Despite a few random initiatives over the years, Windows hasn’t been anywhere near the forefront of Microsoft’s gaming aspirations since the launch of the original Xbox. So with Windows 10, the software giant is trying to make things right for PC users in general, but also for gamers specifically. And a big part of that turnaround is the new Xbox app.
In Windows 10 Technical Preview 2 (WTP2), the Xbox app isn’t full-featured yet and is in fact considered a preview. So it doesn’t include game streaming from an Xbox One, Game DVR for Windows games, or some of the other features that will ship later in the year. But this version does include all of the basics, and largely resembles Microsoft’s vision for the finished product. It’s also a much nicer looking app than the Games app from Windows 8.x, which hasn’t been updated since the initial release of Windows 8.0 in late 2012.
Here’s what you can do with the Xbox app in WTP2.
Profile. Tap your Gamertag in the upper left of the app to see your Xbox Live profile, with a recent activity list, your achievements listed by game, your friends and followed games, and your game clips.
Home. The default app view, Home provides a list of your most recently-played games, your activity feed, and your (searchable) friends list.
Achievements. This is a quick way to access the achievements listed in your profile (as above).
Messages. Here, you can view messages from your friends and other users, and from Xbox.
Store. Click this link to access the Games category in the Store app. (Currently, the old version of the app.)
Settings. This interface lets you configure the live tile and various notifications.
Friend’s profile. When you select a friend from the Friend’s list in any of the other views, you will see that person’s profile, with their activity, achievements, friends list, followed games list. Plus, you can message them, remove them from your friend’s list or report or block them.
Game hub. When you select a game in the Xbox app, you will be shown that game’s hub view. This provides some details about your own interactions with the game—your Gamerscore, achievement status, time played, and more—plug a complete achievement list with details for each achievement.