When it comes to flexible console gaming, the PlayStation 4 (with its mobile/Vita game streaming) currently wins out over the Xbox One. But with the advent of Windows 10, unifying Microsoft's Xbox, Windows Phone and Windows PC platforms, that could all change -- as well as streaming Xbox One games to a Windows 10 computer or tablet, Microsoft is considering streaming PC games back to the console.
Bill Schiefelbein, principal program manager lead on the Xbox Experiences team, revealed at a GDC 2015 panel that the company was "investigating the possibility" of beaming PC games back to the Xbox One console. However, it's an idea that still seems to have a long way to go, with Schiefelbein "unable to provide a timeline to when it could be available."
It's an exciting possibility, but a challenging one -- while streaming PC games to other devices is easily possible (Steam and Nvidia's Grid service already offer something similar), many services do so within a walled eco-system. PC gamers store their games on many different services usually (Origin, Steam, GOG, physical retail disks) and how Microsoft will join all those dots together would be difficult -- would it really want you to see Steam's Big Picture mode coming from within its Xbox One console, for instance?
That's before you consider the controller challenges -- though Microsoft is readying a wireless adapter to make Xbox One controllers compatible with Windows 10 PCs without the need for a USB cable, how would you go about playing strategy games with a controller? It's possible Microsoft would need to make wireless mice and keyboards compatible with its console before the feature could take off. Regardless, it's good to see some forward-thinking features coming out of GDC for the existing consoles. Not everyone loves the idea of virtual reality, after all.