By Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox
We believe the player should be at the centre of their gaming experience and be able to harness the unique benefits of the devices they choose to play on.
Nowhere is that belief more important than on the PC. As the creators of Windows, we have a unique responsibility to ensure we’re investing in experiences that benefit players everywhere, while respecting the PC community’s preference for an open, highly customizable platform.
We’ve not always lived up to our aspiration of keeping gamers at the centre of everything we do when it comes to the experience they’ve had on Windows.
Today I’d like to share three steps we are taking to contribute to the thriving PC gaming ecosystem.
Introducing Xbox Game Pass Designed for PC Players
Two years ago, we launched Xbox Game Pass on Xbox One, and since then we’ve seen how valuable a curated library of high-quality games can be for players and game developers alike. It offers a great way to discover and play your next favourite game. We researched whether a similar opportunity exists for PC players and PC game developers, and we believe that it does. We also considered the importance of bringing something new and additive to the PC gaming ecosystem, and we believe that we can. So, we designed a service specifically for the needs of PC gamers and PC game developers. It’s called Xbox Game Pass, just like the original, but it’s a new experience that we are building together with the PC community.
Xbox Game Pass for PC will give players unlimited access to a curated library of over 100 high-quality PC games on Windows 10, from well-known PC game developers and publishers such as Bethesda, Deep Silver, Devolver Digital, Paradox Interactive, SEGA and more. And just as we committed on the console, it is our intent to include new games from Xbox Game Studios in Xbox Game Pass for PC the same day as their global release, including titles from newly acquired studios like Obsidian and inXile. We’re working with more than 75 developers and publishers to bring PC content to the service and we’ll ensure the library remains curated and full of great PC titles across a variety of genres, with new games added every month.
Xbox Game Pass for PC members will also receive discounts in the Microsoft Store on Windows of up to 20% on games currently in the library and up to 10% off related game DLC and add-ons.
We look forward to sharing more at E3, including the great games coming to the library, as well as more details on when and how you’ll experience the new Xbox Game Pass service for PC gamers.
More Choice in Where to Buy Xbox Game Studios Titles
Enabling gamers to play together, through cross-platform play and cross-network play across Windows 10 PCs and console, is vitally important. Building communities across all of those players, regardless of the store or platform they’ve chosen (console or PC), is also vitally important because it helps bring players together, allows games to find their largest audience and allows gaming to deliver its true potential of uniting people around the power of play.
With that in mind, our intent is to make our Xbox Game Studios PC games available in multiple stores, including our own Microsoft Store on Windows, at their launch. We believe you should have choice in where you buy your PC games.
In March, we announced that Halo: The Master Chief Collection will come to PC later this year, launching on Steam in addition to the Microsoft Store on Windows. We will continue to add to the more than 20 Xbox Game Studios titles on Steam, starting with Gears 5 and all Age of Empires I, II & III: Definitive Editions. We know millions of PC gamers trust Steam as a great source to buy PC games and we’ve heard the feedback that PC gamers would like choice. We also know that there are other stores on PC, and we are working to enable more choice in which store you can find our Xbox Game Studios titles in the future.
We want to bring players together to create a shared player community regardless of where they play, so it’s our intent that new Xbox Game Studios titles include features such as voice and text chat, LFG, friends lists and cross-play across PC and console. On Windows 10 you’ll find this functionality in the Xbox Game Bar, which we’ll continue to evolve and expand.
Supporting Win32 Games on Windows 10
We want creators to be inspired to bring their best content to Windows 10, and we want Windows 10 to be the place where gamers come to discover their next favourite PC game. We recognize that Win32 is the app format that game developers love to use and gamers love to play, so we are excited to share that we will be enabling full support for native Win32 games to the Microsoft Store on Windows. This will unlock more options for developers and gamers alike, allowing for the customization and control they’ve come to expect from the open Windows gaming ecosystem.
When I think about the role we play as a company to support and evolve gaming on Windows, it’s critical that we make decisions that reinforce the open nature of the PC, focusing on how best to unite players on all devices around the games they love. That philosophy will guide us as we introduce new ways to discover and play games on Windows.
These are just a few of our steps in a journey to contribute to gaming on Windows 10. We know that PC gamers want to see games, so I hope you’ll join us at our annual Xbox E3 2019 Briefing on Sunday, June 9 to hear more, including the amazing line-up of new games and offers coming to PC players.