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MSFT's 1st-Party Strategy Won't Include Desktop Gamers

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May 28, 2013 1:14:43 PM

You know, the desktop gamer, the one who makes up most of your profits from operating system sales...
May 28, 2013 1:21:48 PM

Come on, it can't be that hard to have cross platform play with an option to select PC players only, console players only, or both. If M$ really wanted to put the screws to Sony, wouldn't this be the best option? I would think that bridging the gap between the console and PC would generate a lot more money ultimately for M$. More copies sold of each game. It would also go a LONG way to improving their reputation with gamers on PC if franchises like Gear of War and Halo were released on PC as well.
Honestly I would pay up to a $100-$150 just for a drive that played the xbox one games for my PC, that would allow to do the things I just mentioned. Better than buying a console that will be already out of date by 2015. lol.
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May 28, 2013 1:22:17 PM

That's alright, Microsoft's games usually suck anyways.
May 28, 2013 1:26:26 PM

big loss. Think about all the fantastic games that were made or developed first party by microsoft over the not inconsiderable lifespan of the 360.
Other than the games like Arkham City that just had DRM for Windows Live tacked on, I can't think of any I cared enough to play.
May 28, 2013 1:26:58 PM

Dax corrin said:
You know, the desktop gamer, the one who makes up most of your profits from operating system sales...

Microsoft makes far more money from Xbox gamers than they do from PC gamers. The money Microsoft makes from Windows and Office all comes from the enterprise market. The $100 you paid for Windows 7 or 8 for your home desktop is nothing compared to the $300+ people will pay for the new Xbox One plus the $60/year for Xbox Live and the cuts they get from new (and now used) game sales.

PC gaming deserves some great titles out of this generation. I don't even care if they're not exclusives like the original Crysis was. Now that the top 2 consoles will be running x86 processors and Radeon graphics cores I want to see some of the games that would normally be tied to consoles to be truly cross-platform. There is no need anymore for crappy console ports. Games in this generation should be able to run on both consoles as well as PC's.
May 28, 2013 2:12:16 PM

Remember when Microsoft talked about how they'd be taking all their XBOX titles to PC... yeah that worked out well eh? Like Weakness said the platform base is now identical so the whole argument over it taking too much to port a title is gone. Tho I doubt MS cares. I could see them making it Windows 8 only just to force that "upgrade" on people who wanted to play something tho.
May 28, 2013 2:17:45 PM

All I care about is Elder Scrolls VI, Fallout 4 and Thief 4. Halo and Gears of War can go to hell.
May 28, 2013 2:20:57 PM

Dax corrin said:
You know, the desktop gamer, the one who makes up most of your profits from operating system sales...


Um, no. The OS sales profits are coming from businesses, not from home desktops. If you actually worked in IT, you'd know where Microsoft is really making their money and it's not home users.
May 28, 2013 2:36:37 PM

Who need MS to support PC gaming?? I rather rely on Valve (Steam) than the so called "the world biggest software company" who mega suck on game and media (music/video) digital distribution on their own operation system!! The only thing that MS still contribute to PC gaming is DirectX. But again, it can easily be substituted by OpenGL and OpenAL. So not big loss if MS even give up that.
Oh yea they suck at mobile phone/tablet OS too...
Anonymous
May 28, 2013 3:14:58 PM

I don't even care, I will gaming on a true next gen platform come BF4 time anyway. 2 GTX 780s, 512GB SSD, 16gb ram, i7 4770k, 2560 x 1600 display all ultra settings. Next gen that console gamers, you can have their games.
May 28, 2013 3:34:57 PM

"That said, PC gamers will still need to rely on Crytek, 2K Games, Electronic Arts and others to provide quality, AAA titles for the PC."
Something horribly wrong in this statement.
May 28, 2013 4:28:44 PM

So... the xbox runs on x86 hardware, runs a normal GPU, installs games like a normal computer, runs the win8 kernel.... and we cannot figure out how to port games over to the PC? I love a lot of the things that MS has been doing lately from WP, to win8, to their new ad campaign that actuially sells and compares products, but man have they missed the mark on the xbox One.
May 28, 2013 5:04:54 PM

Considering that the best PC games are generally FPS, RTS, or RPG, I don't really care that we aren't getting the crappy console games.
May 28, 2013 5:07:02 PM

CaedenV said:
So... the xbox runs on x86 hardware, runs a normal GPU, installs games like a normal computer, runs the win8 kernel.... and we cannot figure out how to port games over to the PC? I love a lot of the things that MS has been doing lately from WP, to win8, to their new ad campaign that actuially sells and compares products, but man have they missed the mark on the xbox One.


They can`t lock it down and I doubt PC gamers would embrace a MS version of Steam. That it would be quick easy money is beside the point as there`s little work to be done to enable PC play.

