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Microsoft: We Need to Step Up PC Gaming

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 117 comments

Microsoft Game Studios admits its not the industry leader it should be.

With the recent release of Halo: Reach and the upcoming launch of Kinect, it seems that PC gamers are pushed aside in favor of their console comrades. Even worse, Microsoft's Windows OS dominates the PC sector, yet Games for Windows - LIVE isn't exactly the thriving community Xbox 360 gamers have enjoyed for years--subscription or not. Microsoft Game Studios sees the perceived prejudice and plans to do something about it.

"There’s been a fair bit of criticism aimed at Microsoft that we were spending a lot of our focus on console, and we need to be putting resources behind PC as well," Microsoft Game Studios’ general manager Dave Luehmann said in an interview. "Other companies should look to Microsoft for leadership, but I’m not sure they do. It is our job to lead the way on PC. And in some ways we are doing that and in other ways we are not. So we need to step up."

The studio's renewed focus will start with three big titles--Fable III, Age of Empires Online and Microsoft Flight--which will use Games for Windows - LIVE. Luehmann reassured PC gamers that more big titles were on the way, however the studio plans to test new ideas. After all, it's Microsoft's job to experiment with new business models that will inspire 3rd-party publishers worldwide.

"I think it is the responsibility of first parties to push the business models into new directions," he said. "We will test some ideas--some will work and some won’t."

What Microsoft needs is a new, genre-defining game like Halo for the PC, something so mind-blowing addictive that console gamers will drop their controllers and buy new PC gaming rigs with Windows 7 pre-installed.

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Top Comments
  • 37 Hide
    scook9 , September 24, 2010 5:23 PM
    Many of us are still waiting for Halo 3, ODST, and REACH on PC....as well as Gears of War 2 (and 3 when it comes out)

    How about you just stop shitting on your entire pc fanbase....
  • 37 Hide
    meat81 , September 24, 2010 5:19 PM
    How about bringing the whole Halo series to PC as well. I dont have an Xbox because i have a decent pc rig. Also Microsoft Flight is more of a niche product and is not necessarily going to step you up in the PC market.
  • 28 Hide
    sdedalus83 , September 24, 2010 6:10 PM
    2000
    Gaming press: PC gaming is dead; piracy has killed it off.

    MS: The only way we'll make money off gaming is with a closed garden console.

    2004 - 2010

    Valve and Blizzard: *rakes in money hand over fist*

    2010

    Gaming press: Long live the PC!

    MS: Dude, WTF? We're hemorrhaging cash on the Xbox and the little guys across town are killing us in digital sales! Anybody here remember how to use a keyboard and mouse?
Other Comments
  • 37 Hide
    meat81 , September 24, 2010 5:19 PM
    How about bringing the whole Halo series to PC as well. I dont have an Xbox because i have a decent pc rig. Also Microsoft Flight is more of a niche product and is not necessarily going to step you up in the PC market.
  • 37 Hide
    scook9 , September 24, 2010 5:23 PM
    Many of us are still waiting for Halo 3, ODST, and REACH on PC....as well as Gears of War 2 (and 3 when it comes out)

    How about you just stop shitting on your entire pc fanbase....
  • 24 Hide
    brennon7 , September 24, 2010 5:25 PM
    Gears of War 3 for PC...forget the damn consoles already, they are GARBAGE!!!!
  • 22 Hide
    hellwig , September 24, 2010 5:26 PM
    I had to install Games for Windows Live! to get Kane and Lynch working (even though I bought it off Steam). When you start the game, you get a splash screen for Kane and Lynch that says "Press SPACE to start...". When you press space, the stupid Games for Windows overlay pops-down and won't relinquish control of the interface. You have to close the overlay, which is made more difficult by that fact that it doesn't seem to recognize the mouse.

    Its stupid issues like this (on top of other, more serious issues) that just kill some programs from the start. Why would I consider using Games for Windows if the overlay in my games won't allow me to play my games (if you can't get something simple like an overlay working, do I really trust you do to anything else)? I've never had issues with Steam's overlay that I recall.

    Quote:
    What Microsoft needs is a new, genre-defining game like Halo for the PC, something so mind-blowing addictive that console gamers will drop their controllers and buy new PC gaming rigs with Windows 7 pre-installed.


    2 Words: Microsoft. Halo was supposed to be that game for the PC 12 years ago. Instead, Microsoft needed a big title for their new console, and bought Bungie for the Halo IP (a game that had not yet been released). Now Microsoft needs another Halo for the PC? Maybe they should have left Halo alone in the first place, and never bothered entering a console business that cost them billions.
  • 20 Hide
    crazitrain02 , September 24, 2010 5:29 PM
    Just make sure if Microsoft does bring over games from the xBox that they are good ports that actually work well with a keyboard and mouse. I've seen too many ports that make the game crap.
  • 2 Hide
    iNiNe5 , September 24, 2010 5:30 PM
    part of the thing going for console gaming is the instant gratification factor.... the average person who wants to play games just wants to plug and play. having a good title won't be enough on a PC. a cultural change is needed.
  • 1 Hide
    jazz84 , September 24, 2010 5:30 PM
    As much as I dislike MSFT, I think this is a refreshing step in the right direction. I'd like to see, for instance, a PC version of Kinect. It's pretty clear that with the vastly different control schemes, the PC and Console multiplayer markets will need to remain segregated, but innovation in the gaming world should remain cross-platform IMHO.
  • 6 Hide
    randalthor20001 , September 24, 2010 5:32 PM
    If Microsoft really wants to support PC gaming, then it will stop seeking exclusive games and exclusive dlc for the 360. I understand why Microsoft likes to give a Brinks armored truck full of money to every game developer that will agree to only have their game or dlc on the 360 and not the ps3. I know you needed exclusives in order to motivate people to buy 360's. But, I think you've established yourself in the console market enough, that you can stop snubbing pc gamers. So why not have games and dlc on the pc also. The pc gaming crowd is mostly a different market than console gamers. So I don't think you would be loosing any 360 game sales to pc sales, if you brought more games over to the pc.

