For all the bravado of Microsoft’s games chatter with Windows 10, how much is it actually doing to encourage gaming within the most profitable sector of its business? Not much as it turns out. When the likes of Phil Spencer big up Windows 10 gaming, it inevitably centres around the ability to stream from an Xbox One to a PC. This is up there with powdered water as one of the most fruitless inventions of all time.
The Xbox One has been out for close to two years. The exclusive games we can generally agree are worth playing, that aren’t on PC, are Forza Horizon 2, Forza Motorsport 5, Sunset Overdrive, and Halo: The Master Chief Collection. It’s hardly a list to write home about is it? And certainly not a great advertisement for picking up a £300 Xbox One if you already have a gaming PC.
So the only conceivable benefit I can see to this scenario for PC gamers is that they can stream these four games to their PC. But you’d potentially be making a mistake if you splashed out on an Xbox One to accomplish this. Sunset Overdrive and Halo: The Master Chief Collection are almost nailed on to reach PC in due course.
We’ve been thrown a few bones from the Xbone, naturally. Gears of War: Ultimate Edition is coming to PC (eventually), while we’ll also be getting cross-platform play for Fable Legends. Microsoft has also laid out its intentions to enable streaming from a PC to an Xbox One. This seems a more plausible option. You can leave your gaming rig in the office and settle down on the couch for some gaming through your Xbox One. Why you would want to leave your sofa to play Sunset Overdrive at a desk is beyond me.
To help make all this possible, we’ve got the Xbox app for Windows 10. Poke around this for a while and you’ll find precious little to do for PC gamers. You can find a freemium version of Solitaire, however, for which you need to pay a monthly subscription to remove ads. Bar a few hastily prepared mobile ports, this is firmly the domain of Xbox One users. You can chat to your Xbox buddies, view your achievements, or check out your library.
For PC gamers, the biggest reason to upgrade to Windows 10 is the DirectX 12 support. This is all well and good, but out of the box there isn’t actually anything that can put it to the test. It could be well into 2016 until we get our hands on DirectX 12-compatible games.
We’d normally give Microsoft the benefit of the doubt, but it’s track record in this area speaks volumes. Since the advent of the original Xbox, it’s support for PC gaming has dwindled. Like a broken record we’ve been promised more, and been given less.
Anyway, my opinion is but a drop in the option. We want to know what you think of Microsoft's approach to gaming on PC. Are you pleased with the progress made? Or do you still feel like you're playing second fiddle to the Xbox One?