Crossbuy isn't necessarily a new feature in the gaming industry. The PlayStation platform has had crossbuy for games in its handheld and home consoles for a while, and Steam gamers have enjoyed crossbuy with Mac and PC titles for a few years now.
Microsoft seems to be getting into the act now as well, with a bit of a twist: The company wants to make Xbox One purchases cross-compatible with Windows PCs. This isn't just for Microsoft products, either, as the company wants to make crossbuy between the Xbox One and Windows a platform feature.
Microsoft's first crossbuy title is Quantum Break, which was revealed recently to include a copy of the PC version when preordering a digital copy of the game for the Xbox One. The PC version is for Windows 10, and will have a cross-save feature that allows players to sync save files between the PC and Xbox One versions of the game. Cross-platform play will not be supported, however. The Quantum Break crossbuy offer is only around for a limited time; to take advantage of it, players need to preorder by April 4.
When questioned about whether this was going to be limited to first-party titles, Xbox platform boss Phil Spencer said on Twitter that the company wanted to make it a platform feature. Spencer also indicated Microsoft wants to open up the Xbox/Windows crossbuy feature to include more games and a larger overall ecosystem, though it's unknown whether this means cross-platform play is coming in any large sense. It's also unknown whether the crossbuy feature will continue to be preorder-only, or if there is a possibility for Windows-to-Xbox digital crossbuy in the future.
The move is an interesting one, to say the least. It not only provides added value to the Quantum Break preorder, but continued crossbuy (and cross-save) on Xbox One games could make the platform more attractive to some PC gamers as well. Of course, it's a little early to get too excited about it until more information is released on how it will be implemented post-Quantum Break and with games from third-party publishers.
The addition of crossbuy isn't likely to win over the anti-Microsoft crowd, of course, especially since the feature isn't exactly unheard of in the gaming space. A larger ecosystem and cross-save features might help to win over those who are still on the fence about the Xbox One, however. If it's implemented well as a platform feature, it could also give Microsoft a feature to install at the core of its next-generation console as well.