Microsoft says it's "doubling down" on PC games

By on October 26, 2010, 10:23 AM
Ever since it launched the Xbox, Microsoft has been readily criticized for letting the PC gaming platform fall over the wayside. After all, the company's number one product is Windows, gamers are one of its most dedicated customer groups, and despite Xbox's success, the company's number one gaming platform is still the PC.

Redmond's stance on PC games is supposedly about to change for the better. Microsoft's Peter Orullian, group product manager for Windows PC and Mobile, recently told Kotaku that he wants to "bring some of the rigor thought and success we've had on console to bare in the PC space. PC games is a place where we are doubling down."

So what could Orullian be referring to? Last week, Microsoft announced it was readying a browser-based Windows store for PC games called Games for Windows Marketplace. Gamers will be able to purchases games (100 titles available at launch) with Microsoft Points or their credit card, straight from the browser. The store is slated to launch on November 15 (better late than never?) but Orullian's quote seems to imply this is only the beginning of a broader PC gaming push from the company. We sure hope it is: PC gaming deserves a boost.





User Comments: 83

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nismo91 said:

Although I know M$ is not the main developer of M$ Games, I still enjoy playing some of their games, namely Halo 1, Age of Empires 2/3, Dungeon Siege 1/2. Hey M$ where is the next version?

Guest said:

If only I didn't have to log into Windows Live just to play their dumb games. I don't want my stats tracked, I just want to the play the game. I also hate how you have to have a unique gamer tag. I will never see another person using my name, why should it be reserved forever to one person? Anyway, it looks like Steam is the way to go for digital distribution. M$, this is a start, but you have yet to learn what gamers really want

Guest said:

Wow, a place on the internet for buying pc games. Thanks Microsoft for saving the pc gaming.

motrin said:

show me gears of war 2 and i'll be happy.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Man, talk about a company that can't decide what its stance is on PC gaming. First they slam the PC and say hardly anyone plays shooters on the PC, then they say they want to "lead the way" into a bright PC gaming future... Well, at least this is another positive move towards more PC platform support.

Still, I can't help wondering if it will help, or just fragment things more? As the Guest above noted, many hate the Windows Live system, and really don't want to be forced to use it. But, then again, many hate Steam and don't want to use it, yet Steam keeps growing and gaining marketshare. Just seems like, rather than reinventing the same wheel, Microsoft could get much more return by partnering up with one of the big digital distributors, who already have a huge foothold and experience with consumer demand.

Recycle said:

nismo91 said:

Although I know M$ is not the main developer of M$ Games, I still enjoy playing some of their games, namely Halo 1, Age of Empires 2/3, Dungeon Siege 1/2. Hey M$ where is the next version?

Amen to Dungeon Siege! I hope 3 comes out anytime soon..

Recipe7 Recipe7 said:

Guest said:

If only I didn't have to log into Windows Live just to play their dumb games. I don't want my stats tracked, I just want to the play the game. I also hate how you have to have a unique gamer tag. I will never see another person using my name, why should it be reserved forever to one person? Anyway, it looks like Steam is the way to go for digital distribution. M$, this is a start, but you have yet to learn what gamers really want

I feel the same way. It seems that everyone is more concerned about their 'stats' than simply enjoying the game.

mikeusru said:

Here's a business idea: port Xbox games to the PC two years after you've released them. that's all i'm asking... I don't even care about new titles anymore. I just want to play red dead redemption with PC resolution, ok??

Of course I know this isn't really Microsoft's decision but Rockstar's, but hey, I wouldn't mind giving Halo 3 a shot someday too.... the Halo 1 campaign was fantastic!

princeton princeton said:

Here's how you can save pc gaming. Tell developers, If the PC release isn't up to standards that it should be with games like HL2, you don't get to put your games on the Xbox. I know it's probably not financially intelligent but it would push devs to make games for PC and port to console like they ******* should be in the first place. But sadly the world doesn't work that way.

