The Xbox App on Windows now includes HowLongToBeat info, showing how long it will take to complete the game
When the Xbox App first launched, it was clunky and awkward, and you needed several apps to get the full Xbox experience on your PC. A lot has changed since then, though, and the Xbox App is now a fully featured gaming experience. You can access your library of owned content, check out the Game Pass library (including prominent “Recently added” and “Coming to Game Pass” categories), quickly find and launch Cloud Gaming-ready titles, and even connect to and stream from your Xbox console. It’s not perfect yet, but Microsoft is constantly tweaking and updating the app, and adding new features.
With such a large library of games, anything that can help you choose what to play next is going to be a massive help, and that’s why I’m loving the HowLongToBeat integration. When you click on a game tile, you now get an extra section in the details listing that shows how long it will take to complete the main story, the story + extras, or a full completionist playthrough. You can also follow a link that launches the HowLongToBeat website in your browser if you want more detailed info.
This is great for achievement hunters and regular gamers alike. Whether you’re looking for a ten-hour bite-sized slice of gaming to snack on until your next anticipated AAA release or you want a meaty hundred-plus-hour RPG banquet with all the trimmings, you can quickly get an idea of what you are getting yourself into.
Day-One launches, understandably, don’t always have up-to-date estimates, but the vast majority of the Game Pass catalogue now includes How Long To Beat data. I’d like to see the integration taken a step further and have the ability to sort by estimated completion time, but even as it is this is an excellent addition to the app that I hope makes its way across to the Xbox consoles.
I know a lot of gamers were put off by the Xbox App initially due to the less-than-user-friendly UI and the way it (literally) hid the game installation folders, but the current app is much, much better. You can specify which folder and drive you want it to install your games in, which has also opened the door for modding (the good kind, not the online experience-ruining auto-aim and wall hacks kind.) Contained in a single app, you can access your friends list, check your achievements, find new games to play, manage your installs and more, and aside from the occasional hiccup, it’s a great experience. Throw in the excellent Xbox Game Bar and you’ve got a compelling package, especially if you are a Game Pass subscriber.