Microsoft has focused a lot on gaming over the last few months. The company is working on a Project xCloud service to bring Xbox games to many devices, expanding Xbox Live to other platforms, and working on products like the Xbox Adaptive Controller. But that doesn't mean the company's forgotten about PC gaming.
In fact, Microsoft head of gaming Phil Spencer told PC Gamer this week that "delivering great gaming experience to PC players is critically important to the future of Xbox and gaming at Microsoft." Some might think he was just pandering to PC Gamer's PC gamer audience. But Spencer appears genuine.
He said he believes Microsoft has a "responsibility to invest in new ways we can benefit the PC player to help ensure they stay at the center of the experience."
Some of that will come from buying game studios, of which the company has acquired six in the past year, but it will also require other efforts. (Especially since Microsoft is said to be hands-off with the studios.)
"While we are proud of our PC gaming heritage, we’ve made some mistakes along our journey. We know we have to move forward, informed by our past, with the unique wants, needs and challenges of the PC player at the center of decisions we make," Spencer said. "I know we’ve talked quite a bit over time about what we want to deliver for the player on PC, but at E3 this year, and throughout 2019, you’ll begin to see where we’ve been investing to deliver across Store, services, in Windows and in great games. It’s just the beginning."
We already had some idea that Microsoft is planning major changes to PC gaming. Recent builds sent to Windows Insider Program members have featured a new method of installing games that, according to Thurrott, actually downloads the Xbox version of a title rather than the PC version in the Microsoft Store. What exactly that means for Xbox and the Microsoft Store is unknown.
Still, it sounds like Microsoft has a lot planned for 2019 in the gaming department, and it will be interesting to see what exactly the company will do to live up to Spencer's promises. E3 2019 kicks off at the Los Angeles Convention Center on June 11, but hopefully we don't have to wait until then for more answers.