RebelFlag said:

+1 for Red Dead Redemption. I am dying to play that game. I would also like to check out Halo if there was a PC version. There is a whole group of gamers that they are ignoring. Since they are going to put more emphasis back into PC gaming, I wonder if the Flight Sim title will return.

cyrusjumpjet cyrusjumpjet said:

Steam is so far ahead of anybody else. Talk about a successful platform. Windows Live is buggy as hell and just terrible.

Ahmed90 Ahmed90 said:

hmm so once thy say PC gaming is dead and then thy say no its alive and now thy say it needs a boost

and this games for windows live is a joke vs steam and other buy and download games services

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

princeton said:

Here's how you can save pc gaming. Tell developers, If the PC release isn't up to standards that it should be with games like HL2, you don't get to put your games on the Xbox. I know it's probably not financially intelligent but it would push devs to make games for PC and port to console like they ******* should be in the first place. But sadly the world doesn't work that way.

+1 on this as well.

Totally agree with this statement.

All I want is some games with a bit of polish on them (L4D2, HL2 and TF2 are good examples)

I've played the Xbox versions and they suck! thats how it should be!

Why oh why Microsoft will you not follow Valves lead!

jetkami said:

This is just like when president Bush gave everyone a "stimulus package" $500 and told all us to go spend the money so the economy would grow. Some people fell for it and spent that money on frivolous items instead of saving it or paying off bills. Today the economy is still bad cuz we never got back the million jobs they allowed to leave US.

I will believe M$ is serious about PC gaming when they themselves publish more games, until then "don't believe the hype".

hamitaltintop22 said:

Releasing a platform by which people can buy games is not going to help PC gaming, unless they have price reductions and sales even more awesome than steam's. There is already a lot of digital distribution platforms. What Microsoft should do, like others have stated, is release xbox exclusives like gears 2 and halo reach on the PC and promote future xbox exclusives to also release on the PC. I actually fear that a day will come when companies like Bioware will not make a PC version of their xbox exclusives.

bioflex said:

i know microsoft deserves a bashing for all its dont to the pc gaming world but i am sure they can surely make it up 2 us......lets see how they go about it......and i never had any bad thing against GFWL so i def would welcome it.....well i must say i do prefer GFWL than steam.

Guest said:

I have purchased 14 games on steam and have not spent over $150. I would say $100, but I bought BFBC2 at full price.

63Jax said:

everyone is getting away from pc gaming, unfortunately damn the consoles

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I know this will sound big brotherish, but in the area of games, but I'd like to see some kind of "certification" body that loads up the games in their final retail version, plays it for a day, and either certifies it as ready to play out of the box, or sends it back to the publisher for more work.

I'm sick of paying for beta releases of games, then waiting X amount of months before they patch it. The whole point of buying a game at release for $60 is to get the fun out of it when its new. Having to wait until the game is patched, perhaps angrily passing a few sites already discounting the game beyond what you paid for it, is just irritating the customers.

DryIce said:

It's a step in the right direction at least.

Chazz said:

The easiest way for Microsoft to revive PC gaming is this.

"Buy the XBOX/PC version and get a free key to play it on the system that you did not buy it for"

I had to buy two L4D2 and Bad Company 2..because I have friends that only use one or the other. I only buy for the PC now because that gets way too expensive. I'd play my 360 more often and buy more games if the PC got some of the goodies that the 360 got.

crzydave said:

Now let me preface my question by stating that I am not super familiar with steam, but how much is this new service that Microsoft is coming out with going to be any different than steam? Is it just going to be the selection of game or what?

ryan29121 said:

I have owned and played almost every gaming console and PC gaming is by far the greatest in my opinion. The graphics are always much better, the controls are easier, and there is more selection in games. PC gaming FTW!

tacobfm said:

Honestly I don't think microsoft can compete with steam.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Vrmithrax beat me to the punch (again ). Two weeks ago a senior MS rep was talking about how no one plays shooters on the PC anymore and now (GASP!) PC gaming is where it's at!

