After providing Xbox and Windows 10 users with free games, Microsoft is now trying to bridge Xbox and PC Video gaming to tap further into the gaming market. In our earlier article about free games, we noted that 64% of gaming market is controlled by Sony.
Microsoft is now using different tactics to cut into Sony’s share. Earlier it was dropping the price of Xbox. Then came a list of free games that can be played on both Xbox and Windows 10. And now, in line with universal apps, we have Microsoft developing games that can be played not only on Xbox but also on devices running Windows 10: PCs, Tablets and even Smartphones. The list also includes Hololens, the Microsoft augmented reality glasses for 3D experience.
Phil Spencer, head of Microsoft’s game division, said that the goal of Microsoft is to allow users to play games from wherever they want and from wherever they are. At the Games Developer Conference, Spencer said developers know that it is important to reach gamers where they are – instead of bringing them to some place where games are available. That means, easy availability of games on whatever devices the gamers are carrying.
The aim is to assist users play games on any type of device as long as they are using the same account to sign in as they use to buy games. This helps in playing games on whatever device they are carrying. They just have to log in using their credentials and they will find the games waiting for them, ready to be played. It also helps in syncing games across devices irrespective of where the customers buy the games and whatever device they used to buy the games. It means that if a gamer used Xbox to purchase a game, he or she should get the game ready to be played on whatever other device he or she logs into – using the login that was used to purchase the games. Spencer adds:
“We know there are billions of people that play games across all devices. Today, the world is segmented. You don’t have linkage really between the places that your customers are playing your games”.
The plan to bridge PC gaming with Xbox was first hinted at the Jan 21 2015 event where Windows 10 was detailed. During the event, the Xbox game called “Fable Legends” was demonstrated on a Windows 10 PC. At the gathering at Games Developer Conference, Spencer demonstrated multiplayer, cross-platform games by having some gamers on Xbox and others on Windows 10 PC playing opposite each other.
Spencer said that Microsoft is investing heavily in gaming market by sponsoring GDC events such as “Developing with Xbox Live for Windows 10” and “Gaming Consumer Experience on Xbox” this week. The move is part of Microsoft’s strategy to cut into Sony’s share of gaming market and to increase its share.