Microsoft announces its PC gaming plans ahead of E3

Microsoft really wants gamers to play their games on a PC running Windows 10. The company wants it so badly that it's made two PC gaming-focused announcements that are seemingly at odds with one another. Xbox chief Phil Spencer's blog post is kind of all over the place, so let's try to follow along. 

For those of us who don't own an Xbox and maybe haven't been paying attention, Game Pass is a gaming subscription that Microsoft announced two years ago for the Xbox One. In exchange for $10 per month, gamers can choose from 100 or so Xbox games and play them to their heart's content. Alongside that, subscribers that want to own games permanently can do so at a discount. That's handy because Microsoft tends to rotate the games available on the service.

Now Microsoft is bringing that same subscription download + discount package to Windows. Xbox chief Phil Spencer says that like its Xbox counterpart, Xbox Game Pass for PC (eww, branding) will give gamers access to more than 100 game downloads from both Microsoft's own internal studios and third party publishers. The same discounts that appear in the Xbox version are also available for the PC. What isn't clear from this announcement is whether cross-platform gamers would have to subscribe to the service on each platform separately. That would be a real downer, so we hope that's not the case. 

If you're hungry, here's a big dish of buzzwords: according to Spencer, Microsoft has a responsibility to make sure its decisions benefit players everywhere by embracing the openness of the platform—something he admits that Microsoft hasn't always done in the past. That's code, we think, for Steam. Despite numerous salvos fired by the Epic Game Store, Steam is still the top PC game store around, and Microsoft wants to be a part. Back in March, Microsoft announced that Halo: The Master Chief Collection would come to Valve's storefront. Spencer now says to expect twenty games to hit Steam, starting with Gears of War 5 and a collection of Age of Empires titles. 

Windows on Steam (dramatization)

Lastly, the company is relaxing some of its restrictions on submissions to the Microsoft Game Store. Up until now, games submitted to Microsoft's online shop needed to be written to the Windows 10-specific UWP APIs. That requirement is going away. Spencer says Win32 apps will be welcome. Whether it draws developers to Microsoft's store remains to be seen.

That's not all Microsoft has to show, apparently. The company will host its E3 extravaganza on Sunday night, June 9. We'll be watching to see what else the company has in store, and looking for additional details surrounding what's already been announced.

derFunkenstein

Sega nerd and guitar lover

Comments closed
    • WaltC
    • 2 months ago

    I don’t like UWP and never did–I see it is as a kind of hangover from the horrid Ballmer days that just about did Microsoft in–you know–Windows Phone, Win8 touchscreens everywhere, Microsoft Store, etc.. ad infinitum. Microsoft escaped laying out $40B on Yahoo!–believe it or not–not because of anyone at Microsoft–but because the Yahoo! founder was too stupid to take the money and run! Saved Microsoft’s bacon, it did–and the irony was that the Yahoo! co-founder *thought* he was hurting Microsoft by resisting Microsoft’s ridiculous and utterly stupid offer for Yahoo!…! Hah! Only thing Ballmer knew how to do in those days was copy Apple–and worse guidance for Microsoft than that is not imaginable–by me, anyway…;)

    Anyway, back to the present…so UWP is falling away, at last, thankfully… because its effect on the PC end of things was only to hold back support for new technology being adopted in PCs but not in consoles–or even cell phones–which were included in Microsoft’s original UWP blindness. Microsoft, for some reason, has always been a day late and a dollar short in supporting “PC gaming”–which is, of course, only “Windows32 gaming” by another name. Some dislike Win32 because they believe it in itself is holding things back, but I’m of the opinion that I think it’s really nice that Win32 games from 20 years ago can still be run on the latest incarnation of Win10x64…backwards compatibility is king, imo, because for me my computers are worth no more than the sum total of the software I can run on them. So I don’t see Win32 as any sort of problem, really.

    But Microsoft seems to have a problem with gaming on Windows, strangely enough. It’s really quite bizarre when you think about it–the Windows PC gaming platform is the largest such platform in the world–much bigger even than both current console platforms combined–but Microsoft is perpetually confused about that!…;) Most people who enjoy gaming aren’t confused about that at all–but Microsoft always seems to be stumbling and bumbling around about it! I advance the same suggestion towards the company that I have advanced for decades: “Stop with the one-size-fits-all approach Microsoft! It will never work–ever! Go with the flow!” Seems simple enough, doesn’t it?…;) For just about everyone except Microsoft, for some reason.

