Microsoft first unveiled Windows 10 (yes, they’re skipping 9) a few months ago with a brief presentation in September 2014. On its surface, 10 looks similar to Windows 8 but brings back the Start menu and search bar longtime users missed, with various other improvements. Not long after the initial news, a leak revealed Windows 10’s Xbox integration and its Halo-themed Cortana AI that can help users via voice or typed commands.
In December, Microsoft scheduled a more formal, detailed, public unveiling set for January 21, 2015 and the lineup of guests announced included Xbox boss Phil Spencer. Combined with the leak of the Xbox app, and knowing Spencer will be there, it’s safe to assume that something game-related will be a part of the Windows 10 presentation. And it’s about time.
Windows OS unveilings and presentations typically don’t focus on games but with Microsoft continuously talking up supporting PC games and never really delivering, perhaps it’s time for a much-needed change. And on Xbox Wire, Microsoft is teasing as much from next week’s event.
And the Xbox experience isn’t limited just to the console. The Xbox team is continually working hard to expand and improve the experience across myriad devices – including home gaming PCs, soon to be powered by Windows 10. Our goal is to help PC gaming flourish, and we’re excited to be helping shape the future of Windows. Phil Spencer will be sharing more on the Windows consumer experience at a Windows event on January 21, including the role that gaming will play.
As gamers, what we’re hoping for is actual, legitimate support of PC gaming from Windows and Xbox integration. We already know there’s an Xbox app included but we’re not sure what that means for PC gamers or potential availability of Xbox games on PC. There’s no reason Halo needs to be Xbox-only when it can also be PC exclusive to Windows 10, for example. It’s insane how many Microsoft Game Studios properties are not made available on Microsoft’s bread-and-butter PC operating system. There are no more excuses for that craziness, given how close consoles have come to actually being PCs, especially now that they’re so integrated online and using similar interfaces.
Just look at how many PC indie hits and free-to-play MMOs are making their way to consoles. Even Xbox One exclusives Dead Rising 3, Ryse: Son of Rome and Titanfall all came to PC.
The Xbox One interface is currently in dire need of revamping. It’s ugly, slow, lacks customization and is somehow inferior to the Xbox 360 – a decade-old platform. But, like the Xbox 360, the Xbox One will continue undergoing updates and that will undoubtedly include a redesigned dashboard at some point in time. That update, we expect, will coincide with Windows 10 which aims to similarly improve the basic user interface of PCs.
So, on January 21, 2015 at 9AM PST, Microsoft can really make a statement regarding the future of gaming on Xbox and PC and what PC gaming really means to them. What would you like to see from Windows 10?