The writing’s on the wall; Microsoft and the Xbox team are going in a direction whereby there is greater convergence between the Xbox and Windows platforms. This may come as pleasant news for some and may equally disappoint others. This is a strategy that Microsoft has actually always pursued since the release of the very first Xbox console in 2001.
The OG Xbox was also closer to a PC than any console before it, bringing a hard drive for storage, an Nvidia graphics chip and an ethernet port which would prove to be of great importance going forwards in the console space. The original idea for the Xbox was that it would be a modified Windows PC in the living room, making it easy for developers to code their games once for the Xbox and then translate them over to the Windows PC with little trouble.
This is where we’re at now in 2016 with the Xbox One and Windows 10. It might have taken them a while, but the return to the X86 architecture found in the Xbox One and the release of Windows 10 on the Xbox system brought with it a realization of Microsoft’s original vision for the Xbox home console.
I bring up this discussion because a recent Kotaku report suggested that going forward, all Xbox One games will also have a mandate to release on Windows 10.
“The two consoles form part of a wider Microsoft strategy, codenamed “Project Helix” according to one source, to converge Xbox and Windows. For a while now Microsoft has been clear that they want their two prestige brands to work together, as they’ve announced big new exclusives like Halo Wars 2 and Sea of Thieves for both Xbox One and PC. Developer sources have told us that Microsoft’s new mandate is to release future games–including the flagship Halo series–on both platforms. The recently-cancelled Fable Legends, which was playable across Windows 10 and Xbox One, was one of the first games to implement this strategy.”
For the purpose of this article, we will not be getting into the whole debate of whether or not this is a ‘good’ strategy. Rather, this article will posit that perhaps Microsoft should go back over the Xbox One catalogue of exclusive titles and bring more of them over to the Windows 10 platform.
To begin with, let’s see what games could, in theory, make their way to Windows 10:
- Sunset Overdrive
- Forza Horizon 2
- Halo 5: Guardians
- Halo: The Master Chief Collection
- Rare Replay
Some games on the list are established franchises (Halo in particular) and remain to this day a big factor in why some people might choose the Xbox One over the PS4. However, titles such as Sunset Overdrive or Forza Horizon 2 which aren’t as ‘huge’ as the selling factor of the Halo games, surely it would only benefit these titles to come to Windows 10.
Sunset Overdrive was an excellent game from Insomniac that released exclusively on the Xbox One in October 2014. Unfortunately for Sunset Overdrive, it didn’t perform as well as some might have hoped. The game was adored by those who did play it but not enough people did play it to crown it a success in terms of how well it performed in sales and in moving consoles.
Although their data is questionable, VGChartz puts Sunset Overdrive’s lifetime sales as just over 1 million as of May of this year. In July of last year, an employee of Insomniac Games reportedly said that “We have no plans to release Sunset Overdrive on any other platform.”
However, with Windows 10 being on over 300 million active devices (granted, not all these can run Sunset Overdrive) but in an attempt to strengthen the selection of games on the Windows store, in turn making it a more attractive store for PC gamers, then games like Sunset Overdrive should make their way to Windows 10. It can help to increase sales for Sunset Overdrive, which now must be fairly low since it released as a free download with Microsoft’s Games with Gold in April of this year.
If increased sales and access to a greater market of gamers means increased chances of Microsoft and Xbox getting sequels for their exclusives or even better chances of getting more games then what’s the negative to that? Of course, we’ll see the ignorant fanboys who will only see things like this as ammunition in the console war that they so valiantly fight but in terms of the business ideals behind such a move, the answer is clear.
Do you agree that previously released Xbox One exclusive games should come to Windows 10 now? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.