It’s now been three years since Microsoft announced Xbox Play Anywhere, a gamer-friendly initiative allowing consumers to pay once for a title on the Microsoft Store, and play it on both Xbox One and Windows 10 at no additional cost. Xbox Play Anywhere is a great incentive for gamers to stay in the Xbox/Windows 10 ecosystem to keep, though it’s still up to game developers to support it.
As of today, pretty much all of Microsoft’s new first-party games now support Xbox Play Anywhere, though there are some exceptions: As an example, the upcoming PC version of Halo: The Master Chief Collection will have to be purchased separately from the Xbox One game, and it won't support cross-play with Xbox One at launch. However, both the PC and Xbox One versions of the Halo anthology will share cloud saves and achievements, which is better than nothing.
This kind of exception to the rule makes Xbox Play Anywhere a bit confusing, but Microsoft plans to keep supporting the program once the next-gen Xbox console, Project Scarlett, starts shipping in holiday 2020. In a recent interview with Stevivor, Xbox head Phil Spencer explained that a game like Halo: Infinite, which will be released on Xbox One, Project Scarlett, and Windows 10, will support Xbox Play Anywhere.
“Our goal for our first-party games is that your entitlements will be cross-generation and your Achievements will move effectively with your save game because that’s where they stand,” explained Spencer. The Xbox head added that he would like third-party developers support cross-gen experiences in the future, but that will really be up to them. “I think for all of us the more a game can be the game and your players can play that game in the different places they want to play it and remain that their [save] state and everything is with them is a good thing,” Spencer said.
Along with Microsoft, Ubisoft was one of the first game publishers to confirm that they're working on cross-gen games, with Watch Dogs: Legion, Gods & Monsters, and Rainbow Six: Quarantine to be released on both Xbox One and Project Scarlett. However, we don't know yet if these games will support cross-play, cross-save and cross-buy scenarios, as Microsoft aims to do with Xbox Play Anywhere.