Between Steam and Google, MS can't figure out which way is up while trying to compete with them.

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

That's hardly a double-down, while yes it's nice that Microsoft is finally getting around to improving its marketplace and competition is always welcomed, it still doesn't really change anything. Microsoft needs to get back to publishing unique games for the PC. Over the years their library of published games shrunk dramatically and if Fable III doesn't come out NO games will be released this year, something that has NEVER happened before. So many great games and franchises Microsoft just let die off over the years like Freelancer and MechWarrior. Until this changes Orullian doesn't have much to stand on.

Regarding GFWL, I still see a lot of potential in it unfortunately at the moment it still feels like a beta program and lacks many basic features that PC gamers have to come to expect. It needs a serious overhaul at least imo for me to consider using it over programs like Steam/Xfire & even Impulse.

@ Vrmithrax & Tom That's not exactly what was said since the context is important but Kudo Tsunoda is kind of a fruitcake when it comes to PR =P .

Guest said:

This is the problem with how fragmented Microsoft is, the Xbox has done well but the people working on it are so segregated that they couldn't care less about PC gaming any more than Sony or Nintendo, which is idiotic for a company who's PC OS is their bread and butter.

What Microsoft should do/should have done is make Xbox architecture as close to PC as possible, so an X86-64 processor and a Direct X GPU. They should then stipulate to developers that anything released for Xbox has an adequate PC version, and offer some a scheme to consumers whereby when they buy a game for one platform, they also get it for the other - they could even just sell retail versions of all Xbox/PC games with two discs. Better integration in multiplayer, so those with Xbox versions of a game can play against their friends with PC versions would be a good idea too, although obviously you'd have to have some restrictions or handicaps with joint PC/Xbox multiplayer overall to prevent PC gamers having an unfair advantage.

Nexus7Model said:

chazz said:

"Buy the XBOX/PC version and get a free key to play it on the system that you did not buy it for"

Blood BRILIANT and why not?! You can get DVD/Bluray combos now! Let the PC ride Xbox coat tails as it's a Win/Win!

mkillor said:

I would love for Microsoft to start "doubling down" on PC games. Age of Mythology was awesome. Besides with all the recent hardware changes, console gaming should be fading more and more.

n00bzZy said:

MS should really focus on making a few new games for the PC. I doubt MS' platform will be better than Steam, whether at launch or in the long term. Making a new AoE game however could be great.

oasis789 said:

they should do a combo with KFC. double down burger with double down gaming.

ShiftedReality ShiftedReality said:

Well i hope they will keep there word. Would be nice to see them put as much effort in the PC games ad they do the Xbox 360. Also, Freelancer 2 would be great.. wont happen but would be nice!

edison5do said:

I really hope that they are sai}ying this after they say PC gaming was dying, to keep porting those low framerates and low resolutions console games to pc, it is that then PC gaming will keep diyng beacause us the pc gamers dont invest our money on expensive parts to keep playing games that a PIII with apropiate configuration could run.

dustin_ds3000 dustin_ds3000, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I bet Steam is going to have a HUGE sale on November 15. I hope they do, Steam FTW

Xero07 said:

sounds great. I almost always get digital distributions rather then disks these days and it'll be nice to have a few options out there. I wouldn't mind some 360 ports but would also like them to make games designed for PC

UT66 said:

PC gaming deserves MUCH better than what MS has to offer.

Zilpha Zilpha said:

Microsoft needs to get back to publishing unique games for the PC. Over the years their library of published games shrunk dramatically and if Fable III doesn't come out NO games will be released this year, something that has NEVER happened before.

I agree their exclusives have decreased dramatically but that's more an issue with developers wanting to spread around their games to as many people as possible. Devs want a slice of all three pies - Xbox 360, PC, and Ps3, and the pool of companies that are sticking exclusive with one or the other is starting to dwindle fast.

