Why Microsoft Showed Very Few PC Games At E3

By Nathan Grayson on June 17th, 2014 at 1:00 pm.

Unleash the green-tinted lions!

Another E3 has come and gone, and even during a year of Microsoft (once again) committing to PC as another arm of its gaming assault, its showing was largely dedicated to Xbox One. Dead Rising 3 is bringing its massive, undead-infested toybox to our city of towers and power, but not much else is really happening. So, what gives? Well, while Microsoft’s Phil Spencer acknowledged that PC is blowing away a lot of console stuff these days, he argued that E3 isn’t for PC gaming. It’s Xbox’s time to shine, which raises the question: what is PC gaming’s place, by Microsoft’s standards?

Spencer explained his company’s rationale to Polygon:

“I’m head of gaming at Microsoft. When we’re doing gaming strategy, gaming focus inside the company, that’s my job. I think in a lot of ways, you could argue gaming on Windows has never been more healthy in that the biggest of the big franchises, League of Legends, World of Tanks, those things dwarf a lot of what we’re doing in this console space in terms of users and monetization. They’re all on PC.”

BUT.

“E3′s a retail show. It’s a retail show, it’s a console show, so it didn’t really feel like the right place for us to talk about Windows, but Windows and gaming on Windows is critical to Microsoft’s success. For us, E3 is a console show and an Xbox show, and for us as Microsoft, Xbox is our gaming brand, and it’s the thing we can fill an arena like this, we get millions of people to watch us on TV and we show our games and it’s a brand that people care about.”

So people… don’t care about PC gaming? That’s a strange thing to imply when Steam has 75 million active users and League of Legends gets 67 million players per month. The latter game, however, gave rise to what Spencer thinks PC gaming’s public-facing space might be. eSports championships, he suggested, draw tons of people, so why not corral PC games there I guess or something for reasons. I mean, eSports are dominated by PC games, but why stop there – especially if the PC game in question isn’t really relevant to that crowd? Spencer’s logic doesn’t make a lot of sense, and he’s head of gaming at Microsoft. Hurrah!

Meanwhile, his assertion that E3 is a retail show kinda ignores the fact that even tons of console games are downloadable now, and retail is slowly getting cut out of the equation. But sure.

Oh well, it’s not like this is super surprising. Microsoft’s support of PC as a gaming platform continues to be desert dry, and after years of windy wisps of words (and little more), I don’t really know why we should expect much else. Same song, new verse. I always hold out hope for improvement, but I’m not getting my hopes up.

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125 Comments »

  1. nopol10 says:

    What form of support should Microsoft be giving PC games? It seems fine to me that they aren’t releasing PC games since there are a ton of other studios and people doing it well.

    • Tom Walker says:

      It’d be nice if they at least ported stuff like new Halo games. I mean, I am running a platform of theirs that I paid for and that they insist they’re committed to games-wise. I’m running out of ideas as to what they might mean by that. If it doesn’t involve releasing games, then…. how vague can PR-speak get before it becomes indistinguishable from outright lies?

      • frightlever says:

        Oh please, first you’ll be wanting Microsoft to release games, next you’ll want them to free those games from whatever they replace GFWL with, but that won’t be enough and you’ll then be expecting Microsoft to actually offer meaningful support for the games they release. If you were Microsoft would YOU be bothered with needy PC gamers who just want to buy intelligently-ported, well-supported games that aren’t anchored to an on-line service that might be scuppered at a moment’s notice? Get realistic.

        • mattevansc3 says:

          So I’m guessing Fable, Rise of Legends, Age of Mythology and Age of Empires 2 don’t exist then?

          • Volcanu says:

            You’re joking right?

          • Seafort says:

            You mean those 10+ year old games that they are selling for £15-25? Hehe yeah that’s real support right there :P

          • XhomeB says:

            Praise Microsoft for repackaging over decade old games, such commitment and dedication. Bravo, Microsoft, BRAVO.

        • Seafort says:

          Actually I just want Microsoft to fk off and leave PC gaming alone. But that’s just me :)

          I couldn’t give a shit if they supported PC gaming or not they haven’t supported it for the last 10 years, Valve has.

          PC gaming has become the biggest revenue maker in the entire gaming industry and I guess now MS wants a piece of the pie.

          Just a few words to MS : Go back to your flagging Xbox gaming and leave PC gaming alone :)

          • Crainey says:

            I agree, I get that Microsoft isn’t going to even try doing PC Gaming right, so long as they don’t interfere with it. Unfortunately Microsoft dictates the direction of Windows; do I need to remind you of the outcry of developers around Windows 8? That’s the reason Valve is pushing Linux, to have a safety net.

