.
  • Notifications allows you to configure how and when notifications are received.
  • audio allows you to configure a push to talk button, change your microphones and speakers and adapt the sound mix.

That’s about it (for now)

Even in its beta debut, the new Xbox app for Windows 10 is a huge step up from the Microsoft Store, which lacks design consistency and decent curation. The Xbox team have been diligent in responding to user feedback and adding new features, so expect to see more of this service relatively quickly.

If you want to try the app for yourself, you need to at least run Windows 10 May 2019 Update (Build 1903). You can then download it here.

Over a hundred PC games

Xbox Game Pass for PC

Great value

Over a hundred PC games for a low monthly subscription, what’s not to like?

Inexpensive PC Accessories We Love

Take a look at these awesome PC accessories, all of which will enhance your Windows experience.

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‘Stranger Things’ and Microsoft offer Xbox arcade cabinet

Microsoft partners with Netflix to celebrate season three of Strange things. The collaboration dates back to the summer of 1985, with the introduction of an application inspired by Windows 1.0, Strange things– Theme coding camps offered through the Microsoft Store, as well as commemorative Xbox content and prizes.

While Strange things Season three takes place in 1985, which was also a particularly noteworthy year for Microsoft. The company then celebrated the 10th anniversary of its headquarters in Redmond and the release of Windows 1.0. Microsoft’s Windows 1.11 application was subsequently inspired by Windows 1.0, with iconic Paint and Terminal programs, as well as Strange things-themed puzzles and unique content. Just visit windows.com/ foreigners to play.

Next, Microsoft allows fans to attend Camp Know Where at Microsoft Store. The experience includes two free STEM-inspired workshops with technological themes revolving around the show and its characters. Those 13 years of age and older can register at their local Microsoft Store or in line for two workshops: Rule the Arcade and Strange-ify Your World. In Rule the Arcade, participants will create their own playable video game using fundamental gameplay and coding concepts, similar to Mad Max and Dustin on the show. The Strange-ify Your World class sees participants create a story about teamwork and friendship, before playing with mixed reality to immerse themselves in the world of Strange things present their own Strange things-inspired mini-movie with 3D models, Windows Ink, special effects and a soundtrack.

Finally, fans of the series can earn the ultimate Strange things Xbox Price Pack, which includes a Stranger things 3 Collectible Arcade Cabinet, plus a new Xbox One X and 12-month Xbox Game Pass Ultimate membership. Anyone interested in entering the contest, which runs until July 15, should retweet or like the reveal post on the Xbox Twitter Channel or the Xbox Facebook Page.

For more on the hit Netflix show, be sure to check out our recently released Stranger things 3 collection.



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I tried the new Xbox app for PC, and yes it’s bad

With the launch of Xbox Game Pass for PC in beta, we decided to download the latest Xbox app to one of the many gaming laptops installed in our lab to see how efficiently the app translates the operating system. Xbox One on PC.

The verdict: it works, but it doesn’t look good.

How to download the Xbox app (beta)

Downloading the new Xbox app can be a pain if you’re not already a Windows Insider. If you don’t know what this means, don’t worry; our quick guide on how to become a Windows Insider will make your life easier. After the setup is complete, which can take about an hour, you can go to Microsoft’s website to download the Xbox app.

Xbox Game Pass

The Game Pass tab layout in the app is filled with randomly spaced heels for games of multiple shapes and sizes, which makes the interface look sloppy rather than neat. Heels take up a lot of space, so they look like entries for blog posts, instead of, you know, games displayed for purchase or download.

When I looked through the All Games section of the Game Pass tab, I immediately noticed that the games weren’t listed in alphabetical order. There was also no way to change the order, which made it all feel like a randomly chosen nightmare.

The search function is not very intuitive either. Ideally, it would have an autofill feature, but it doesn’t, and it’s not good at handling incomplete words. I typed in “gear,” and the only search results were Everspace, Ark: Survival Evolved, ReCore, and Rise of the Tomb Raider. These were not at all close to my target: Gears of War. It wasn’t until typing “gears” that I got what I was looking for.

