Since the announcement of Xbox One game streaming, the world has been waiting to try it out. We all knew that it would require a few things: a Windows 10 computer and an Xbox One running a version of the dashboard supporting the feature. All of these features have been available only in limited preview - available to those who were part of the Xbox One dashboard preview program and Windows 10 Insider program.
This week, however, a number of updates from Microsoft have brought this feature to the world at large. The Xbox One dashboard July update brought the core functionality to the console for all owners. This makes it possible for any Xbox One console to be used to stream content outwardly. All that was left was for Microsoft to make Windows 10 available more widely. We know that the official release of Windows 10 is not until July 29, but Windows Insiders received a new build this week: 10240.
This new Insider build has a few important distinctions. For example, the watermark in the bottom-right corner has been removed, and Microsoft also released an installation ISO for the build, making it likely that this build is the final version. Adding to the theory is that 10240 will be directly upgradable to Gold on July 29, and can be upgraded to from Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 with little to no trouble.
Shortly after this build came a series of updates to core Microsoft applications, including Xbox. That update was the final piece of the puzzle, introducing Xbox One streaming to all gamers, assuming you've install 10240. While we have had access to this feature in the office for a while, I decided to try out the final version of the feature and found it to be even more responsive than it was during the preview period.
Console streaming could definitely be a turning point for both Xbox One and Windows 10. The streaming capabilities allow you to interact with the whole console, not just games, and is two-way interactive. If you have a microphone on your computer, for example a USB or Bluetooth headset, you can speak to the console as if you were sitting right in front of it. My fear is that this is going to change bathroom gaming time from Angry Birds on your tablet to bringing a Surface and Xbox controller and playing Halo; if so, people are going to spend a lot more time in the bathroom.