Microsoft’s cross-platform gaming push gets real with Killer Instinct for Windows 10

The free-to-play fighting game hits Windows 10 with cross-platform purchases, saves, and multiplayer.

Microsoft’s cross-platform gaming efforts are finally underway with the launch of Killer Instinct on Windows 10.

The free-to-play fighting game is now available through the Windows Store, and if you own the game on Xbox One, all of your in-game purchases and saved progress will carry over to the PC. The game now supports cross-platform play between Windows 10 and Xbox One as well. (Microsoft has said before that PC gamers won’t need a paid Xbox Live Gold subscription to play Windows Store games online, but we’ve reached out to clarify.)

For PC players, there are a couple caveats: Before launching the PC version, Microsoft recommends running the Xbox One version with the latest updates to synchronize progress and purchases. Microsoft also notes that Xbox One fight stick controllers don’t work with Windows 10 yet, though support is coming in a future release. In the meantime, Xbox 360 Fight Sticks should work.

It’s also worth noting that the game is only available through the Windows Store for Windows 10 users. There’s no support for older versions of the operating system, and no launch on other PC gaming stores such as Steam.

Microsoft started talking about cross-platform multiplayer and in-app purchases last year, with Fable Legends, Pinball FX2, and Gigantic as examples. But Pinball FX2 has yet to launch this functionality, Fable Legends has been cancelled, and Gigantic has run into delays and remains in private beta.

Killer Instinct, then, has become the first Windows Store game with cross-platform saves, purchases, and multiplayer, but it won’t be the only example for long. Next week, Microsoft will launch Quantum Break for Xbox One and Windows 10, and anyone who pre-orders the console version will get a PC copy for free. Game saves will also transfer between the two platforms.

Still, Microsoft has not extended the same courtesies to buyers of Gears of War: Ultimate Edition or Rise of The Tomb Raider, which both launched as console exclusives on Xbox One last year made their way to the Windows Store earlier this year.

Why this matters: Microsoft has talked about cross-platform gaming for years now, only to have previous efforts fizzle out. While it’s unclear how far the company will go in bringing this initiative to the rest of its gaming catalog, or if major third-party publishers will get on board, at least it’s a first step toward letting Xbox and PC owners play on whatever screen they want.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags gamingWindowsPCgamesXbox

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?