      • Freon
      • 2 months ago

      I’ve had nothing but trouble with Windows store UWP games. I blew hours on the phone trying to make Forza 7 work upon release, getting passed back and forth between Xbox support and Windows store support, but it threw an error they simply were unable to help with.

      Often support says to use a Windows/Live login instead of a local login, but I’m simply unwilling to use a third party authenticator to use my own property.

      • NovusBogus
      • 2 months ago

      [quote<]backwards compatibility is king, imo, because for me my computers are worth no more than the sum total of the software I can run on them.[/quote<] This here is a perfect one-line summary of what drives the Microsoft world...and why all the various attempts to push users and developers away from legacy stuff in favor of some new widget are doomed to failure.

        • oldog
        • 1 month ago

        Interviewer: Microsoft ran into the same problem when it tried to be all things to all people with its operating system.

        Cook: I think it’s different. Part of the reason Microsoft ran into an issue was that they didn’t want to walk away from legacy stuff.

        Source: Fast Company interview March 2015

        [url<]https://www.fastcompany.com/3042435/steves-legacy-tim-looks-ahead[/url<]

        • DoomGuy64
        • 1 month ago

        Exactly, and improvement isn’t bad perse, but UWP did everything it could in the worst way. My suggestion for modernization would be to simply “emulate” win32 instead of running it natively, and add all the improvements directly into the emulation system. Microsoft already has windows on windows (WOW) for 32-bit, and they should take that to the next logical step. The whole APP system is a extremely bad idea to implement on a previously open platform that has a long history. Reverse it, make win32 run as an APP, and don’t go the Java / .net runtime route, as that is just trouble that people moved away from since late 90’s / early 2000’s. Win9x had DLL hell, the runtimes repeated that mistake, and what software truly needs is a reverse compatible approach, instead of break everything to move forward methodology.

        Also, regardless of the UWP does X better claims, it really doesn’t. The UI is still ugly, Microsoft hasn’t ported full functionality into the control panel (or anything else), and what is there takes more clicks than it used to. It’s not good. Everything “good” is purely theoretical, and not actual. Microsoft would be further ahead to open source UWP, and let the community fix it, since they don’t seem too keen on doing it themselves, or doing it right. Windows 7 was popular for a reason, and UWP needs to at minimum match it, instead of going so far backwards the UI looks like a DOS text editor. It’ll take at least UWP 3.11 for workgroups looks and functionality to get people wanting to use it, and we’re currently 2.0 at best.

          • sweatshopking
          • 1 month ago

          The platform is still open. That hasn’t changed. It’s just a better way to write new apps

            • DoomGuy64
            • 1 month ago

            Sure it is, via win32. That said, there is no guarantee apps will indefinitely be allowed to side-load, nor does anyone care to use, program, or sell side-loaded apps en masse, let alone official apps, and there is no use for said apps outside of tablets, which has been completely ignored by the general public in favor of Apple/Android. Therefore, we are stuck with a horrible mobile app system on a desktop OS, with the OS being a complete frankenstein’s monster of MetroUI-UWP / win32.

            Also, I don’t know how “open” the base OS really is anymore with Microsoft not allowing some free/indie unsigned software to install. I don’t come across it often, but it happens with free / open source software on occasion. Just completely blocked from loading. Understandable if said software was a virus, but it’s just free software that didn’t go through all the fake security hoops.

            Regardless of how you think UWP is, outside of clear deficiencies/incompatibility for 3rd party gaming apps, the base UI is garbage, and so are most of the apps on the app store. Not to mention, since there is no standard design, everyone makes their own weird interface. Win32 doesn’t have all the straw man pitfalls people say it does either, as you can still use modern gui elements, and alternatives like the Qt toolkit. There is no legitimate reason why Microsoft can’t update win32’s older elements, other than forcing developers to use UWP to get new features. Which isn’t going to work. People will just ignore UWP and use the alternatives if Microsoft never updates it. That said, Microsoft probably plans on doing some sort of cross platform compatibility between PC and console, and that would likely be the only way UWP ever gains a bigger userbase.

