In the console wars, Sony is the clear winner (for right now). “Winner” is, perhaps, a relative term because, as we’ve pointed out before, game consoles are selling to a degree that’s unprecedented in the industry’s history. Still, Microsoft’s Xbox One is in second place, and it would like to sell more video games. So the company may be pulling a surprising move.
According to The Verge, Microsoft is planning to update every Windows 10 PC with an Xbox program that would make Xbox One games playable on a PC, no console required. It’s not clear whether this would be a solution along the lines of Steam, a streaming situation, or even just a straight download of video games, but it’s apparently in the works and may arrive as soon as this year.
On one level, this isn’t a huge surprise. The Xbox One is running Windows 10, and Microsoft is aggressively upgrading any PC that will run it to its new operating system. Bringing all its products closer together has clearly been a long term goal for the company, and this idea is just a natural extension of that. Microsoft has also been working to tear down multiplayer walls between PC and console gamers (and between consoles). The company clearly believes that a rising tide lifts all boats.
That said, there are some pretty tough technical challenges to address. PC gamers tend to use the keyboard-mouse style of controls, and console games will need to be ported to that horrible kludge. Secondly, not every PC is up to the graphical standards of the Xbox One, so Microsoft will need to work out some sort of filtering system or prepare to issue refunds. But don’t be surprised if this time next year, you can boot up your Xbox games on your laptop instead of working.
(via The Verge)