Rumors have set the internet ablaze today with the announcements, or rumors, swirling that you can, under the Windows 8 Operating System on PC, play XBOX 360 games on your home computer. Though Microsoft has not actually announced anything about this yet, according to numerous sites including that of Velocity Gamer, there will be no shortage of play when it comes to games under the new operating system. That is because all games from the XBOX 360 platform as well as XBOX Live games will be playable on your console, of course, as well as your home computer/laptop.
All of this would make a lot of sense because of the fact that Microsoft has already announced that they plan to make Windows 8, the new XBOX 360 dashboard, and Windows Phone 7’s (no conformation if they will release an update to make it Windows Phone 8 ) all look the same as well as work in harmony together. They have not talked yet about how this will all happen… will the new announcement of the extra gigabyte of storage on XBOX 360 game discs be used for this, will they use a one-time code like an EA Pass, or what, but, nonetheless, there are a lot of possibilities.
Let’s quickly look at how they can make this happen:
- Play Pass: Microsoft could actually introduce something much like the PSN Pass that was just brought forth this week with the upcoming release of Resistance 3. Microsoft’s pass would be a lot more valuable than anything that Sony offers to this point, as it would allow access to online content, but then also allow you to play with that code on your computer by entering it on there too.
- Steam Activation: Could we see something like we did with Portal 2 and the Playstation 3 copy that allowed people to play the same game on the PS3 and then pick it up on the PC or vice versa? Anything is possible and the launch of so many companies cloud platforms, this would make it easy for Microsoft to really introduce something big such as this for themselves or acquire another company to do it for them. This would make the play that much easier. Could we see Steam and Microsoft merge on the gaming side of things???
- Cross Platform Info on Disc: We could just see Microsoft, though probably unlikely, make it a single experience on both the PC and the system. This would make it to where gamers would have separate save files and game for the PC and the XBOX 360 system. This would be the biggest mistake as gamers are going to want to take their games back and forth. So let’s not do this one Microsoft…mmmmk?
So all of these are great possibilities of how they might do it but now let’s look at what this type of thing does for the industry as a whole. This could be a huge and/or a ticking-time-bomb for the industry. Why? Well why would any game company make a game exclusive for PC? Yes, the PC is able to do far more graphically, but financially this doesn’t make sense for game companies to make games for each; just make one game playable on both.
Apple compatible games… well you know that system they supposedly patented a long time ago? Well they might have to make that a reality if they wanted games to be on any sort of Apple/Mac because this would be the death of games on there all together. If Microsoft creates this, there is NO WAY IN H-E- double hockey sticks, that they would allow the games to be MAC compatible as well asPC.
Why would anyone that loves console gaming and PC gaming buy anything other than this? It now makes sense because some experiences can only be had on PC with a mouse and keyboard, but what if a disc was coded for controller and mouse and keyboard and worked on both types of equipment? We all as gamers spend enough on games at $50 to $60 each; I know I’m not buying two games that are the same when one copy can play on my PC and XBOX 360. Obviously, it’s no different from now; your rig has to be able to have the graphics card to run a game. With a 360 game though, the graphics aren’t quite as demanding so you’d be able to play on a less expensive machine, making cross-gaming more affordable for all!
We haven’t even mentioned portable systems yet, but they wouldn’t be behind to far on the path to a great demise. Why spend $250-$300 on a new-fangled portable system when you can pay about $150 more and get a laptop capable of playing a 360 game? I know I wouldn’t, plus if you’re able to play the same game you just were playing at home… oh heck yea! I’m all about portable systems and I love the look of them and their abilities, but to get a console quality game that I can play wherever I am and play the same save file that I have been playing at home on my 360; that is true portable gaming.
This could be bad for the industry too, because it could really cut out all PC gaming, Direct2Drives, and possibly Steam because there is no reason for developers to develop games for anything other than 360. You could see a lot more exclusives for the XBOX and you could also see a monopoly begin to form because developers could receive extra revenue from things like exclusive passes. I don’t think Sony would go anywhere right away, and they would probably do something similar, but it would have to happen quickly for not all developers to jump ship to Microsoft.
Think about it, the Kinect has developer’s kits for PC already being sent out, the cross of an operating system to three different formats (XBOX 360, PC, and Phone), and on top of that the endless possibilities with crossing the PC and XBOX 360 together, such as touch screen monitors, keyboard and mouse support and more; it could be, if true, a wonderful time to be an XBOX gamer.