            Regardless, the biggest thing I’m not a fan of is the horrible UI elements and usability. If Microsoft fixed that, then I could maybe give them a pass on some stuff, although the incompatibility with gaming apps and modding would still stop me from buying UWP games. Linux isn’t a mainstream OS, but they keep making progress while Microsoft regresses. At some point, maybe a decade, Steam OS will be a more viable gaming OS than windows, and people can recognize that trend. It’s more likely that people will move to linux before UWP becomes mainstream, and that’s Microsoft’s fault for not honestly accepting feedback (mojave experiments) or innovating. Also, stability. The public shouldn’t be beta testing an OS that deletes your documents from a forced update system, and things like that aren’t going to help user retention. It’s a question of what happens first, a viable alternative, or Microsoft fixing UWP. My bet’s on the alternatives.

      • Chrispy_
      • 1 month ago

      UWP was Microsoft’s fudged attempt to replace Win32’s API with their own software sales platform that gave them a cut of everything on it.

      UWP as an API is superior to Win32 but MS ruined it by trying to monetise it the way they did, and now UWP is a dirty word, just like “Vista”.

        • srg86
        • 1 month ago

        The way I see it, Win32 API, is the standard API for Windows in the same way that POSIX is the standard API for Linux/UNIX machines.

        To move away from Win32 is as crazy as moving away form POSIX, as for better or for worse, they are the platform’s standard interfaces.

      • kvndoom
      • 1 month ago

      Since the release of the original Xbox, Microsoft itself has done more harm to the PC gaming industry than any other entity. MS wanted to reap more profits from vertical integration. They were only making real money on “buy once” Windows, while the big-dollar repeating transactions were hardware and software, which didn’t do much to fill their coffers.

      I hope the beancounters got what they wanted; the end users certainly have had to pay the price.

        • sconesy
        • 1 month ago

        Amazing that they had it all in their lap, in terms of share of users, and they let Steam and then sequentially a host of others come in and carve up the actual game sales. The fact that Halo still isn’t truly on PC is a crime.

          • sweatshopking
          • 1 month ago

          Halo is coming to pc later this year.

      • dragontamer5788
      • 1 month ago

      Because Win32 is complicated and doesn’t scale well to different resolutions. Win32 apps are still pixel-per-pixel based for goodness sake.

      UWP apps have the security model people have grown to accept from iPhones / Android. UWP Apps can’t just willy-nilly change the Windows Registry, delete files, or create its own files. UWP Apps have to play nice with the rest of the system.

      Of course old school Win32 devs hate UWP: there are a bunch of restrictions on UWP. But I think I agree overall with the UWP vision. Chrispy is right in that a big issue with UWP was the (initial) monitization approach + Windows Store push they did.

      ——

      I think there’s some amount of elegance to writing a Petzold Win32 application with the “Windows pop-Meesage” and all, but how many people even knows how this works? New developers don’t know this methodology. Does anyone actually like using MFC?

      UWP was pushing an XML-gui that scaled easily between screen resolutions. It overall seemed like an elegant system. The only issue was monetization, which made everyone completely distrust UWP forevermore. But otherwise, I agree with the security model. I agree with a lot of the technical designs. And I agree with sideloading (finally).

      Ah well…

        • sweatshopking
        • 1 month ago

        Uwp is almost entirely superior at this point, outside of a few issues, and hating it just isn’t really rational anymore.
        Outside of windows lite Microsoft has done nothing to reduce win32, only tried to build a better successor. I really don’t understand why nerds love to hate it. Do they like worse security? More software issues? Less flexibility? I don’t get it.

          • Redocbew
          • 1 month ago

          I’m not sure I’d list of those as benefits of UWP per say, but anyway, you’re asking why everyone isn’t jumping at the chance to rewrite application just because they’re old and could be done better. That’s a hard sell even for the best of reasons.

            • dragontamer5788
            • 1 month ago

            Microsoft never dropped support of Win32. But UWP really seemed like a superior technology moving forward.

            Windows Devs aren’t even using Win32 directly anymore. They’re building C# Applications on top of WPF on top of MFC on top of COM stacks on top of Win32, with most people not really understanding how or why anything works the way they do.