0 sales = 0 dollars. I understand that there would be some kind of cost to enable a game but it`s got the same architecure, same OS kernel, in some cases a very similar if not identical CPU and GPU - but I`d think that a PC release would just be money in the bank for MS even if they used something like Steam for distro. That would never happen but 30% of something is better than 0% of nothing or worse a lot of potential. It`s like BlackBerry and BBM which is now about 2 years too late.
May 28, 2013 5:22:12 PM

"PC gamers will still need to rely on Crytek, 2K Games, Electronic Arts and others to provide quality, AAA titles for the PC."
Wait, what?
May 28, 2013 6:26:57 PM

I'm sure someone will find a way to emulate Xbox One games on Windows within no time. After all, the hardware found in the Xbox One is basically the hardware found in consumer PCs (x86 CPU, DDR3 RAM, GPU which supports DirectX) and it also runs a Windows kernel and DirectX. Nice try Microsoft but you still haven't killed PC gaming.
May 28, 2013 6:39:52 PM

Think about it, it really wouldn't be smart to release the Xbox One's exclusives on PC. Exclusives sell consoles, if gamers could get the Xbox One's exclusives on PC, that takes away one of the main reasons to get an Xbox One. Exclusives are the main thing that's going to get people buying the Xbox One, in spite of it's negatives like used game DRM and once per 24 internet connection requirement. If the Xbox One lost it's exclusives, the only people buying it would be CoD gamers and those that want it to control their TV. But with MS's increased focus on exclusives this gen, they stand a good chance at 2nd place behind Sony, (and might just stand a chance at first if these recent rumors about Sony having similar Used Game DRM and online play fees are true). MS doesn't make much from PC gaming, all they'd get for releasing the exclusives on PC is a few OS sales and slightly increased sales per game, whereas they sell $400 consoles and Xbox Live subscriptions by keeping those exclusives on the Xbox One.
May 28, 2013 6:53:57 PM

Quote (Dan Corrin): You know, the desktop gamer, the one who makes up most of your profits from operating system sales...
Response: Actually, the vast majority of PC sales go to casual gamers, people not buying PC's to play games but to use them for pretty much anything else. Windows PC's make up about 90+% of the market, the lion share of that is business purchasing desktops, then its home PC's for normal web + document + email + content (entertainment) use and then its PC gamers.
In general, Microsoft doesn't have to do anything special for gamers. The hardware industry and gaming industry is already PC centric, that is why there are 6x more games released for the PC platform than Mac OSX. With Mac OSX being the biggest competitor for Windows in the market, and only holding 8% of the market share, it is a given that PC game developers will be releasing their product for the PC platform to reach the largest audience ... so Microsoft doesn't really need to worry about that group, its a given. What they need to do is make sure the casual computer user doesn't switch to Mac OSX due to the popularity of Apple products like the iPhone/iPad. Apple has seen their market share double in the last 5 years (4% to 8%). They don't want that to get any more traction.
May 28, 2013 7:04:43 PM

In short, it's just downright cheaper and quicker to produce AAA titles on one hardware set than it is on an infinite number of hardware configurations. That's presumably why app developers flock to Apple's iOS first despite the closed system and 30-percent cut.
Actually, the reason that developers flock to Apple (and Android) is because the tools allow anyone with a computer to build a game and publish in those markets. Very few game development companies that were around before smartphone markets actually port-publish games in the mobile space. The mobile space is more indie centric game development, or first time developers. The big budget developers, putting together AAA titles don't need to concern themselves with the mobile market because to step up from the mobile market to the AAA space is the difference of a game that costs $0 to $50,000 (mobile) jumping to $15-$20 million in development costs. The investment barrier is so huge that the AAA developers are not worrying about the mobile developers cutting into their space directly. Plus the mobile developers are building for the casual gamer market, not the hard core gamer market that would drop $400 on a game console.
Lastly, the PC gamer market has been going as strong as ever over the years, retail sales decreases have been due to transitions to direct online sales, MMO subscription and F2P models. The disc driven nature of console games is keeping them tied to the retail space, though I don't expect for very long (5 years max).
May 28, 2013 7:06:08 PM

First line of my previous post is the quote from the article that I was commenting on, just to be clear. Wish TH allowed editing.
May 28, 2013 7:39:17 PM

hmmm.... I wonder if we can get a xbox 1 emulator up easily, considering it's based off windows code on an x86 architecture?
May 28, 2013 8:29:10 PM

everygamer said:
First line of my previous post is the quote from the article that I was commenting on, just to be clear. Wish TH allowed editing.


