Provide a compelling reason to use the party function. Right now, I and many other PC gamers use Discord because it’s overflowing with useful features. Why should I use the Xbox party system?
Step 6: Release some new games on PC, specifically for the PC. Nothing has been as disappointing as getting a new Halo that’s a free-to-play PC game exclusive to Russia, or an Age of Empires that’s just Clash of Clans and has no business being on a 27-inch monitor. Come on, Microsoft! Release a new Age of Empires with Bruce Shelley on board, with a UI that’s designed to be read on a monitor and navigated with a mouse. Release a new Flight Simulator or Forza game that we can mod and build cars for. Foster a community around moddable games the way Bethesda and Valve have. Stick to traditional price points for new games ($30 to $60).
Dozens of Microsoft’s legendary games are locked away and no longer playable, despite the clear hunger indicated by sales of Microsoft’s strategy game re-releases. Microsoft should be competing with Steam, or at least cooperating with it. The advantages of UWP—cross-buy, save sharing, and storing digital purchases across accounts—paired with nostalgic remakes could be a powerful one-two punch.
A new era or more of the same?
Microsoft’s approach to PC gaming needs to change. The companys needs a lean, competitive gaming platform that plays to the core strengths of Windows apps and embraces the glory days. But right now, Microsoft’s presented us with the Edge browser of gaming platforms—a shiny package hiding glaring deficiencies.
Microsoft has the capacity to be exciting. Time will tell whether the company’s ready to move past its trail of broken promises. Major changes need to happen before the Windows Store can even begin to compete with Steam. Here’s hoping Microsoft manages to relive its glory days…someday.
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