            UWP was a new methodology: built on top of Win32 directly without all the cruft. Ah well, its not like WML or any of that UWP technology will disappear, it will be back in a few years in a new form. MVVC is too powerful a programming methodology to really disappear.

            • Redocbew
            • 1 month ago

            For all my griping I don’t see why UWP needs to go away entirely. It might, but only because the goals Microsoft had for it at the start didn’t work out. I hope it doesn’t though, and instead it just continues on the course it’s on with more features aimed at making it easier to use. Attempting to replace the old stuff outright is probably a fools errand no matter how good the new may be.

            • sweatshopking
            • 1 month ago

            BUT THOSE ARE THE BENEFITS

            • sconesy
            • 1 month ago

            ITS A FEATURE NOT A BUG

            • K-L-Waster
            • 1 month ago

            3rd Party Software Exec:

            “Is it going to get me customers I don’t have now?” –> No

            “Is it going to make customers switch to my product from a competitor?” –> Also no

            “Can I charge for an upgrade and expect customers to actually pony up?” –> Once again, no

            “Soooo… why should I pay to rewrite the app from scratch?”

      • BorgOvermind
      • 1 month ago

      Some people don’t like Steam, but I’d rather have one client for my games instead of 5+.

      Each big company comes with it’s own thing (like U-play, Origin, Arc, MS Games for Windows + Silverlight) and you end up installing a lot of trash clients that won’t be used too ofter.

      As for old games, I like to play them on classic systems.
      An MS-DOS era game will not work on W10 as it should even if you hack-mod it. Some of the ones altered by GoG have a different soundtrack converted to .mp3 from original midis so the games just don’t sound like the original versions anymore, which ruins the feeling.

      Regarding MS and Steam…well…since you can’t beat them, join them (as I don’t think MS can assimilate them either).

      • Mr Bill
      • 1 month ago

      I am not a programmer but this is what I am hearing from all your comments. Its probably near impossible to support the hardware level access of the Win32 API and also keep the OS safe from hacking. Microsoft is trying to get closer control over the whole PC experience. Games threaten that control. Maybe this is also why there is not a better API for windows games on Linux.

    • Usacomp2k3
    • 2 months ago

    Age of Empires? Sold!

    • The Egg
    • 2 months ago

    This is really just a more direct public announcement of what they were already doing. I’ve had Xbox Game Pass for about a year, and for at least the last 6 months I’ve been able to use my credentials to play the PC versions of Forza 4 and State Of Decay 2 via the Microsoft Store, as well as probably any other game on Game Pass with a PC port.

    I mean…..it’s good though. Maybe being more vocal will encourage more cross platform stuff.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 2 months ago

      Well, that’s like…two games. Most of the games on Xbox One are not available cross-platform. They’re going to have to really beef up the service to hit 100 games on PC.

        • The Egg
        • 2 months ago

        True, but those are just the two I happened to download on PC and say for certain they work. I’m sure there’s already a few more. Good to see an increase in scope though.

    • MrDweezil
    • 2 months ago

    I guess the idea is hype building, but I don’t really understand why they would announce something with minimal details, when the announcement with actual details is only like a week away. It just allows people to fill in the blanks with wrong assumptions and then tune-out the actual announcement later because they’ve already heard about all this.

      • superjawes
      • 2 months ago

      Well they still have the ability/option to announce games at E3. That makes this announcement a “Hey! PC Gamers! You might want to see what we’re doing next week!” Then they show everyone what they get for signing up.

      OTOH, E3 is becoming less and less relevant. IIRC, it really is supposed to be an investor/business type event, and many people are recognizing that and opting for curating their own announcement opportunities. See: Nintendo, and Sony, too? (I don’t think Sony are doing an E3 press conference this year, either.)

      • nanoflower
      • 2 months ago

      Or it builds up interest in what they have coming out. Much like everyone does. AMD is doing it with their hardware announcements by putting out some information at Computex, more at E3 a week later and then finally the big launch in July. It’s rare for some company to not do some sort of pre-announcment to help generate interest.

    • LostCat
    • 2 months ago

    Xbox Game Pass has been pretty awesome. Lots of lesser known stuff on there I enjoyed.

