After playing hundreds of PC games throughout the years, I’ve always wondered how they would fare on an Xbox console. Since many PC games can be installed on computers running Microsoft’s trademark Windows Operating System (OS), surely they can be transferred onto the company’s successful gaming consoles too, right?
No, PC games can’t be transferred onto Xbox consoles. Xbox gaming models, like the Xbox Series X/S, run on a different, specialized OS that utilizes its own programming interface and system, most commonly referred to as the Xbox OS/ Xbox System Software.
Although the Xbox OS shares certain features with Windows to allow account sharing between different computers and Xbox consoles, it can’t read PC game files that are transferred onto its system because they are made specifically for a different platform that has its own distinct programming language.
Some of us might be disappointed to hear this, especially if we’re worried about rebuying physical PC game copies whenever they’re lost or damaged. Well, that concern can now be put to rest because PC games are quickly going digital, making it easier for us to decide on where to install them today, for better safekeeping.
If that’s the case, we might want to opt for Microsoft’s PC Game Pass then, enjoying many different PC games for only a small monthly payment. Just make sure to not mistakenly subscribe to Xbox Game Pass instead, which is only applicable to Xbox owners (the third package, Game Pass Ultimate, covers both PC and Xbox).
Can I Share Saved Game Files between PC and Xbox?
Xbox’s multiple subscription plans can be quite confusing for many PC gamers like me. That being said, if we own both a PC and Xbox console, can we share our saved video game data between them?
Yes, we can share saved game files between PC and Xbox consoles under the Xbox Play Anywhere program. Games that are compiled under Xbox Play Anywhere can be played on both PC and Xbox platforms, sharing the same in-game progresses on one account.
Games like Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy and Halo Infinite are two examples of playable triple-A (AAA) titles currently available under the package. Just like many free online PC games, Xbox Play Anywhere could be perfect for a certain niche of PC gamers out there.
If we’re struggling with first-person shooter (FPS) games on Xbox, playing them on PC might also help us aim our shots better via mouse and keyboard. Similar to PC Game Pass, Xbox Play Anywhere uses cloud saves to track our video game progresses, so switching game sessions between a PC and Xbox is as easy as flipping a switch – literally!
Are PC Games Playable on Xbox?
So, we’ve established that a few selected PC games share the same save data with their Xbox counterparts. Does that mean there is a chance that they can also be played on Xbox consoles too?
Yes, but only selected PC games that were bought from the Microsoft Store (not Steam, EA Play, etc.) can be played on Xbox consoles via Game Pass Ultimate’s cloud gaming feature. We can now enjoy amazing PC-exclusive titles, like Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition and BattleTech, on Xbox as well.
Certain games, such as A Way Out and Dead Space 3, are arguably more fun and easier to play with family and friends through local co-op when displayed on widescreen TVs. This might be true for next-gen games in the future too, but we can expect PC gaming to evolve to compensate for its lack of split-screen support and couch gameplay.
Still, every gaming platform has its competitive edges and shortcomings, which might explain why not every game is released on PC. Regardless, PC gaming will continue to remain strong in the industry despite its faults and downsides, as it has always been throughout the past couple of decades.
Should I Play PC Games on Xbox?
Considering that only a small number of PC games can be played on Xbox (it’s growing, though), is it actually better to do so over a dedicated gaming computer?
No, we shouldn’t play PC games on Xbox, especially those that aren’t supported via cloud gaming, due to system incompatibility and optimization issues. Every game should only be played on its respective gaming device, adhering to its recommended system requirements.
The only consolation here is that Xbox’s cloud-gaming feature may prove to be the technological breakthrough that we need moving forward, prompting other tech companies to follow suit. This might close the gap between PC gaming and console gaming in general, meaning we might not need a gaming PC to play the most graphics-demanding video games anymore.
In fact, gimmicks like rumbling controllers and sleek RGB designs are now commonplace, with PC leading the charge because of its modular capabilities. Some sections of the gaming community have even claimed that PC games are cheaper than console games on the market, though the prices of video games on all platforms have uniformly increased throughout the years.
To keep things simple, just stick to playing PC games on the computer for now.
Do Xbox and PC share Mutually-Exclusive Games?
There have been many platform-exclusive games introduced in recent times. In the case of Microsoft Studios – now officially known as Xbox Game Studios – has the publisher ever released games that are mutually exclusive between PC and Xbox?
Yes, Xbox and PC do share a few mutually-exclusive games that aren’t released on other gaming platforms on the market. A few of the more famous ones include Hi-Fi Rush, Microsoft Flight Simulator, and Quantum Break.
Not bad, eh? With all the hype surrounding PlayStation-only games, such as Ghost of Tsushima and God of War Ragnarok, Microsoft has surely done its best to catch up to its competition, Sony Corporation.
Back to the topic, these special games can be played by both sides of the player base – PC and Xbox. Hence, it’s safe to conclude that there are Xbox games that can be played on PC. We just have to look a little bit harder to find them, especially games that might require an Xbox Live subscription to play them, like Sea of Thieves.
I think it would be proper to end things by hearing Superplayers’ take on using an Xbox as a gaming PC replacement, here: