Has Microsoft Given the PC to Xboxers on a Silver Platter?

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Systems, Mobile | September 2, 2012 - 02:20 AM |
Tagged: consolitis, windows 8

Microsoft has announced that 40 Xbox Live games will ship for Windows 8 PC, laptops, and tablets on its October 26th launch date. Microsoft also continues to misunderstand why Games for Windows Live failed in the first place.

Xbox has all but become the quasi-official branding for Microsoft’s gaming initiatives.

Microsoft suffered a substantial black-eye from their Games for Windows Live initiative. While the service does not live up to its anti-hype it does illustrate how Microsoft lost their PC gaming audience: gamers who do not choose a console do not want a console. PC gamers might wish for a cheaper experience due to the lack of license fees; they might prefer the mouse and keyboard; or they might wish to play games for longer than a console lifecycle.

If they pass up your console platform – hand delivering it on a silver platter will still be a decline gesture.

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Shattered Windows.

This time it seems more like Microsoft has given up trying to appease PC gamers. Rather than trying to satisfy the needs of the PC gaming audience (Seriously! It’s not that hard.) Microsoft would prefer to hand the PC gaming market to the console crowd and hope that they find some value to the platform.

This move seems just as risky to me as simply keeping PC gamers satisfied. The console model is designed around squirreling away as many license fees as you can possibly hide to appear less costly than the PC alternative – without actually being cheaper of course since otherwise who would pay the extra middleman? There is a lot of risk in transitioning to a new platform and they are betting their PC stronghold in the intersection between Apple fans and people who lock themselves in against PC gaming.

Or maybe the platter is served by Gabe Newell… dressed with a Tux.

September 2, 2012 | 09:25 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I'm confused as all those games bring is the gamification of casual games to the PC in a wayGame Center tried to iOS as a cheap copy but has largely failed. It's about bringing new people into the Xbox brand, not appeasing the old.

And I don't know what's being handed to Gabe. He isn't genuine when he complains about Windows 8, he hates the fact that Microsoft has a digital distribution system in every Windows 8 computer that competes with Steam. If he doesn't admit that in public, he is being disingenuous.

September 2, 2012 | 12:52 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

I was actually alluding to the possibility that Microsoft giving up on PC gaming could backfire.

It is possible that the new audience that Microsoft is attempting to woo to their vision (which is a lot like Apple's iOS vision) for the PC won't bite... and the actual existing PC gaming audience will follow Steam on to Linux leaving Microsoft alone.

Actually I have an editorial/column coming up -- probably this week since it is basically done apart from illustrations -- which will discuss the future of video gaming.


Also... Gabe has a conflict of interest but that does not mean he is wrong. Pretty much every major PC gaming-focused developer stepped up against Windows 8 such as Blizzard and Mojang.


I mean Windows 8 is not so scary -- except that it is pretty clear that Microsoft wants to deprecate everything except the-framework-formerly-known-as-Metro. Microsoft even tried to make Visual Studio Express not program desktop apps and has also removed just about all ways of customizing Windows 8 to be more like prior versions of Windows.

Microsoft cannot be encouraged to take the next step and completely abandon non-Metro Windows else PC gaming as we know it will need to move.


Also... imagine if Microsoft handles Windows PC development -- especially for indie devs -- like they do Xbox?

Charging estimated 40,000$ just to certify a patch for a game.


No wonder the indie devs are "exodusing".


September 2, 2012 | 08:37 PM - Posted by D1RTYD1Z619

I don't think anyone really took games for windows live as a real thing. I only use for chatting with my friends that are only on xbox live. I have an xbox but can't stand the dumb down fisher price interface. Which is why my xbox just sits and gathers dust unless my friends come over and don't feel like laning.

September 2, 2012 | 11:07 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

It's popular with Japanese publishers for some unknown reason...

September 3, 2012 | 05:20 AM - Posted by Irishgamer01

Great 40 free games.....windows 8

oh..perhaps you might to rephrase that first line in your article...


September 3, 2012 | 06:35 AM - Posted by Tim Verry

Hi, what's the issue with how it's phrased?

September 3, 2012 | 12:38 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

Microsoft is not giving out the 40 games for free. They only promised that the 40 titles will be available in the Windows 8 Xbox Games app on Windows 8 launch day. You will still need to pay for most or all of them.

September 3, 2012 | 03:14 PM - Posted by jewie27 (not verified)

The last console I ever bought was Super NES in the early 90's. I'm never going back to console gaming. PC gaming will always be better in controls, graphics, and upgrade-ability.

September 4, 2012 | 01:10 AM - Posted by Ss3trnks2

I thought that because of their whole new cross platform core, that essentially all titles that were made for whatever platforms using that core could run any games programmed on it. I.e. newer (if it supports it) or next-gen console games could be run on pc. Allowing for PC gamers to be able to play all Xbox titles and vice versa all PC games could be played on consoles. Maybe I understood this wrong. But I thought that this would become a possibility whenever games are developed using this new Windows/Xbox Core. Anyone else know?

September 4, 2012 | 10:48 AM - Posted by Branthog

Game developers are already doing enough to make sure the PC gaming market is eroded by focusing on their console versions and delivering sub-par crapfest ports of console games to the PC for the full $60+tax price and then whining that it's "piracy" that is doing them in on the platform; not their DRM or sub-par ports.

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