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Spencer: We Didn’t Respect The PC Gaming Audience Earlier, Goal Is To Be Much More Native From Now On

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Jun 15, 2018
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Microsoft’s Executive Vice President of Gaming Phil Spencer was featured in a panel titled Gaming for Everyone at the E3 2018 Coliseum.

Before wrapping up, Spencer took some questions from the audience and the very last one asked him to chime in on the improvements planned by Microsoft for gaming on Windows PC. Spencer then proceeded to admit that the early efforts with Games for Windows and Xbox Live on Windows PC didn’t respect the PC gaming audience, but now the long-term goal is to be able to establish a much more native PC environment so that gamers can feel comfortable with it.

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When we talk about a couple billion people playing games, we know that we won’t sell a couple billion consoles. The console business is a couple hundred million people who live in places around the world where they have TVs on their walls and that’s where they want to go play.

There’s interest that people have to play games across devices and we happen to also be the Windows company.

I’d say our early work in our Games for Windows, Xbox Live stuff for Windows was well intentioned, but anybody that’s a PC gamer (I play a lot of PC games myself) saw this kind of imposter console work coming over and you can see some of the people who were making decisions there and some of our early efforts were really more console to PC than respecting the PC audience and the things they were looking for.

You’ve probably seen us slow down on some of the progress that we’ve made on some of our apps, and some other things because we are reworking how we’re thinking about the PC audience to try to be more reflective of the PC community that’s out there, and instead of trying to pull people into the things that come from the console space and try to get PC gamers comfortable with that, we’ll try to meet PC gamers where they are.

Some of the things we’re starting to do by integrating Xbox Live with Discord, that’s something from a pure console standpoint, it’s kind of hard to figure out where that fits today, but it’s about recognizing infrastructure that exists on the PC side, apps that exist, and services that exist and try to be inclusive of the things PC gamers are about. On the Xbox app and some of the work we did early on you’ll see a little bit of a slowdown right now, but the long-term goal is for us to be much more native in the PC gaming environment, as opposed to this thing that feels slightly different than what PC gamers are looking for.

With Xbox Play Anywhere, Phil Spencer brought all the Xbox games to Windows PC with cross-buy, cross-play and cross-save support. At E3 2018, Microsoft even announced Gears of War Tactics, a turn-based strategy game developed by Splash Damage specifically for PC.

Do you feel like Spencer’s changes are moving Microsoft towards the right direction when it comes to gaming on Windows PC? Tell us in the comments.

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