Tom's Hardware does allow editing! It also allows quoting :) 

Edit: Edited this to add this edit :) 
May 28, 2013 8:49:56 PM

Not surprising given that this is the same company that decided to turn desktops and laptops into toy-like tablet touch machines with Metro. Hey, at least my PC won't be spying on me and tracking my habits with an always-on Kinect sensor like the XBone's!
May 28, 2013 10:08:05 PM

I don't think Microsoft sees the big picture here. Right now Microsoft will end up losing money on every console they sell. If they sell the OS for $50, they will make money, and let the consumer worry about meeting the hardware.
In all honesty Xbox exclusive titles would never cut it in the PC gaming space. Their top games at best are considered mediocre to PC counterparts.
May 29, 2013 2:38:04 AM

After 30 years, I cry and say goodbye
May 29, 2013 5:26:26 AM

Windows 8 told me everything I needed to know about Microsoft's attitude towards us desktop users. Seems their games division has exactly the same attitude.
May 29, 2013 5:33:52 AM

Would be fun if Sony comes out in support of PC gaming :D 
May 29, 2013 7:17:28 AM

I don't really get why MS treats Windows gaming and the XBox as separate and competing entities. Why not instead make them complementary? Making it so that Windows just simply can run XBox One games.

Instead make it so that XBox One and each console iteration thereafter sets a standard for Microsoft gaming. That way any game with an XBox One label will achieve a standardized minimum acceptable framerate on any XBox one at 1920x1080 at medium settings and 2x AA or something along those lines. Then if a gamer has a computer that can blow the doors of the XBox one they can play the game on Windows instead at much higher settings or if their computer is worse they can play at lower settings assuming they meet the minimum requirements. If a gamer doesn't want to worry about specs or spend a bunch on a gaming computer they can just get the XBox One and XBox One labeled games.

MS can still get it's money by only allowing MS signed titles play on the XBox One. That way they still get the same compensation per game that they receive now. This would probably be better for MS in a lot of ways as they won't lose a bunch of money on consoles as they are sold below cost for a couple of years. While more games will sell as hardcore PC gamers will have more titles to choose from and others with great computers will have more money to spend on games.

Plus now you'll have more potential gamers. Those with computers powerful enough or just need a video card but can't afford a new XBox one. Meaning even more XBox One game sales which MS gets a cut of.
May 29, 2013 2:08:06 PM

velocityg4 said:
I don't really get why MS treats Windows gaming and the XBox as separate and competing entities. Why not instead make them complementary? Making it so that Windows just simply can run XBox One games.

Instead make it so that XBox One and each console iteration thereafter sets a standard for Microsoft gaming. That way any game with an XBox One label will achieve a standardized minimum acceptable framerate on any XBox one at 1920x1080 at medium settings and 2x AA or something along those lines. Then if a gamer has a computer that can blow the doors of the XBox one they can play the game on Windows instead at much higher settings or if their computer is worse they can play at lower settings assuming they meet the minimum requirements. If a gamer doesn't want to worry about specs or spend a bunch on a gaming computer they can just get the XBox One and XBox One labeled games.

MS can still get it's money by only allowing MS signed titles play on the XBox One. That way they still get the same compensation per game that they receive now. This would probably be better for MS in a lot of ways as they won't lose a bunch of money on consoles as they are sold below cost for a couple of years. While more games will sell as hardcore PC gamers will have more titles to choose from and others with great computers will have more money to spend on games.

Plus now you'll have more potential gamers. Those with computers powerful enough or just need a video card but can't afford a new XBox one. Meaning even more XBox One game sales which MS gets a cut of.


That's far, far, far too progressive for MS. Valve has done this with PS3 when they released Portal 2. I ended up buying the PS3 version because it was the same price but with the PS3 version it was linked to Steam and available on your PC Steam account. Just install it when you log into Steam next time. It was great. I'd love to see EA or Activision do this but I doubt it would ever happen. They'd rather pull every last penny out of you than allowing you to use your purchase how you see fit.
May 29, 2013 8:58:16 PM

Anyone else think that the x86 consoles will be much easier to port, even without official blessings?
May 30, 2013 3:43:18 AM

what PC gamer would pay for a xbox live account (besides somebody who already has an xbox) microsoft is not interested in selling you a game or even a console they are interested in selling you an xbox live account. they make a few measly dollars off the consoles and maybe even the games sure but the xbox live account is the bread and butter. that is why microsoft wont release pc games because it would force you to buy an xbox live account and then it would be a WORSE scandal. I say good riddence microsoft exclusives suck balls anyways.
May 30, 2013 4:28:51 AM

Even less reason to support the console, or to switch to Windows 8 if you haven't already.
There's clearly no "strategy" for Windows 8 gaming. I have iOS and even Facebook for those "casual" games.
June 10, 2013 12:40:46 AM

The time where there was a distinction between game console and computer has pretty much passed. They are the same now and it makes little to no sense to have a gaming console separate from your desktop computer unless its a handheld gaming device. Either the gaming console will become the new PC or the PC will become the new gaming console. What is the point of having two devices that do the same thing? Its just VHS vs BetaMax or HD DVD vs BluRay.
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