So you need to have at least one correctly spelled word to find what you’re looking for. I may sound picky, but this requirement makes the user experience a lot more frustrating, when it doesn’t have to be. However, you can browse by genre which is good.

All in all, you’ll eventually be able to find what you’re looking for, but you’ll feel like you have to dive into a third-party app to do so.

Social

The entire tab for social media has no place, and its functionality is so sparse that it would have worked better as a sidebar. (Note: Find friends feature may auto populate, so why can’t Game Pass tab do the same?) Click on a friend’s profile, the app directed me to Google Chromium.

The app doesn’t offer Xbox avatars either, and while I understand that Avatars has its own app, it really should be consolidated into the Xbox one. The Xbox app also lacks a section for clubs or the Group Finder feature, which is arguably one of the most important updates Xbox Live has ever had.

Shop

The layout of the Store tab is more or less the same as the Game Pass tab. It even suffers from the same research and control flaws. However, he didn’t even bother to bring the option to search by genre.

Technically all games are on Game Pass anyway, so you can go through the Game Pass tab to search by genre. However, what happens when the games arrive on the Xbox app for PC but are not available on Game Pass?

On top of that, it was incredibly strange that there wasn’t a section for new releases. And since the app exclusively offers Xbox Game Pass titles (for now), there’s no section for free games or even demos.

Games

Once you’ve downloaded a game, it will appear on the left side of the app, just below the Xbox logo, which is the only part of the app that looks neat. Games will also have shortcuts in your Windows search bar, so you don’t need to open the Xbox app to access your game.

If the Xbox app is open while you’re in a game, it will stop running in the background, so it won’t interrupt you. If you want to access your Friends List or other Xbox features while gaming, you can press Windows + G to bring up the Xbox Game Bar.

Outlook

It’s like the Xbox app for Windows asks its console counterpart if it can copy her homework, and the Xbox One says, “Yeah, change it up a bit so it doesn’t seem obvious you’ve got it. copy.” It’s a classic meme, but it’s not what people want.

Of course, not many people are fans of the Xbox One operating system on the console, as it’s a bit iconic, but at least it looks organized and neat. The Xbox app for Windows is just plain sloppy.

We had a solid model on the Xbox One; there is no reason to change it. Hopefully, we’ll see some of the great features of the Xbox One translated into the Xbox app for PC when it leaves beta in the fall.

Credit: Microsoft


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This is Microsoft’s new Xbox app for Windows 10 PC gamers

Microsoft is creating a brand new Xbox app from scratch for Windows 10 PCs that allows you to download and install PC games that are part of Xbox Game Pass. The application is a Win32 program that has been completely rebuilt with the discovery of games and social networks in mind.

Code name Garrison, the application leaked in beta form ahead of a public announcement likely to take place at E3. The initial beta features Xbox Game Pass, the ability to download and install Game Pass games available on PC directly from the new Xbox app, and social features that let you chat with Xbox friends by text or voice. It looks like the app is electronic, which means its performance is rather slow and it consumes memory frequently.

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It looks like Microsoft is planning to replace the old Xbox UWP app with this new Win32 app. It is very pretty, with Fluent Design acrylic effects and borderless design. The app is listed in the Microsoft Store, but it’s not yet available. So, for now, we’ve incorporated screenshots to showcase it in all its glory.

Update: 10/6/19: The app in the Microsoft Store is now available for download

Are you interested in trying out the new Xbox app? Let us know in the comments.

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Xbox Windows 10 app renamed as Xbox console companion ahead of “new desktop experience”

Microsoft has updated its Xbox app for Windows 10 with a new icon and name for a “new desktop experience” which could be unveiled at the E3 gaming fair next week. While the app is currently no different from its name, the next update is expected to reinvent it as a dashboard for Xbox console settings and unspecified features. It could also play a role in the planned launch of Microsoft’s xCloud online gaming service and enable game streaming between a user’s devices. Similar changes don’t appear to have been made to the Xbox apps for iOS and Android, at least not yet.

