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Post by Dan @ 11:18am 24/03/14 | 23 Comments
In new comments we're putting straight into the 'we'll believe it when we see it' basket, Microsoft Studios head Phil Spencer has indicated that the Windows platform holder is working toward a "renewed focus on Windows and PC gaming", the effects of which will supposedly start to be revealed later this year.

During a presentation attended by Polygon at the 2014 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, when asked about Microsoft's thoughts about Valve Software's movements away Windows with SteamOS, Spencer renewed the age old pledge:
"A renewed focus on Windows and PC gaming inside Microsoft is definitely happening," he continued. "You will see more focus from us — not to go compete with what Valve has done, but because we also understand as the platform holder it's important for us to invest in the platform in a real way. We're fundamentally committed to that."

Spencer said we'll hear more about the company's Windows PC gaming plans this summer, as "more talks and different technology" are shown.
Speaking with Polygon afterward Spencer somewhat ambiguously elaborated on Microsoft's vague plans for the apparently not-cancelled Games for Windows Live platform:
"You will get a clear answer from us very soon," Spencer said about the future of Games for Windows Live. "We have a longer term plan for multiplayer gaming and marketplace on Windows. We understand what we have today in market ... isn't great. We do understand there's some continuity of getting from where we are to where we want to be [and] that shutting the lights off [on Games for Windows Live] isn't exactly the right thing to do.

"We've got to make sure we've got a thoughtful plan that supports the people that currently have games on Games for Windows Live. It's a conversation we're having."

Spencer warned there "might be some transition bumps, getting from here to there," as Microsoft redefines its PC gaming efforts.

"But we're going to invest significantly more in that space, not less," he said. "It's just whether what we have today is the core of what we have [in the future] and it's probably not.

"We've got to have this message out in a thoughtful way [within the next few] months and not anything more than that. It's in the real near term. This is something that we're working on now... because we want to be clear on it."
Despite being the creator of the operating system the vast majority of PC games are played on, Microsoft has maintained a distant presence from PC gaming since its focus shifted to the Xbox platform, no longer even publishing its first party titles on Windows.

Over the years, the software behemoth has signalled a renewed focus on Windows gaming, which has only materialised in initiatives like the ill-fated Games for Windows Live service, while little fuss was made publicly about its more useful products like the DirectX 11 API. Perhaps the can start to turn things around with the upcoming DirectX 12.












Latest Comments
greazy
Posted 11:32am 24/3/14
Looks like a bunch of bulls*** talk. If they are serious about this then they should be releasing really polished games on the Windows OS, not just simple ports and having exclusives just for Windows (no xbox). Doubt this will ever happen.
ph33x
Posted 11:40am 24/3/14
Hmm. DX12 will bring as much to PC as DX11.
Hogfather
Posted 12:28pm 24/3/14
GFWL was and is an abomination. There's a lot to learn about how not to execute a DRM platform there, my memory is foggy but I think it was even worse than the early Steam days, which they can't afford to do with a mature market in terms of their competitors.

Probably just looking to unify the SDK between PC (metro), Phone, Tablet and Xbox with a unified Windows Store publshing platform more than anything else, which is probably what old mate Gabe is really pissed about. Publishing one game to the entire Windows ecosystem if it can ever be pulled off would help MS a lot, and I've found the Windows Store's DRM experience to be much improved on GFWL.

I don't expect a lot from the native or 'Desktop' PC space though :( They're trying to transition to a services and devices company so their Store will be boss for the foreseeable future.
Tollaz0r!
Posted 12:28pm 24/3/14
Games for Windows Live was terrible, windows market place is Terrible. Just let them go.

Stop trying to compete with something you can't compete with and focus on back end systems running as efficiently as possible for gaming. Don't give a reason for people to swap over to Linux based gaming.

The bottom line is, if gamers get the idea that running natively in SteamOS will have a performance boost for their Game Of Choice, they'll ditch Windows real quick, particularly if that new OS will let them do their non-gaming activities with little fuss, like auto launch of WINE when starting things like MS Office.

parabol
Posted 01:34pm 24/3/14
Microsoft should focus on a basic milestone before trying to branch out further: releasing two good operating systems in a row ...
Hogfather
Posted 01:43pm 24/3/14
Games for Windows Live was terrible, windows market place is Terrible. Just let them go.