    I'm also pissed at Microsoft for giving Capcom money to make 2 dlc's for Dead Rising 2, exclusive to the 360. I know you want to force, I mean motivate, console gamers to buy Dead Rising 2 for the 360, instead of the PS3. But why not release the dlc for the pc too? You say you care about pc gaming, but I"m having a hard time believing you. Actions speak loader than words Microsort!

    If you're worried about piracy, you should just give up on Games for Windows Live, and release your games on Steam for the pc. Don't sell any physical copies of your games; that way no one can pirate your games. Steam is a form of drm that most pc gamers are ok with.
  • 1 Hide
    mchuf , September 24, 2010 5:32 PM
    Why aren't they releasing fable III on the pc the same day it's being released on the Xbox 360? Other's are following MS's lead. They're also dropping out of pc gaming or doing later releases. MS doesn't need to release a new mind blowing release on thepc. It just needs to get more big publisher exclusives for it.
  • 2 Hide
    trkorecky , September 24, 2010 5:38 PM
    hellwigHalo was supposed to be that game for the PC 12 years ago. Instead, Microsoft needed a big title for their new console, and bought Bungie for the Halo IP (a game that had not yet been released). Now Microsoft needs another Halo for the PC? Maybe they should have left Halo alone in the first place, and never bothered entering a console business that cost them billions.


    Actually, Halo was supposed to be some haggard RTS for the Mac.
  • -2 Hide
    accolite , September 24, 2010 5:43 PM
    Hopefully the new games wont be crap like halo 2 was for the PC.
  • 5 Hide
    isamuelson , September 24, 2010 5:44 PM
    Wait a minute! FPS games are dead on the PC, per MS!

    What gives with the flip flop?
  • 10 Hide
    Trashit , September 24, 2010 5:51 PM
    scook9Many of us are still waiting for Halo 3, ODST, and REACH on PC....as well as Gears of War 2 (and 3 when it comes out)How about you just stop shitting on your entire pc fanbase....


    Amen brother, couldn't have said it better myself. MS, if you want to make up with the PC fan base you have been so blatantly ignoring stop it with the console exclusives. Its really that simple. Also the Xbox hardware is beginning to get horridly out dated and lazily ported games just piss me right off dammit!
  • 8 Hide
    ovenbuster , September 24, 2010 6:00 PM
    Is it just me or is Microsoft holding back PC gaming single handedly with the Xbox 360? I'm confused as to why they all of a sudden care about PC gamers. People have already mentioned a bunch of the 360 exclusives that never made it to PC, but the one title that I'm still steamed about the most is Alan Wake.
  • 1 Hide
    9d3tsi , September 24, 2010 6:04 PM
    How about not signing "Exclusive" deals with publishers to release games and DLC a month earlier to Xbox 360? Just a thought.....
  • 3 Hide
    kyee7k , September 24, 2010 6:06 PM
    I would be happy if they publish Fable II on pc.
  • 5 Hide
    chriskrum , September 24, 2010 6:08 PM
    By games they mean seem browser based version of Age of Empires, another clunky version of Flight Simulator (with easy mode!), and a port of a Fantasy Game that they likely want to make an MMO with micro-transactions.

    This is leadership from behind for customers that aren't us.

  • 4 Hide
    jazn1337 , September 24, 2010 6:09 PM
    Well Halo is certainly not the genre defining game that the PC needs. Crysis was closer to giving PC gaming a boost.
  • 28 Hide
    sdedalus83 , September 24, 2010 6:10 PM
    2000
    Gaming press: PC gaming is dead; piracy has killed it off.

    MS: The only way we'll make money off gaming is with a closed garden console.

    2004 - 2010

    Valve and Blizzard: *rakes in money hand over fist*

    2010

    Gaming press: Long live the PC!

    MS: Dude, WTF? We're hemorrhaging cash on the Xbox and the little guys across town are killing us in digital sales! Anybody here remember how to use a keyboard and mouse?
  • 4 Hide
    pete68 , September 24, 2010 6:11 PM
    Please make games that work, don't crash, run out of working memory, mess up graphics in general. I especially like Far Cry 2, which you didn't make, but it messes up my Windows7x64 machine. Make it work on W7 with no problems. Second Steam half life are good(mainly they work on my I7-920, W7x64,) but how about a FPS like FC2, say in Central America, or Columbia, fighting drug cartels, etc. Make it free roaming, jungle, coastline, waterfalls, rain, etc. like FC2. Much better than aliens and robots, IMO. I want to build another super duper PC but when my favorite game, FC2, has one problem after another, I'm holding back. Good luck!!
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