After the debacle that was Games for Windows Live, Microsoft has kept a generally low profile in the PC gaming space, focusing most of its efforts on the Xbox consoles instead. But Windows 10 brings with it new integration with the Xbox ecosystem, including in-home streaming from console to PC, along with cross-platform chat and sharing.
It's all part of a renewed focus on PC gaming, Microsoft head of Xbox Phil Spencer said in a recent interview with PC Gamer. Microsoft will be joining with that publication as part of a "PC Gaming Show" at E3 this month to highlight that commitment.
"We want to make clear that when we talk about Xbox going forward, we’re talking about gaming on all Windows 10 devices—PCs, tablets, phones, Xbox One, and HoloLens," Spencer said. "And we’ll talk about some of the games we have coming to the PC this year."
Elsewhere in the interview, Spencer owned up to the failures of Games for Windows Live, saying the company "made commitments to developers and consumers that I don’t feel we lived up to." This time around, though, things will be different because the Xbox and Windows gaming sides are tied together "as one connected ecosystem," he said.
"Our vision is to unify platforms so gamers can play the games they want on any Windows 10 device—PC, Xbox One, or otherwise," Spencer said. "That can come in the form of game streaming to a Windows 10 PC from Xbox One or simultaneously shipping games on both platforms." Microsoft's plan also includes specific investment in PC-exclusive titles, Spencer said. "While we want to break down the walls between platforms, we also know that certain games are optimized for certain devices."
And while Windows 10 will feature its own storefront for games, Spencer said he doesn't see it in direct competition with Steam. As he put it in an interview with Edge last month, "Steam is very much a gamer’s store, but I think our Windows Store will start off with a diversity of content like the App Store or Google Play. I think there are enough gaming customers to go round, and I don’t expect anybody’s going to delete their Steam account when they buy a game in the Windows Store and vice versa."