Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Microsoft’s pushes big today with cross-platform announcement for these Xbox One and PC games

The news from Microsoft today is rather enormous. It signals that the Xbox One is certainly not the machine Microsoft wants it to be in terms of sales or hardware, and it signals that Microsoft is adapting on the fly to try and overcome their limitations while pushing the market forward in a completely new way.

According to Xbox boss Phil Spencer at an event in San Francisco, Microsoft is unifying the Xbox One and PC platforms. Spencer offered that Microsoft is “building out a complete gaming ecosystem for Universal Windows Applications.”

Xbox One games will sell on the Windows 10 store. They’ll be playable on the PC platform and the Xbox One. Even further? Spencer indicates that the Xbox One will eventually be a bit more modular, making it possible for users to upgrade their consoles with newer hardware in order to player higher-end Universal Windows Applications.

Whether Microsoft’s long-term strategy either starts clicking with consumers or proves too big a challenge depends entirely on whether it can please multiple audiences simultaneously with the same slate of new titles. At its spring showcase, the company brought out the games it hopes both exemplify this corporate vision and entice consumers by actually being fun to play, unique, and worth our time and money.

The good news: it’s an interesting time to be an Xbox owner and a PC player, and Microsoft doesn’t look like it’s backing down from its platform-agnostic promise any time soon. But we're still a long way from seeing the next Halo or Gears of War arriving on Windows 10. So Microsoft will have to move on from what's effectively a handful of experiments and follow through with its franchise titles if it wants to convince consumers it's truly serious about cross-platform gaming. We're beginning to see baby steps: Gears of War Ultimate Edition launched for Windows 10 today, and Microsoft also announced a new free-to-play version of Forza Motorsport 6 for PC.

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