These days Microsoft has told us many things. For example, Gears of War: Ultimate Edition is now available for Windows 10, but so will other titles such as ‘Forza Motorsport 6: Apex’ or ‘Quantum Break’. The idea: to unify its gaming platform for PC users with Windows 10 and Xbox One can share experiences.
One of the potential consequences, indicated in an interview Phil Spencer, is in the apparent intention of Microsoft to make the Xbox One ends up with an upgradeable hardware. It is unclear how they want to raise this revolution, but there are strong arguments to make him see that an updatable console Microsoft does not have as many advantages as we want to see.
A universal platform to rule them all
I recently debated in Ars Technica, which highlighted how Microsoft seems to have returned to take into account the PC for the segment of video games, which surprisingly had not done so too clear for years. The PC was for other things, seemed to want to say, if you want to play, do it on the Xbox One.
That segment of the PC back with releases like the above is easily explained: convergence. The launch last summer of Windows 10 marked the beginning of an era of unification for Microsoft, and among the major players in the process were universal applications.
In fact, the Spencer himself highlighted at an event in San Francisco last week that “the Universal Windows Platform which enables development for PC, Xbox, tablets and smartphone – would be fundamental basis of its strategy for video games.” So when speaking of universal application not only speaks of applications: also does game.
Does the console merges with the PC?
There have been several steps that Microsoft has taken in this regard. In January 2015, they announced the Xbox application for Windows 10 that allowed access many of the features of the console, but especially interesting choices. For example, months later appear the ability to play Xbox games on a PC with Windows 10.
Then came the update of the Xbox One to Windows 10, with a new interface also promised changes even more relevant in the future: the Xbox One could not only play games “universal” -‘Quantum Break ‘will be a good first example but also universal applications if developers the conveniently adapted to the console. Sepencer had indicated where this path:
In other ecosystems you get more continuous innovation in hardware consoles you see, and that’s because consoles block hardware and software platform together from the start and run their generations for about seven years. We are opening the possibility to decouple ourselves from our hardware platform software platform on which to run.
The idea here is curious, because Microsoft seems to point to a future in which we would have an updated console from time to time. We do not know if the user upgradeable reaches to get their hands as it does on a PC- but the comments point to a future in which the firm will be launching the Xbox One improved much more regular versions and changes important that affect the processor or dedicated graphics.
The use of Universal Windows Platform would be the key to the whole process, because it would ensure that video games could continue playing himself in all these iterations of the console, although some we could do with more detail or higher refresh rates, for example. The console, which also could run universal -applications could become a fact PC. Do we really want that?
For developers seem interesting thing: they will not have to make two different versions of the same game -Windows 10 and Xbox One- and will make sure to squeeze the resources of these systems with a single development that yes, can accommodate DirectX 12 and that UWP platform. It is what they have done in Turn 10 with ‘Forza Motorsport 6: Apex‘ and think that is the way for all video game factories, for which a priori can be a good idea to unify.
Alternatively, will a Windows 10 LIVE in the future?
Microsoft already tried a similar approach to that now arises with that project ‘Games for Windows’ and failed miserably, so we’ll see how it deals with the limitations of that previous attempt now again worry some developers.
Redmond explained that any developer can create games UWP with free development tools from Microsoft, but to sell their creations through the Windows Store will have to follow the basic lines of this store. However, there is a greater concern for users that also affects developers.
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We’ll see how that affects another key current segment of video games in the PC section: today one can play online on PC for free in almost all cases, but to do the same on the Xbox One have to checkout and pay an annual subscription. Although Xbox LIVE has fantastic things – I’m subscriber may last years between the intentions of Microsoft with this unification is to create an Xbox LIVE universal also for PC users with Windows 10 who want to play games. That probably will not like who have spent years playing online without having to take those fees.
The good thing is that consoles do not change
That is the key point of debate. It is true that consoles have a very decent hardware when they go to market, but also to take advantage of these benefits often force developers to not hit with the catalog initial games. They spend one or two years until titles begin to appear that they really can squeeze the hardware to the max, and then when the catalogs of those consoles really worth.
By that time the consoles have already lost the battle of the specifications, of course: the PC Master Race is unbeatable in this spectator the simple reason that component update is one of the keys to that segment, so processors, graphics, memories and other elements such as monitors and, why not say, imminent reality glasses virtually pose a significant competitive advantage for users of the PC.
But losing that particular battle does not mean losing the war in all its field- of made PCs have important drawbacks – and in fact wrong consoles is also precisely the good: do not change, so users – and developers – always they know what they can expect from them. In addition, among other things, that wherever they go play the game you always behave in a consistent manner and without further complications can enjoy.
That, gentlemen of Microsoft, is reason enough to leave the quiet Xbox One. Now you have the opportunity to change anything they want in the future Xbox. Do you think should not leave the console as it is? Alternatively, do you think they have an up datable console makes sense?