    • Chrispy_
    • 2 months ago

    Removing the UWP API restriction for the Microsoft Game Store is an upgrade, but one that nobody really cares about since ALL of the popular and successful game platforms on Windows are Win32 anyway. By removing the UWP limitation they’ve merely moved from the kids paddling pool back into the adult swimming pool, but that doesn’t automatically mean they’re in any position to compete with the big boys – they’ve simply stopped shooting themselves in the foot at last.

    Microsoft are trying to win Market share whilst thinking they still have the clout to push people around like they had in the 90’s and early 00’s. Those days are long gone and all Microsoft does these days is make half-hearted attempts to prevent the hemorrhaging of customers to Apple, Google, and Sony.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 2 months ago

      Your second point is addressed by Microsoft’s blog post. He ceded that pretty much nobody makes UWP games.

      • sweatshopking
      • 2 months ago

      Post written in 2005?

    • Waco
    • 2 months ago

    It’s great to see MS working to keep things open. The removal of UWP APIs as a requirement for the Windows store is a mixed bag though – it’s great because it’ll open the store up to more apps. It’s terrible because the same WIN32 APIs will live on another decade.

      • meerkt
      • 2 months ago

      If UWP doesn’t provide an alternative developers/users like, why force it?

        • Waco
        • 2 months ago

        APIs are rarely *so good* that developers will opt to use them without an incentive to do so. The Windows Store was a shitty incentive, hopefully they’ll find another one.

          • meerkt
          • 2 months ago

          The API itself should be the incentive. Either doing something new that developers or users want, or making life easier.

          I haven’t really looked into UWP, but my vague impression was that it’s mainly good for making mobile/Metro GUIs (which I hate on desktop), and as a first step toward turning Windows into a walled garden. No?

            • Redocbew
            • 2 months ago

            That was the intention at the start, but Microsoft has had to slowly back away from that since introducing the API. There’s also that whole deal about how it’s supposed to bridge the gap between different devices such that you wouldn’t really be writing for Win10, but for UWP. That’s a nice idea on paper, but it doesn’t always translate into the real world very well.

            Win32 will die eventually, but it’s going to take a while. It’s a hard sell to port an application to a new API just because it’s old. Even if it’s a disaster internally, if the app isn’t causing anyone any real trouble, then it’s probably just going to be left alone until it does.

            • Waco
            • 2 months ago

            This is the problem – WIN32 is a monstrous mess internally. UWP is far cleaner and easier to use…but because there’s no driving force to change, nobody will. Windows Store was clearly a crappy incentive.

            I’m not saying I have any answers, this is the legacy of Windows at this point. Once you support it and it becomes widespread you’re stuck supporting it forever or losing the very reason people still use Windows.

            • Ikepuska
            • 2 months ago

            I would also argue that UWP just wasn’t properly targeted at the specific needs of game engines either. Unless things have changed the friends I’ve talked to who deal in that kind of thing said that UWP implemented some limitations that made it hard to impossible to do some things that games should be able to do. For example exclusive fullscreen mode that maps directly to the display pipeline. UWP apps HAD to use the windows compositor, which means super high refresh rates, color mapping and other things didn’t work. You could run the engine at 240 Hz refresh but the compositor was limited to 60 (I think it might have 120 now, not sure). Plus other limitations. For some games for example, like the Bethesda games, it made modding nearly impossible without the developers specifically building a whole new regime into their game design for mods. Which would need a lot of developer hours to implement.

            And that’s not even getting into engine support. Technically Unity and Unreal support UWP I think, but it’s half-hearted at best. It’s likely that while UWP is fine for the vast vast majority of applications, but games specifically need more bare metal access than it can safely provide. It may be that eventually, if they do plan on deprecating Win32 they’ll have to create a different API for game engines to use to enable the specific capabilities they need. Because the games industry does a lot of crazy and interesting things with bare metal access that makes games better, and removing that ability isn’t selling more games.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 2 months ago

            Microsoft claims (which, you know, you never know) that UWP doesn’t need full-screen exclusive mode for good performance. High refresh rates have been available for like two to three years now.

            Ah, here it is. May of 2016. So right at three years now.

            [url<]https://devblogs.microsoft.com/directx/unlocked-frame-rate-and-more-now-enabled-for-uwp/[/url<] I know Microsoft is the one pimping UWP, but I'd have a hard time believing that anything in that article isn't true.

