Microsoft brought the big guns to this year’s Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. The company debuted hardware for developers, as well as introducing new programs for developers to create for, or adapt to, the Xbox Live environment.
First, and most notably, Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 10 Creators Update is slated to release alongside various companies’ mixed reality headsets to allow more freed experiences in both virtual and mixed reality. The first headset we saw was back at CES from Lenovo, but the first developer kit to ship comes from Acer. Acer’s Windows Mixed Reality Development Edition headset was officially announced on the Windows blog, saying “As we continue to build on the momentum of the past year, starting this month we will begin to ship developer edition headsets created in partnership with Acer to our developer partners.” The headset, shown below with one of Acer’s Predator gaming laptops, will allow developers to begin creating new mixed reality experiences, as well as adapting existing programs to a surround-view scale. The headset feature dual 1440p squared displays with native 90hz refresh rates, as well as built-in 3.5mm microphone / audio-out port, and a single-cable tether that will hold both HDMI 2.0 and USB 3.0 for visual and data connectivity.
For traditional Xbox fans, the blog post also teased a huge point for those of us looking forward to Project Scorpio: “Our plan is to bring mixed reality content to the Xbox One family of devices, including Project Scorpio, in 2018.” And while 2018 seems far away, that’s only a short while after whatever Project Scorpio turns out to be actually goes on sale, at Holiday 2017. However, as GDC is first and foremost about the developers, we also heard a lot from Xbox regarding new and upcoming changes to the platform.
The newly announced Xbox Live Creators Program will enable game developers to “rapidly publish Xbox Live-enabled games on Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs, in a totally new way.” The program will allow developers to integrate Xbox Live sign-in into their UWP games, and publish on both Xbox and Windows 10 with greater ease than in the past. The program looks to expand the variety and amount of great games that Xbox and Windows 10 gamers can find and play with friends.
Along with Xbox publishing, Microsoft and Beam announced that version 2.0 of the interactivity SDK for developers and streamers to make streaming more personal for both the audience and the streamer. In the vein of Beam, Windows 10’s Game Mode was given a brief segment, where the company mentioned the new features coming in the Windows 10 Creators Update for gamers on Windows 10 including Game Mode, a dedicated settings sub-section, improved Game DVR and Game Bar functionality, and Beam Streaming built right into Xbox One and Windows 10.
Finally, the company discussed Xbox Play Anywhere and ID@Xbox. Microsoft and Xbox have already launched 10 Xbox Play Anywhere-enabled games, but the ID@Xbox program is enabling 16 more Play Anywhere titles coming, with a handful of these games being shown off at the ID@Xbox space at GDC 2017.
When we learn more about the various new games, as well as further developments with Windows 10 and Xbox gaming on the Creators Update and going forward with future updates, we’ll be sure to keep you updated. Until then, stay tuned to Rectify Gaming for the latest.
Source: Xbox Wire