The first universal Windows app arrives on Microsoft’s Xbox One


Microsoft just took a big step forward for the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) on Xbox One, releasing the first-ever UWP app for the console.

But moving Windows applications to Microsoft’s console takes small steps; this first application is not very exciting and is not yet available to everyone. The new UWP app is a version of the Xbox One Blu-ray player, and it’s currently available to 20,000 users in the Xbox One preview program, as first reported by WinBeta.

The impact on you at home: The new app isn’t fundamentally different from what Xbox One users already have. In fact, Microsoft said there was “little or no significant difference” between the two. However, since it is a UWP app, the Blu-ray player could theoretically be ported to other Windows 10 devices such as PCs.

It’s unclear when the new Blu-ray app will be available to all users. Microsoft first wants the app to go through small-scale testing with preview users to find bugs and other issues before it goes mainstream. Once it lands on Xbox One consoles, it will automatically remove the current Blu-ray player, presumably to avoid confusion as to which app to use.

A long road to unification

Windows 10 started rolling out to Xbox One consoles in late 2015. Back then, the biggest draw of the Windows 10 rollout was a new look for the Xbox One dashboard. But the introduction of Windows 10 on the Xbox also introduced some big changes under the hood that are only happening now.

The first is the ability for developers to build UWP apps that run on Xbox One, such as the new Blu-ray player. More UWP apps are expected to arrive on Microsoft’s latest console once the company opens the Xbox’s Windows Store to third-party UWP apps later this summer.

Windows 10 on Xbox has also enabled Microsoft’s new Play Anywhere strategy which launches on September 13. Play Anywhere is a multi-device gaming platform that allows users to play certain games on Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs. Game saves will be transferred between PCs and consoles via the cloud, and types of PC and consoles will even be able to play together under the new system.

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