And Fable III shipped yesterday, so not sure what you mean by "if it doesn't come out". It's out - go get your copy!

frodough said:

i have been a long time Steam user (since the beginnings), but i actually gave Windows Live Marketplace a try and bought Borderlands for $7.49! that's even better price than Steam's Borderland sale ($9.99)!! i gotta say you naysayers shouldn't play hard against your own wallet, everything is game when the price is right!

pTk said:

I'm just glad that PC Gaming hasn't been completely forgotten

kevin1212 said:

Steam is indeed already taking over, the only thing i would welcome is more deals or better prices since some steam games are very overpriced, especially considering that they're digital downloads.

ddg4005 ddg4005 said:

Recycle said:

nismo91 said:

Although I know M$ is not the main developer of M$ Games, I still enjoy playing some of their games, namely Halo 1, Age of Empires 2/3, Dungeon Siege 1/2. Hey M$ where is the next version?

Amen to Dungeon Siege! I hope 3 comes out anytime soon..

Dungeon Siege 3 is being developed by Obsidian and will be released by Square Enix next March. I'm looking forward to it as well.

ddg4005 ddg4005 said:

If Microsoft is really serious about doubling down on PC gaming then they should have no problem porting Gears of War 2 (and 3 when it comes out), Halo 3 and ODST, and Reach to Windows. Otherwise they're just talking smack.

sMILEY4ever said:

What I would really like to read is that game developers are doing games for linux and windows on a more regular basis. This news right here sounds like steam for ms games.

vangrat said:

./facepalm

Here is an idea Microlimp, fire everyone who thinks they are "cool" or "hip" in the gaming area of your company. We geeks, nerds, and finks, know that we are none of these. If you do this, your gaming department will soar. Alternatively, move all those people to your marketing sector, thereby allowing the wannabe "cool/hip" people who are into gaming help develop marketing for your gaming. Oh and for the love of god, do not let your CEO talk to the public for marketing. He is a dip.

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Zilpha said:

I agree their exclusives have decreased dramatically but that's more an issue with developers wanting to spread around their games to as many people as possible. Devs want a slice of all three pies - Xbox 360, PC, and Ps3, and the pool of companies that are sticking exclusive with one or the other is starting to dwindle fast.

You're right, exclusives overall are on a decline and as a gamer that is a good thing since everyone can enjoy the game no matter the platform. However PC games have a tendency to then become delayed with poor ports and not be properly optimized for us compared to the console releases.

Zilpha said:

And Fable III shipped yesterday, so not sure what you mean by "if it doesn't come out". It's out - go get your copy!

No that's the 360 version, we're talking about PC games . Fable III was delayed and I don't recall them setting a date for it. It's also the only game being published for PC this year IF it comes out.

Zecias said:

if they really wanna do something to help pc gaming, they should just port the console games to pc. a mediocre version of steam wont do anything.

CyberChrist said:

It really does bother me how it seems Microsoft has kind of brushed aside PC users these past few years since the 360 was so popular. As wonderful as an idea is to be able to use the same game across two platforms I don't think it would ever pass any sort of financial measurement. I do think the idea to have the next Xbox as PC like as possible and force developers to make sure that the standards are there for the PC when they have a cross platform game has legs. I would also like to say that the reason why the PC has been getting ignored is because of lack of marketing. People still think it costs thousands to have a decent PC and it really doesn't. MS should team up with hardware vendors like they did for Windows 7 to help push the hardware more. That way people would see it as a valid alternative to consoles. In addition if you favor the computer more, stop buying consoles. That is what I did. It probably didn't make much of a difference but it made me feel a bit better!

KG363 KG363 said:

I like the GFWL and I hope they are being earnest. PC could use a boost, and real MS backing would be great

Guest said:

Wasn't there just an article a few weeks ago about how a certain Microsoft employee believed PC game was dying? Damn, they need to make up their minds.

klepto12 klepto12, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Steam is the only way to go M$ doesnt have a chance here steam is to far ahead and has to many people using it. M$ keeps sticking there foot in there big money hungry mouth by saying this and saying that if only they can deliver such promises.

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