Microsoft is one step closer to bringing Xbox games to PC

Shawn Knight

Posts: 12,389   +121
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Microsoft with its Windows Insider preview build 18334 asked participants to install a special version of State of Decay and report back any problems encountered during installation and when launching the game.

The tech giant didn’t say much about what it was testing or what issues users might run into. This prompted a trio of Twitter users to dig a bit deeper and what they uncovered looks to be a major step forward for Microsoft’s gaming ambitions.

The first oddity to note is the fact that State of Decay downloads from the Xbox distribution servers instead of the Microsoft Store server where PC games usually come from. The game is also packaged using a format called .xvc that was introduced for Xbox games in 2013 but installs using PowerShell.

During installation, you’ll be asked to install a couple of drivers and even have to run through the legacy DX installation process.

Ars Technica points to Microsoft’s recent work on its 2020 Windows release which reveals evidence of additional support for this new mechanism including support for Xbox’s Direct3D variant on the PC.

Lead image courtesy amirraizat via Shutterstock

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Posts: 409   +204
It would be great if they did this. But il believe it when I see it. Can’t see MS giving up the exclusives to be honest.


Posts: 383   +226
If they did do this it would kill X-Box sales
I don't think so. The XBO X is a great system for the price, when compared to building a new PC, if you're interested in that catalogue.
I agree - a console under the TV in the lounge is still very different from a PC, but it would be nice to play the same games on PC.
This only works for me if you can share the game saves between the 2 systems though.
Also what about online - would people playing on PC be segregated from people playing on console?
Would you be even able connect to Xbox live at all from PC?
So many questions!
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Posts: 3,047   +2,868
Microsoft obviously doesn't want to kill Xbox sales by making it possible for our over-pwered rigs to run Xbox games.

What really should have happened was the opposite: Microsoft should have made PC "Games for Windows" able to run on Xbox.

If a college student could choose to have an Xbox One X which could run Micorosft Office, play games (even in low settings) and print documents...for just $500 the sales of the Xbox One X would FLY simply because it would be a compact Gaming PC.

If I can run Microsoft Office on my iPhone, why can't I run it on my Xbox One X?

I can web surf on my Xbox One X... why can't I type documents using a keyboard and mouse and then PRINT THEM???

It's obvious the industry would put Pressure on Microsoft not to do this...but in not doing this, Microsoft continues to hold itself back from the glory it could possibly be.

If I were the CEO of Microsoft, I'd bring Sony and Apple to their knees.
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I'm very excited if this is true. I gave up gaming on consoles after the 360/PS3/Wii console generation ended.

I exclusively game on my desktop PC now. I would love to have access to the Xbox One game library via my PC.
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Posts: 736   +511
I'll be happy even if they only bring in the ability to play the original Xbox and Xbox 360 games on PC. Most of current Gen Xbox One games are already available on the PC too anyway.
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Posts: 1,318   +526
With the Moore's Law principle slowing down, it may be that there's going to be less revenue in hardware sales and the focus will be more on software and media sales. There's a glimpse of that with Sony filing patents for previous generation compatibility on the upcoming PS5. Game consoles were reissued with fine improvements that's similar to the PC market in the last generation.


Posts: 613   +269
I think you guys are missing the point... One XBOX console is what? 300 us dollars? A single game can cost ~30$, without considering peripherals. I don't know about you guys, but I've already purchased 3 Xbox controllers, to play on my computer...

I know there's lot of PC gamers that also have a Xbox. But there's also a lot that won't spent money on a console. I am in the second category. But I got 340 games on steam.

It's obvious that if any of them (MS, Nintendo, Sony... whatever) makes an PC games store for their games, there would be people interested in buying them. Android vs iOs is a good example. There is some exclusive apps, but most of them are there for both OSes.

MS is making a big step to make their games more widespread. It not only generates more revenue from PC gamers but also makes the Xbox platform stronger.

MS/Nintendo partnership is another example of this strategy. Xbox games on Nintendo Switch. The money is in the software, not the hardware.

My wet dream is the day Microsoft make an native directX api to any OS (I would pay for that), so I can play on Linux without Cedega or Wine.


Posts: 414   +265
If they did do this it would kill X-Box sales
This isn't even true. Most people buy consoles for exclusives or for the convenience of not having to shell out money to upgrade hardware. This move would benefit dedicated PC gamers more than anything else.


Posts: 1,160   +1,923
The main profits for games console businesses is software, as mentioned above. The hardware is often heavily subsidised for years until manufacturing costs reduce. For Microsoft in particular Xbox One X is an expensive piece of hardware and even now over a year after launch it is likely they make little to nothing on each one sold. It's a loss leader and that has been admitted.

So the revenue comes from licensing the games. Every game sold on their platform Microsoft take a cut. At this point the software emulation for Xbox 360 and the original Xbox on Xbox One is very good. It runs each title better than the original hardware ever could. Microsoft have static translation in place for those machines it seems and it works very well.

Bearing in mind this runs virtually flawlessly on a pitiful console such as the original Xbox One, and most games in much much higher resolutions and better framerates on Xbox One X.

An mid range gaming PC has a GPU as fast as an Xbox One X, and a CPU vastly superior. I see no reason that Microsoft cannot extend their emulation methods and software onto PC and have great success.
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Posts: 146   +102
I think many people miss the fact that PC gamers are not "accidental" gamers. They don't play PC games because they happen to have a PC, they have a PC *because* they play PC games. Their not like a mobile gamer who happens to play games on his phone/tablet as a secondary thing (ie, he didn't buy his tablet/phone specifically because it could play games).

The same people who build/buy a gaming PC also either also play consoles (and tend to have multiples) or they don't play consoles at all, regardless of the exclusives or not. So it's actually pretty smart to make your console games playable on a PC if you can continue to monetize it because its a seperate market in many ways.

For example, I know my father or uncle would probably love Breath of the Wild and would gladly spend 60$ on it. But their never going to buy a switch. Id love to play spiderman or Horizon Zero Dawn, but I'm never going to buy a PS4 (I have a 8700k/1080ti and mostly dislike using a controller, so a xbox/ps4 is never going to happen). Offering those games, even through your own "store" (and not steam/epic/etc) is going to open up customers like me but also unlikely to cannibalize the customers who would prefer to play it on console.
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