            • Ikepuska
            • 2 months ago

            Okay, that’s one feature, and I’ll concede on the frame rate.

            But the honest truth is while we don’t do stuff like Michael Abrash’s Mode X anymore, there’s still a ton of tweaks that can be done bare metal that UWP doesn’t allow for.

            But that’s not the only thing. The truth is UWP’s very security features also make it break a TON of stuff that a lot of gamers use. For example, I use steam’s DS4 and Switch Pro controller support to play games that don’t support it natively. But with UWP no overlay, and no alternate controllers. Or my steam controller, or the custom mappings I’ve built for a ton of games. Or my steam link.

            Or FRAPS, or any of a TON of tools and extensions and features. I mean after I’ve beaten a single player game, the first thing I break out is cheat engine to start digging into what I can do with the game. And mods for games that don’t officially support them are make or break for a ton of gamers. And unity tools for building mods are starting to get really impressive because a lot of devs ship games in a way where we can just hook in and then it’s just regular unreal engine edits from there.

            ETA: And the number of games I have where the first thing I install is the community patch is not insignificant.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 2 months ago

            Microsoft is doing that with other projects. The performance improvements in EntityFramework Core make using EF worthwhile. Xamarin.Forms Shell obsoletes and improves upon both MasterDetailPage and TabbedPage by making customization and menu creation so much easier.

            But I’m not going back and rewriting MasterDetailPages and TabbedPages. That can wait for the next app. And that’s where we are with Win32. With .NET Core, we had the goal of writing a containerized app that could run with Linux, so it made sense to rewrite the back end. But if there’s nothing to gain, nobody’s going to do it.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 2 months ago

      As long as Win32 is part of Windows, it’ll live on. This decision does nothing to lengthen its lifespan.

        • Waco
        • 2 months ago

        Sure, but now there’s zero motivation to use the new API. 😛

          • LostCat
          • 2 months ago

          There’ll be more of that once Windows 7 isn’t even supported. Things just move a bit slowly.

    • curtisb
    • 2 months ago

    [quote<][i<]Halo: The Master Chef Collection[/i<][/quote<] Will it include Gordon Ramsay as a playable character?

      • Krogoth
      • 2 months ago

      ITS FACKING RAW!

      • superjawes
      • 2 months ago

      You joke, but PC availability opens the door for Gordon Ramsay mods.

      Just imagine playing through a game and hearing “F*** OFF!” when you die to a grunt.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 2 months ago

      Crap. Fixed.

      • drfish
      • 2 months ago

      I didn’t catch this in editing, but if I had, I may have left it.

    • superjawes
    • 2 months ago

    D’oh! You just beat my comment on yesterday’s shortbread, Ben!

    [quote=”superjawes”<][url=https://www.theverge.com/2019/5/30/18645250/microsoft-xbox-game-studios-publishing-valve-steam-32-bit-windows<]Microsoft will distribute more Xbox titles through Steam and finally support Win32 games[/url<] That's...interesting. MS have been making a lot of consumer-friendly moves lately, so I am curious as to where this all leads. Are they going to keep going blow-for-blow with Sony in the console space? Or are they going to shift to more of a developer/publisher mode and get their games to a wider audience? It's also interesting because I can see the "Xbox Live" side of things being able to function as a service, providing many of the non-store features of Steam that people like. If they focused entirely on making a good service, they might have better tools to compete with Epic and Valve, with the added bonus of having their own games to sell on the platform (something Epic are severely lacking). Regardless, it does sound like PC gamers are going to get more access to MS-owned games, and that is definitely a good things.[/quote<]

      • derFunkenstein
      • 2 months ago

      I’m also interested in what they’re trying to do in the console business. Microsoft seems like a company at war with itself, and it really has been that way since the first Xbox launched nearly 18 (?!) years ago.

      As for keeping up with Sony, PlayStation Now only last fall finally got downloadable games to go with the streaming stuff. Its purchase of OnLive (which was for the tech, not the business they shuttered) must not be working out so well. The price is still way higher, too. Game Pass is $10, where PS Now is $20. Fortunately Sony gives a steep discount for a yearly subscription. Seems like Sony is the one trying to play catch-up.

