The Xbox app on PC started out as a way for PC gamers to have an Xbox-like experience on their PC. With Xbox Game Pass on PC, PC gamers were able to take part in Microsoft’s most popular service. It did come with a few un-PC caveats though. The Xbox app locked down games and restricted the access that users had to them. When you download a Game Pass or Xbox game on PC, you don’t get access to the files. It’s hidden away in what essentially amounts to a walled-off area. Despite the success of Game Pass and Xbox on PC, that has been a huge sticking point for PC players.
Microsoft is finally catching up to that frustration and has now announced that they will be removing the installation restrictions. PC gamers will now be able to select which drives games download to and, finally(!), what folders within that drive the games go in. Besides being infinitely more convenient, for those who want to, it will now also allow modding. There’s no info yet on how many games will have modding available, but players will be able to check which games can be modded from the Xbox page for that title.
Another bonus to the new change from Microsoft is that downloads should now be quicker too. Presumably, because the downloads won’t have to go through some sort of bottleneck to adhere to Microsoft’s current installation restrictions.
Microsoft’s announcement that they will remove installation restrictions on PC is great news for PC players. It shows that Microsoft is listening to PC Xbox fans. It should also create some more competition in the PC space. Microsoft’s installation restrictions made it difficult to recommend buying games from the Microsoft store unless they were exclusive. Once this update goes live, that will be a thing of the past.