Users running Windows 10 who update their Microsoft Store apps will see a message saying “Forgive our dust. This application is renamed to Xbox Console Companion in order to be an application dedicated to the features and settings of your Xbox console. A new desktop experience is coming soon and requires an updated version of Windows, so be sure to update to the Windows 10 May 2019 Update and stay tuned for the latest ”.

The app currently allows users to manage games installed on their Windows 10 PCs, browse games in the Microsoft Store, and manage their Xbox Live profiles. Users can also chat with friends and participate in communities, check and share in-game achievements, manage stills and video clips recorded using the console’s DVR function, and even stream games from a remote. Xbox One console to Windows 10 PC.

Microsoft will host a press conference on June 9 (1:30 a.m. IST June 10) at the E3 2019 gaming fair, where it could unveil the promised new desktop experience and shed light on the xCloud streaming service. The company previously announced that it will begin testing xCloud in 2019.

The company also recently overhauled the Windows 10 Game Bar, which now has several tools including PC resource monitors, customizable widgets, and game streaming and capture controls. It also now offers many of the same features as the Xbox app, including social media integration. The Game Bar has acquired cross-platform voice and text chat with friends that is synced across Xbox devices, as well as multiplayer team management. It also now offers Spotify music controls as part of Microsoft’s efforts to improve gaming on Windows 10. These features may be removed from the Xbox Console Companion app as it refocuses.

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Jamshed Avari has worked in tech journalism as a writer, editor and critic for over 13 years. He has reviewed hundreds of products ranging from smartphones and tablets to PC components and accessories, and has also written guides, feature articles, news and reviews. Going beyond simple ratings and specifications, it delves into how emerging products and services affect real users and the brands they leave in our cultural landscape. He is happier when something new happens.

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Download the best Black Friday deals

Black Friday is a paradox for gamers. There are deals on the games, but those deals involve going out, dealing with crowds of people, and other things that we are playing specifically for temporarily. to avoid. Fortunately, Sony and Microsoft both love your money and have online stores. But who has the best deal on which games?

PlayStation Network has the best deal overall

Due to the way Sony executes its discounts, the PlayStation Store is likely to be the best deal overall. If you don’t pay Gold in the first place on Xbox Live, the price cuts will be between 5-10% less than if you were Gold. That’s not a factor if you’re already a subscriber or, if you plan to download a ton of games at a time per month, Gold may be worth it, but Sony only offers the discounts up front.

Xbox Live offers deals on current games; Sony has the most obscure

That said, if you want deals on recent releases, Xbox One definitely has the edge. For example, Mafia III is a great deal on Xbox One at 20% to 30% off (although you can find it cheaper in a physical store this Friday) and is nowhere to be found on PSN. It is the same with Battlefield 1, NBA 2K17, and Fall of the Titans 2.

That said, you’ll find deals on more cult games like Sharpshooter III, Tropic 5, and a plethora of Japanese games on PSN, although you will also find plenty of AAA games like Star Wars: Battlefront Microsoft does not have a Black Friday deal. If you have both consoles and a wishlist, take a close look before committing your money.

There is a lot of overlap

However, with the gaming industry’s pricing policies being what they are, if you have one system, most games are available on both consoles. Offers range from most recent Hitman To The Witcher III, so if you are looking to familiarize yourself with some recent games, now is definitely the time, no matter what console you have. Having said that, the prices do not necessarily overlap. For example, the underestimated Mad Max is $ 10 on PlayStation Store and $ 12 on Xbox Live… and you have to be Gold to get that price.

Exclusives are the best deals

The best deals, however, are games exclusive to each console. Sony, for example, offers games like Leap and The show: MLB ’16 for some attractive prices under $ 20, while Xbox Live has deep cuts like Rare Replay available for cheap.

A lot, of course, depends on what console you own. But whether you like the PS4 or the Xbox One, there are certainly some deals to be found that won’t require a bend in the face.


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