The Xbox’s Future Resembles a PC

Future, PC, Xbox

The Xbox Series X, released nearly four years ago, was hailed as a “next-gen PC” by many due to its hardware upgrades and graphical capabilities that resembled those of a PC. However, it seems that Microsoft is now taking steps to further bridge the gap between Xbox and PC gaming, as teased by Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer and revealed in leaked internal memos.

Spencer recently mentioned in an interview that the Xbox team is exploring the idea of opening up its ecosystem to embrace PC stores like the Epic Games Store and This would mark a radical shift in the Xbox console model, and it appears that Microsoft is heavily considering this move. To achieve this, the console would need to be capable of running PC games.

While opening up the Xbox platform to rival PC stores comes with its own risks and rewards, it shouldn’t come as a surprise considering Microsoft’s previous commitment to opening up its Xbox platform to app store principles. This move would dramatically change the economics of Xbox console hardware, as Microsoft typically sells its consoles at a loss and relies on game sales to recoup the costs. The inclusion of rival PC stores on the Xbox could complicate the subsidizing of hardware and potentially lead to more expensive consoles.

Furthermore, the shift towards a more PC-like Xbox platform could also pave the way for third-party Xbox consoles in the future. Although Microsoft would not likely abandon Xbox hardware entirely, the company’s focus on software work to open up its platform and make it easier for developers to build games may extend to other hardware options.

It is worth noting that these potential changes to the Xbox platform would also apply to handheld devices, which seems to be a significant part of Microsoft’s overall strategy. Valve’s Steam Deck has proven that handheld consoles can be successful, especially with the use of a custom Linux OS and compatibility layer for Windows games. Microsoft is rumored to be working on an Xbox handheld, and utilizing the strengths of both Windows and Xbox could be crucial for its success.

In fact, the Steam Deck could pose a considerable threat to Xbox consoles and Windows-based PC gaming. Valve has managed to create a console-like experience for PC games and has access to exclusive games from both Xbox and PlayStation. Microsoft’s response to the Steam Deck has been relatively quiet, but the company has established a new Xbox Experiences and Platforms team to improve the Windows experience on handhelds. The goal is to create a seamless Xbox experience while providing the flexibility to run Steam games or Xbox games.

Ultimately, if Microsoft successfully merges Xbox and Windows together, it could achieve its vision of “Xbox everywhere,” where every screen becomes an Xbox. This would signify a significant shift in the gaming industry and provide more options for players to enjoy their favorite games across different platforms.

In conclusion, Microsoft’s potential plans to merge Xbox and PC gaming, as indicated by Phil Spencer’s remarks and leaked internal memos, could bring about substantial changes to the Xbox platform. Opening up the ecosystem to rival PC stores and embracing a more PC-like development approach would have both benefits and challenges. Additionally, the focus on handheld devices and the response to the Steam Deck highlight the importance of creating a seamless gaming experience across various screens. Only time will tell how these potential changes will shape the future of Xbox and PC gaming.

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