The unification of the platform is progressing. Some time ago, Microsoft promised to improve Windows 10 with people in mind. The company assured that it would make significant changes to its ecosystem, but did not specify exactly what would change. Thanks to the latest, test version of the tenth, we learned, however, that the company can prepare a real bomb. It seems that on PC we will be able to launch games coming directly from Xbox One.
Let’s start from the beginning, because everything started on February 8, when the servers hit Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 18334. People testing this version received access to a free copy of the game State of Decay, with the help of which they had to test the system prepared by Microsoft. It’s just that Microsoft has not revealed where and from what version of this production we collect.
It turned out that the game is downloaded not from the Microsoft Store servers, related to the address serverdl.microsoft.com, and from assets1.xboxlive.com, where there are copies of games on the Xbox. And this is the version with files with the .xvc extension found on the computer disk, and its installation is possible even using PowerShell. After installing State of Decay, the classic DirectX installer window will appear, visible on the graphics, after which the required files are installed. It is possible that these are libraries available exclusively on the Xbox.
There is also a new game service, Microsoft.GamingServices, which installs two drivers: xvdd.sys (XVD Disk Driver – Microsoft Gaming Filesystem Driver) and gameflt.sys (Gaming Filter – Microsoft Gaming Install Filter Driver). Related libraries were also detected: xsapi.dll (Durango Storage API) and XCrdApi.dll (Durango XCRDAPI). What’s most important at the moment, Durango is the code name of the Xbox One console, so once again we have confirmation of exactly what version of the game we are dealing with.
Microsoft can simplify the release of games to its platform, and the Windows Store infrastructure could simply be replaced by what Xbox offers. Publishers would receive tools that would easily reach a huge customer base. We are interested in how the competition with Steam will look like such opportunities. Finally, theoretically, the creators of a given title can only publish it in Microsoft’s store, reaching it to both Xbox users and PC users. They do not have to think about the conversion on a PC and its costs at all, because everything will happen automatically.