Microsoft has begun rolling out a major update for its Xbox app on PC that predominately introduces HowLongToBeat functionality.
As confirmed in an Xbox blog post (opens in new tab) for the month of September, HowLongToBeat is a community-driven website that specialises in providing video game lengths. This is broken down into several categories, such as main story, main story plus extras (like side-missions), and completionist, for anyone that wants to get 100% of everything available.
It's a fantastic website, one that I regularly use to work out what to play next. It's useful for planning out a weekend or helping to make the most of your spare time, knowing that a game can be beaten in that specific amount of time. Lots of titles can take over 100 hours to roll credits on and I personally just can't commit to that on a frequent basis, so much prefer jumping into something that will take me around 10 to 20 hours. There's something super satisfying about starting and finishing a game in one day too.
Anyone can submit their own times to help provide more accurate estimates to the community, as well as find reviews from other players, playthrough notes and date breakdowns by platform and playstyle.
"We partnered with HowLongToBeat for a unique feature that makes it even easier to pick your next PC game — beginning today, you can view estimates for how long it will take you to complete a game in the game details pages for most PC Game Pass games," said Microsoft partner director of program management for Xbox experiences Jason Beaumont.
On top of this, the Xbox App will now launch faster 15% faster than before with general performance improved overall. It's also stated that "crash-free sessions" have risen to 99.9% and reports of games now downloading or installing correctly have been reduced by half. Finally, increased relevance in search terms for the app is up by 20%.
Overall, it's great news for anyone that enjoys playing Xbox games on PC. Let's hope HowLongToBeat integration makes its way to the Xbox consoles in some capacity as well as the likes of PlayStation 5 and Nintendo Switch.
In the meantime, one of the best PlayStation 5 exclusives is seemingly on its way to Xbox Series X / S in the near future.