Microsoft is now opening up its Xbox app for PC to give users more control over game files, which includes the option for modding.
Though Microsoft's Xbox app on PC offers gamers another avenue for collecting and playing games, it has historically been less than ideal to use due to its lack of key PC-specific features, such as the option to choose a game's installation folder. This, however, has now been changed with the latest app update.
According to Microsoft's update overview, the Xbox app on PC has now been opened up to a greater extent than ever before, including support for some core features that PC gamers may find invaluable. While being able to choose a game's installation location is crucial, potentially more interesting is the fact that the app now lets players modify local game files, just as they would on any other PC gaming platform.
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The update, which is now readily available for all Xbox PC app users, allows for local file modding and manipulation of all Microsoft Store games, including the very best games on PC Game Pass, making the deal even better than before. Xbox's Partner Director of Experiences, Jason Beaumont, has also said that some users may find the download speeds to have increased in some cases, though it's not clear what sort of optimizations may have been done in this respect.
As Microsoft makes huge, sweeping changes to Xbox services across the board, players may be happy to see that the company isn't forgetting how lacking its quality-of-life features have been in the past. By removing installation restrictions and letting users modify game files whenever they want, Xbox may yet reach feature parity with other major PC gaming platforms, such as Steam.
The ability to choose a game's installation folder and – potentially – mod it is just the latest in a long line of application updates designed to open the system up and give players more control. Not long ago, for example, Xbox finally made the "Share" button customizable, which means that users could also remap some functionality of their controllers on the go. This suggests that Microsoft and Xbox, specifically, are looking into ways to make the platform more accessible than ever before.
Moddable games are, apparently, getting a special tag on their Xbox app pages that specifies them as such. This may suggest that the system isn't quite as open as Xbox is making it out to be, as the implication is that not every single title will get local file manipulation right away. Other improvements, such as being able to choose where a game is installed, or backing up its local files, should thankfully be available across the board, however, and they're likely to help bolster Xbox's record yearly revenue even further in 2022.
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Source: Xbox

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