Microsoft’s Push For Xbox Games On PC Begins, Available via Windows Store
March 1 marks the date where Microsoft begins pushing Xbox as a brand that encompass PC (Windows 10 PCs that is) as well as the core consoles of the Xbox One and 360. Talks on Microsoft getting serious in the PC market has been ongoing recently, and the recent bombardment of news coming from an Xbox showcase event last week cemented it. Right now, a few Xbox-exclusive games are coming to PC, with a few caveats.
Gears of War Ultimate Edition has been released, a free-to-play “curated” version of Forza Motosport 6 dubbed Forza Motorsport 6 Apex is announced to come in Spring, fighting game Killer Instinct Season 3 confirmed for March 29 on both Xbox One and PC, and more gameplay impressions of Quantum Break on PC. Exciting!
The caveat? All of these are only available on the Windows Store, hence why it’s locked to Windows 10, aside from the games able to utilise DirectX 12 which is also Windows 10 exclusive. What’s wrong with the Windows Store? One is how it’s designed. It was made in the shape of how mobile devices’ app store, like Google Play and iTunes App Store is. Downloading large apps have been problematic, and with games going more then 10GB of size this could be a frustrating experience. Also of note is how the games will have some odd limitations since it is bounded as a Windows app (or Universal Windows Platform- UWP) rather than the traditional installation. Rise of the Tomb Raider was the first huge game to be released on the Windows Store and it reportedly has its issues. This article by Howtogeek breaks it down well, so give it a read to understand the current limitations of a Windows app. At least it is available in its traditional form on Steam.
While it is exciting to see how Microsoft is giving PC gamers some love by making their Xbox exclusives available on PC, the implementation will not sit right with some people for sure. Limiting them to the Windows Store gives parallel on how EA is limiting their PC output to only Origin, their own PC games store/ game launcher. At least it’s better than Ubisoft’s Uplay where it can be played on other launchers like Steam but STILL requires Uplay for some reason. But still, giving Steam so much of a monopoly of being the be-all end-all solution for all PC games sales and distribution can be harmful in the long run, but hopefully these other game launchers can be as adequate as Steam has been performing.