        • superjawes
        • 2 months ago

        Yeah, but Sony had/has the leg up on console sales because they offered lower prices out of the gate, and they’ve had a stream of solid, exclusive titles. That’s why they were slow to react (and outright despicable sometimes) when implementing cross-platform play. They’re comfortable in other areas, so they haven’t needed the service focus MS has shifted toward.

        Console-side…we’ll have to see. Nintendo and MS have been getting pretty chummy lately. On top of that, Nintendo have struggled in the home console market since the Gamecube (if you treat the Wii as its own thing) while MS have struggled to load the XBOne with attractive titles. Personally, I’d love to see a good JV between the two. MS can field the hardware (maybe even a PC ecosystem) while Nintendo focus on games. Despite their issues with hardware, Nintendo’s games have been reliable hits, and wider availability would be good for everyone (IMO).

        Or it could just be 10-year-old-Jawes wishing for something unrealistic…

          • derFunkenstein
          • 2 months ago

          For whatever reason, the console leaders always do that. Sony had such a commanding lead with the PS2 that they did weird stuff to the PS3 and assumed everyone would buy it. Microsoft so thoroughly trounced Sony that they went all “connected home hub” with the Xbone and everyone revolted. Nintendo did what Nintendo does and made the Wii U.

          The Switch is selling well enough that I don’t think Nintendo is going to give up its hardware business. Supposedly a more portable version of the Switch will be announced soon. I’d be on board for that as a “second Switch” in our house, depending on price.

            • superjawes
            • 2 months ago

            I’m not saying that Nintendo should give up their hardware business. They’ve basically been the only player in the handheld space forever. What I’d be wishing for is basically an Xbox, but with Nintendo releasing Zelda, Mario, etc. properties onto it. Heck, they could probably just put a Virtual Console onto it and it would be a profitable venture.

            And, y’know what, it doesn’t have to be MS hardware at all. Nintendo could field the hardware and the games, and Microsoft can focus on the OS and ecosystem. Now THAT is an area where Nintendo have been really weak, sometimes feeling a decade behind everyone else.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 2 months ago

            You’re right on that front. Nintendo’s UI is just atrocious. The main system UIs and the store interfaces for Wii U, Switch, and 3DS are all miles behind the PS4 and Xbone. 3DS, Wii U, and Wii all basically feel the same (though the latter ones added folder support), and the Switch received a bit of an overhaul compared to the others, but it’s still too cumbersome.

            I’m a little surprised Nintendo hasn’t put more effort into the Virtual Console since the original Wii (where there was a ton of stuff), but that makes me think that the concept is not very profitable. They’re basically selling a bunch of NES games for $20 a year right now on the switch. The Switch online stuff is worth it just for that, IMO.

          • NovusBogus
          • 2 months ago

          That’s an interesting concept. Nintendo console hardware has been incredibly boring since the N64 days, but they do seem to have a far better understanding of what makes a fun game than nearly anyone else in the industry. I don’t see them giving up their hardware business unless it had many years of bad financial performance, though, especially if it means becoming dependent on the company that bought Rare and then trashed it.

            • Vhalidictes
            • 1 month ago

            Nintendo is terrible at hardware (via not really understanding physical UIs of all things) and it seems that they’ve finally realized that.

            Which is good. At this point, Nintendo is a software (games) company in all but name, and their control issues won’t be as much of a drag without the hardware.

            Would I be sorry to see them exit the console business? Sure, I would, the end of an era and all that. But it’s really better for both Nintendo and gamers.

            • dragontamer5788
            • 1 month ago

            Nintendo is terrible at computer hardware. But their “hardware” (such as their pieces of cardboard you hook together to make a robot) is excellent.

            Nintendo’s best toys are physical toys. NES Zapper, SNES Superscope, N64 Hey You Pikachu… okay maybe not that but N64 Rumble Pak, Wii Fit Board, Wii (well, everything really about the Wii). And finally, the Switch’s just overall design: its an excellent dock and a good size overall.

            Nintendo Labo stuff, Jungle Beat Bongos, ROB, etc. etc. Nintendo’s “physical” video games are always a joy to play.

    • Krogoth
    • 2 months ago

    Microsoft Store is a cool guy. Eh kills Steam sales isn’t afraid of the Gaben…..

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