Among the patch notes for this month’s Xbox PC App update, there is one very important change: you can now get a HowLongToBeat estimate on every game in-app.
The Xbox app’s new Time To Beat data comes from perennial internet fave HowLongToBeat, a long-standing resource for collating the estimated total playtime of games from around the world. A proven resource, HowLongToBeat is as valuable for time-poor players as it is for rise-and-grinders that refuse to part with $50 for anything less than 400 hours of gameplay. I know parents who rely on HowLongToBeat to tell them what to play next. Six-hour campaign? Beautiful, mum’s got a game she can play for an hour after the kids go to bed. 20 hours golden path? That’ll keep dad going for a month and a half.
So, where can you see the HowLongToBeat information in the Xbox PC app?
The pages for almost every game on the Xbox PC app have been updated to include HowLongToBeat estimates. So if the game you’re looking at has bundle pricing (like Gears 5 above), you’ll find it right below those bundles. If it doesn’t have bundles, that section will feature screenshots instead. You’ll find the HowLongToBeat times beneath them.
The HowLongToBeat estimates the Xbox PC app provides cover main campaigns, campaign and sidequests, as well as times for completionist runs and All Styles times, which are usually a combination of all Campaign, Extras and Completionist metrics. You’ll notice they’re lower on the games pictured above, probably because they’re not factoring completionist runs into the figures.
Adding expected completion times is such a smart move, in my opinion. It’s a perfect complement to a service like Game Pass, where you’re already spoiled for choice. Any extra information Xbox can provide game-to-game will help players narrow their choices.
I absolutely love this change, and I want it implemented everywhere. Make it an industry standard. Sony, let’s go. Get it on the PlayStation Plus library. Nintendo, add it to the eShop. Does Steam have this yet? Somebody call Gabe and tell him to get it on there.