Microsoft takes a look back at the first year of gaming on Windows 10

Kit McDonald

Xbox's Larry Hryb / Major Nelson

Microsoft is celebrating the release of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update today. With the Windows 10 Anniversary Update gamers will be treated to a multitude of new features including the addition of Cortana on the Xbox One and the inevitable absorption of the Xbox Store into the Windows Store. Now applications are even easier to access and even more to come with the Xbox Play Anywhere titles on the horizon later this year.

What better way to get excited about the future than to look back at the past?

Since its release on July 29, 2015, Windows 10 has been distributed across more than 350 million tablets, 2-in-1s, phones, Xbox One, HoloLens, and PCs. The goal of the Windows 10 team, was to connect the web of devices and create a seamless experience across them through one convenient platform. In fact, games were the top downloaded category for applications across the Windows Store. Many gamers embraced the operating system over their older ones. Even nearly 44.46% of Steam users play video games through the software with a Windows 10 OS.

Perhaps that’s why throughout the year, the use of Windows 10 has significantly steered in the direction of convenient gaming. An interview with head of Xbox executives on the Major Nelson podcast further highlights the success Windows 10 has been for gaming.

Yeah, Xbox is a much broader definition. For us, it’s about gaming and Microsoft’s contribution to the gaming ecosystem. And it’s a recognition of both the fact that we’ve got amazing experiences that we’ve delivered on the console historically, and franchises, and we’ve built this world-class gaming network. But it’s also an acknowledgement, and you’ve seen that over the last year, of how do we do things unique to the PC. How do we bring those awesome assets and those great games? And the fact that we live in both of these worlds and make the PC gaming experience better because of it.”

Talking with Senior Director for PC Gaming Kevin Unangst about the last year of gaming on Windows 10 gamers and fans of Windows 10 get a heap of info about how and why the Anniversary Update is such a big deal for the combined platforms of Windows 10 and Xbox. In the interview, Kevin explained that there was once a time that the Xbox was considered console only and that the company had lost their focus. It wasn’t until January 21, 2015 that Xbox leader Phil Spencer took the stage and solidified the commitment to gaming on Windows 10. From there, the Xbox application for Windows 10 had developed into a tool useful for both PC and console. Building parties, using voice chats, and recording gameplay to share across Xbox Live rejuvenated a once segregated demographic.

The podcast dialogue is a wonderful refresher about bridging the gap between PC and Xbox One gaming. The full transcript is available on the latest Xbox news post.