By Marketplace do you mean the new-ish Windows Store? I've never had a problem with it personally, did it asplode for you or is Marketplace something else?
Arpey
Posted 02:29pm 24/3/14
Make Windows 9 not a smartphone interface and we'll talk.
Mosfx
Posted 03:16pm 24/3/14
I didn't realise Microsoft ever had a focus on gaming lol
dazzalus
Posted 04:54pm 24/3/14
Microsoft could always just buy Valve :-)
greazy
Posted 06:15pm 24/3/14
I think Gabe Newell would rather die than let that happen
Whoop
Posted 07:01pm 24/3/14
Don't give a reason for people to swap over to Linux based gaming.
Don't worry, they'll squash linux based gaming by offering a huge carrot for devs to make direct x only games that won't run on linux.
Roonee
Posted 08:44pm 24/3/14
finally the push for console only gaming has ended!... I think. About bloody time. Playing an FPS on a console is a bloody joke. And the crapola of the last few years with nothing but console ports and slow FPS games designed for consoles (CoD; BF) dominating the genre, deliberately not allowing dedicated servers (MW2 etc - seriously they should be shot for this - deliberate sabotage of gaming as they push for more money and blame piracy, meanwhile valve schools all those beancounting pos noobs) has been extremely depressing!

Be interesting what MS is actually talking about though.... probably not much really.
Arpey
Posted 09:56pm 24/3/14
Gabe would sell out in a heartbeat if Microsoft provided a big enough incentive. Just look at his "Lol consoles suck and PS3 is the worst!" attitude and the sudden backflip to the point of stating that the PS3 version of Portal 2 is the best experience you can have with the game.

The PS3 didn't suddenly become a joy to develop for and the controller a better input system than keyboard and mouse, he just got a big cheque from Sony.
trog
Posted 12:36am 25/3/14
Too little too late

You know what word I heard at GDC this year more times than I'd ever heard before? Linux.
tvcars
Posted 12:54am 25/3/14
next gen console = x86 - microsoft = new os (windows brown undies).
paveway
Posted 08:55am 25/3/14
finally the push for console only gaming has ended!... I think. About bloody time


probably not

pc gaming will never make the money that consoles do

sorry to s*** on your little moment
Gung-ho
Posted 04:22pm 25/3/14
Microsoft have probably realised that the Xbox has been hurting Windows' sales and that if they actively pursue the PC market they can claw back some of those lost sales.
icewyrm
Posted 06:57pm 25/3/14


Bit old but still relevant I guess.

My search skills are fuzzy tonight, but this one from EA is kind of interesting too (and a bit more recent):


last edited by icewyrm at 18:57:05 25/Mar/14
trog
Posted 02:49am 26/3/14
Microsoft have probably realised that the Xbox has been hurting Windows' sales and that if they actively pursue the PC market they can claw back some of those lost sales.
The things hurting Windows sales are a) Windows XP b) Apple's desktop and laptop systems and c) cloud, web apps, and iOS/Android/tablets/smartphones. As pave points out, gaming is a drop in the ocean on PCs at the moment.

But, I'd like to think with SteamOS/Steambox, we'll see that change - imagine a world where noobs go to a friend's place for a beer and see some cool funky unique Steambox under the TV, and they're able to play a billion different games - including classics from back in the day - instantly. And you can buy almost all those games instantly online.

Valve know buying things in a box is the old and crusty way of doing things; every move they're making is setting themselves up for platform dominance. While Microsoft f*** around trying to play catchup with everyone else who is actually innovating they're just having their lunch eaten.
Jeffro
Posted 08:13am 26/3/14
I don't get why they shut down Games for Windows Live in the first place if they actually cared about PC gaming.
Enska
Posted 08:46am 26/3/14
It's still up as of this moment, but due to shut down july 1st or somethin?
I'm assuming they'll just come up with another lacklustre system to run games through, that at this stage is really just flogging a dead horse.

Since getting myself a nice new tv I've been running an extra hdmi cord from my card to it and I play pretty much anything that benefits from a controller straight from my steam library.
I've yet to grab a ps4 and probably only will once enough exclusives are out to warrant it. I don't do xbox anymore.
ph33x
Posted 09:14am 26/3/14
The things hurting Windows sales are a) Windows XP b)

o.0

Because it's so awesome? I'd be blaming W8 over XP.
koopz
Posted 06:35pm 26/3/14
Don't worry, they'll squash linux based gaming by offering a huge carrot for devs to make direct x only games that won't run on linux.



what's direct x ?


heh.. I put that there for future comedy / Googling reasons


Because it's so awesome? I'd be blaming W8 over XP.



popular culture finds safety in brands.


when people buy a new smart TV, they're insulted that the menu system has a learning curve. By that - I mean they TV GUI wasn't honed in on the target audience.


for 'western' male consumers - further insult comes from being not understood, and the likely chance of losing confidence with peers as 'peac***' technology with their peers


I would love to spend an eon with a tech group studying the female take on this same scenario




last edited by koopz at 18:35:56 26/Mar/14
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