Windows 10 users – or at least those on the very latest version of the operating system – can now install the beta version of Microsoft’s revamped Xbox app.
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The app was launched just before Microsoft’s Xbox E3 2019 conference kicked off, where the firm also revealed that the Xbox Game Pass for PC subscription service is now available in beta, and is accessed through the Windows 10 Xbox app.
So, the broad idea is that the new Xbox app is an overarching hub for your PC games – facilitating the purchase of these from the Microsoft Store – as well as the installation and management of your Xbox Game Pass titles, assuming you’re a subscriber.
There’s a bunch of social features built on top of that, including text or voice chat with Xbox friends, plus you can see what games your mates are playing. Also, the app benefits from some slick new aesthetics, and it looks pretty tasty indeed.
More in the pipeline
This is just a starting point, so presumably, we can expect extra features to be bolted on – also remember that as this is still beta software, you may encounter the odd wrinkle or two.
At E3 2019, Microsoft also announced pricing for the Xbox Game Pass, with a subscription costing $5 or £4 (around AU$8) a month. Again, the service is in beta right now, with a full release expected later in the year.
Furthermore, Microsoft revealed that Halo: Master Chief collection is included with the Xbox Game Pass, and a number of other titles initially, including Metro Exodus (so it’s no longer an Epic exclusive, as previously predicted), Hollow Knight and Borderlands: Handsome Collection.
You may have noticed that last month, Microsoft was busy bolstering the Xbox Game Bar with various new social features, and all this is part of the previously talked about drive to underline how important PC gamers are to the company.
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