Xbox companion app for PC
Xbox is a free game utility for PC developed by Microsoft. It serves as the official companion app for owners of the Xbox game console. It allows them to play their games on their computers, as well as discover games from the Xbox Game Pass subscription service.
With the Xbox app, users will be able to manage their Xbox Game Pass cloud gaming service subscription to download and play games on their PCs, including Windows 11. Featuring cross-platform support, they will also be able to connect with friends and other players via chat or voice.
What is it exactly?
The Xbox game console was Microsoft's attempt at entering the competitive gaming industry back in 2001. It was taking on established players in the space, such as Sony with its PlayStation 2 and the various home and handheld systems being offered by Nintendo. Suffice it to say, the up-and-comer had the odds stacked against its favor when it entered the market.
It was marketed as an all-in-one home entertainment centerpiece, serving both as a way to play video games, as well as consume media with its support for CDs and DVDs. As the gaming landscape evolved so did the need for the whole home console concept to adapt to the changing times, and this is where the Xbox app comes in.
It is the official companion program for the Xbox game console that provides you with access to various Xbox Live features and remote control capabilities on your PC. You can even use it to serve as a secondary screen for some games and apps. Its main draw lies in its seamless integration with Xbox Game Pass, though.
How does it work?
If you don't own an Xbox console or have an account for it, the Xbox app can still serve as an intuitive and unified game launcher for you. You can link your accounts from various storefronts like Steam, Epic, or GOG, and it will seamlessly integrate with all of them. Its utility and functionality do expand if you have either one, though.
If you own a console, you get access to Xbox Live community features, as well as stream games straight from your PC. Use your smartphone as a remote control for when you're consuming media. Speaking of, by utilizing the formerly called SmartGlass function, you'll also be able to view content on multiple devices at once.
The Xbox app is now most commonly used for managing Xbox Live Game Pass accounts. Manage, discover, and play any game offered by the cloud gaming service from a single application. It's still not the complete catalog, though. Some games found on the console-based store and even the Microsoft store are missing here. It also doesn't include any Xbox 360 games in the list.
Get the most out of Xbox services
All in all, the Xbox app has been a boost in functionality and appeal thanks in large part to Microsoft's popular Xbox Game Pass subscription service. It has gone from a simple companion app for its consoles to a full-fledged game management program rivaling that of Steam and Epic. If you're heavily invested in the Xbox ecosystem, this is a must-have.