With sales continuing to lag behind Sony's PlayStation 4, Microsoft has started to focus on combining PC gaming with the Xbox One. The first signs of this started when the Xbox One was originally launched with a customized version of Windows 8, but the software maker upgraded the console to Windows 10 in November.
With an anniversary update to the Xbox One due in the summer, Microsoft has finally started to combine its Windows and Xbox app and games stores.to set PC gaming and Xbox One up for an interesting future.
Microsoft is currently working on a secret project internally, codenamed Helix, designed to more closely combine Xbox and Windows 10. Microsoft wants to enable features like streaming PC games to the Xbox One, but sources familiar with the company's plans also tell us there are greater ambitions to make Xbox One games playable on a PC without needing a console for streaming.
Part of this could involve bringing the full Xbox One UI and system directly into desktop versions of Windows 10. The latest Xbox One dashboards are built on top of Windows 10, so most of the work involved would be customizing the interface towards keyboard and mouse.
Bringing the Xbox One UI over to Windows 10 machines would effectively turn every PC into an Xbox One, especially if they're also capable of running the latest console games.
If Xbox One games are truly playable on PCs, then this approach also boosts Microsoft's Universal App platform and the ability to offer a single store purchase that will work across PCs and consoles.