Being able to choose what drive or directory to install a PC game on is not something you'd consider a luxury feature. It has been a point of contention for the Microsoft Store since the storefront debuted with Windows 8 in 2012. Fast forward to 2023, and the Microsoft Store app in Windows 11 (version 22310) has finally been updated to do just that - including the ability to install games like Starfield and Halo Infinite on an external drive.
You can now buy a game directly from the Microsoft Store and choose a drive or location on your PC to install it. To quote Jim Carrey from The Cable Guy, "The future is now!" For those using the Xbox app on Windows 10 or 11, you'll undoubtedly be aware that this has been a feature for a little while now - so it is great to see it finally make its way to the Microsoft Store proper.
It's just wild that it's taken so long and that Microsoft can tout what should be the norm as a brand-new feature coming to an app that has been around for over a decade.
Not having this ability has been one of the reasons why PC gamers have ignored the Microsoft Store in favor of apps like Steam, Battle.net, EA Play, Ubisoft Connect, and the Epic Games Store. You know you're doing it wrong when people would prefer to use Ubisoft Connect to buy and install PC games.
The good news is that Microsoft has made major strides in PC gaming in recent years thanks to the Xbox app and PC Game Pass. It's not perfect (and sticking to the UWP format for most releases makes things like modding more difficult), but here's hoping this addition to the Microsoft Store means we'll get meaningful Xbox app updates that give more control to gamers.