After the official announcement of its new Xbox Game Pass for Windows 10 during E3 2019, Microsoft also left us a new Xbox application that will serve to accompany the subscription service and manage all our PC games.
This new app is simply called Xbox, and it is already available for download in the Microsoft Store, although it is currently in beta and is only compatible with Windows 10 1903, that is, the May 2019 Update. But something that is undoubtedly quite surprising about all this, is that it is an app made in Electron and not UWP.
Microsoft tends to be inconsistent with the way it has been treating Windows 10, in many ways they have backtracked with their original plans, an example of this is the universal applications platform UWP, which trying to sell it as the site ideal that we should all go to get our secure apps for Windows, they came to consider simply “another distribution channel.”
Now Microsoft is talking more about “closing the massive gap between UWP and Win32 apps by adding more elements of the Modern desktop to classic apps.” So, are they setting an example themselves?
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From Xbox Live to Xbox Electron
In case you haven’t noticed, the old Xbox Live app for Windows 10 is now called “Xbox Console Companion“This was a silent update, and unless you used it constantly, you may not have noticed the icon or name change.
This app together with the “Xbox Game Bar”, that is, the new game bar that was launched with the May 2019 update, are the two Xbox apps that come pre-installed in Windows 10, and now together with the new Xbox app ( beta) are part of the trio of Xbox apps available for Windows 10.
But the new Xbox app differs from its other peers in something quite important: how it was created. Xbox is an app written in Electron, that is, like apps like Slack or Spotify it hides a full Chrome behind it. It is not a native application as such.
Electron is widely used because it offers many facilities for developers to “package” web applications and use them as desktop apps, but it is also widely criticized for the excessive consumption of resources that this usually entails and the lack of optimization.
The new Xbox app is pretty cool
Does this mean that the new Xbox app is bad? Not at all. In fact, It is one of the most beautiful applications that Microsoft has publishedIt has a fairly intuitive interface, you get Game Pass games easily, you can buy or download them from there, you can run them from there, and in general it does just what is necessary.
Regarding the consumption of resources, then remains between 250 and 500 MB of RAM most of the timeor. It is made so that when you start a game, this app goes into the background to consume a little less resources. But you are likely to swallow more with prolonged use.
It is necessary? Well, since a hub is necessary for your Windows 10 Xbox Game Pass games, I would say that this function was necessary, what I do not understand is why we now have two apps with the same incomplete functions.
The companion app for the Xbox console continues to have more options, showing activity of our friends, achievements and more. But from this we cannot access the games directly, nor buy them, nor install them (we have to go to the Microsoft Store), nor can we know what games we have in the Game Pass, functions that are left to the new Xbox app that it lacks of other important ones.
Namely, we have two applications with duplicate functions and at the same time with deficiencies. Hopefully when we exit beta, this app will be more complete (not just a chat store) and will avoid the need to open the other Xbox app. Not to mention that the game bar has another battery of options apart.