This week, Microsoft announced a special deal for Xbox One gamers: Pre-order the upcoming game Quantum Break and you will receive (among other things) a free digital copy of that game for Windows 10 as well. But Quantum Break isn’t a one-off: Microsoft intends to make this type of thing—called a cross-buy—a platform feature, and more common as we go forward.
The software giant uses a similar strategy with Windows for PCs and Windows phones: In many cases, when you purchase an app or game for one of those platforms, you get the same app or game for free on the other. But don’t confuse this functionality with the universal app platform: Cross-buy predates universal apps and doesn’t require that the two apps or games be “the same” code.
That said, the introduction of the universal apps platform does make cross-buy titles more interesting. For example, with Quantum Break, the gamer will be “able to go back and forth between the Xbox One and Windows 10” versions of the game,according to Microsoft’s Larry Hryb. That is, the game will save your position and you can pick up on the other platform.
This is functionality I’d love to see in Minecraft, where Microsoft offers different and separate versions of the game on Windows 10 for PCs and on mobile, with each version offering different features and functionality. Hopefully over time, that will change, and Microsoft can offer both cross-buy (buy it once, play get it for free on the other platforms) and what I think of as cross-save (the ability to play the same worlds on any platform, picking up where you left off).
In any event, Quantum Break looks interesting. This game is made by Remedy, which you may know from the hit game Alan Wake (and a less successful sequel called Alan Wake’s American Nightmare). So here’s the cool bit:
If you pre-order Quantum Break for Xbox One digitally on Xbox.com, you will get a free digital copy of the game for Windows 10 (for PCs) as well. And regardless of how (or when) you obtain the game, you will get digital copies of the Xbox 360 game Alan Wake, plus its two add-on packs, The Signal and The Writer, for free as well. Yes, they will run on Xbox One thanks to the backwards compatibility feature.
Those who pre-order Quantum Break also get a digital copy of the Xbox 360 version of Alan Wake’s American Nightmare for free. (It, too, works with Xbox One backward’s compatibility.)
In the aftermath of a split second of destruction that fractures time itself, two people find they have changed and gained extraordinary abilities. One of them travels through time and becomes hell-bent on controlling this power. The other uses these new abilities to attempt to defeat him – and fix time before it tears itself irreparably apart. Both face overwhelming odds and make dramatic choices that will determine the shape of the future. Quantum Break is a unique experience; one part hard-hitting video game, one part thrilling live action show, featuring a stellar cast, including Shawn Ashmore as the hero Jack Joyce, Aidan Gillen as his nemesis Paul Serene and Dominic Monaghan as Jack’s genius brother William. Quantum Break is full of the vivid storytelling, rich characters and dramatic twists Remedy Entertainment are renowned for. Your choices in-game will affect the outcome of this fast-paced fusion between game and show giving the player a completely unique entertainment experience.
The game will require a fairly beefy PC: Windows 10 64-bit with DirectX 12 graphics, a 2.7 GHz Intel Core i5-4460 processor, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 or AMD Radeon R7 260x graphics card with 2 GB of RAM, and 8 GB of system RAM are the minimums. That leaves out Surface Book, which has no problems playingRise of the Tomb Raider, another recent title.
And to be clear, Quantum Break doesn’t offer cross-play, which is the ability for gamers on different platforms (say, Xbox One and Windows 10 for PCs) to play together in the same game. That’s because Quantum Break is a single player game only.