            Microsoft has a cheek to say they care about gaming on Xbox when there were rumours of them selling it off after they so royally fucked up the Xbox One announcement that allowed PS4 to nearly double its sales. They are so out of touch with what their customers want.

          • Premium User Badge

            bills6693 says:

            But I don’t want to shift to Linux! I like windows 7, and more than anything else, I need to be on windows because aside from it being where most games are (that are rarely on linux, although that may change), its the least hassle for using it for all my other purposes – work documents etc.

            And honestly, I don’t want to have to change to a new OS and learn how a new OS does things. I’m comfortable with what I have. I’ll only get a new windows when they release one thats not intended for tablets as their primary audience.

      • Smoky_the_Bear says:

        Halo and Halo 2 on PC prove we don’t need those games ported. They were really shit with their stupid aiming reticles that covered HALF THE FUCKING SCREEN and other such nonsense, we don’t need half arsed PC ports like those at all. Not to mention their “Windows Vista only” release of the second Halo.

        • Tom Walker says:

          I really liked the first Halo on PC. 32-man multiplayer maps with vehicles. Flying vehicles. With passengers. That you could attach sticky grenades to.

          All seems pretty standard these days, but it was the first place I’d seen any of that stuff executed really well. Happy days.

        • XhomeB says:

          Halo 1 PC has an active playerbase to this day, I’d say it proves its release was a success. It was a good port.
          Halo 2 on the other hand… yeah, that thing was simply destined to bomb (GFWL, Vista exclusivity).

        • Ejia says:

          But… the PC port of Halo 1 was fantastic! At least I thought so, and enjoyed it immensely.

          Halo 2′s port was terrible, though.

      • ThTa says:

        I don’t think Microsoft can support PC in the way you want (especially in terms of porting Xbox exclusives) without cannibalizing their consolebox sales. The day Microsoft commits to PC is the day Xbox dies. And as it stands, I think they prefer having their own little private garden where they can tell developers to do whatever they want and have enormous mark-up on games to suddenly having to compete with all the existing and established distributors of PC games.

        • Tom Walker says:

          All of which would be an understandable explanation, if only it were their explanation. Instead they say they’re “absolutely” committed to PC games. If it’s not a good idea for them then fine, but I wish they wouldn’t keep telling us about all this amazing PC support which very evidently doesn’t exist. I take it as an insult to my intelligence.

        • WiggumEsquilax says:

          +1

          That mark up vs. those Steam and GOG sales.

          On the other hand, isn’t the XBOX losing money? Transitioning back to PC, even if profitable, would constitute an admission of failure. Only the rare executive career survives a multi-billion dollar mistake.

        • secuda says:

          Might happen sooner then you think, if it wont go that well this gen. with all the push with TVs and sports nonsense that have no related to games what so ever.

        • Leetables says:

          But typically isn’t it the case of where the console hardware is being sold at a loss and is made up with software and licensing? So wouldn’t doing proper ports just net them more money without them having to sell another console at a loss?

    • XhomeB says:

      I want the proper Age of Empires 4, a new Freelancer, Midtown Madness, MechCommander or new franchises, and I want them to get as much money and attention as Microsoft’s Xbox brands.
      Ports of older games like Gears of War 2-3, giving Gears 1 Steamworks support wouldn’t hurt either.

      • socrate says:

        wow…some people just never learn do they and will sell their soul for anything.

        Personally ive never understood why the xbox and xbox360 got all their praise because they are all about dumbing down gaming and making it extremely crappy…for me the golden age of console is long gone with Super nintendo and Playstation 2.

        Microsoft is and always was a company extremely out of phase with its consumer and if we can finally have a better option then Window il take it without looking back…microsoft became that big for one reason only no good competition in its domain and an extreme amount of overhyping

        GFWL just showed that they want to control everything and not give good product and quality the recent resell of their good title for PC in HD for a ridiculous price show that they are slowly crumbling and the fact that some country are actually creating an OS instead of going to Window 8 show that its about time stuff change for the better.

        The xbox controller is superior for one reason only…the compatibility and the ease of use that it bring…personally id love to use a Playstation controller since the xbox controller for me isn’t as comfortable for me at least but the compatibility and hassle and pain to get playstation setup and compatible sometime is just not worth it.

        I really hope steam bring an alternative OS that is actually extremely good ive tried linux and i adored it its just a really well made OS but it need major support the problem with driver and such need to go and compatibility also….but data recovery on linux as to be one of the most magnificent thing ever created…the thing is microsoft doesnt want that and direct3d is a direct exemple of it with tons of money being poured to make it stick instead of OpenGL

        as game are written more and more to run on linux people might and probably will migrate to it if it turn out less of an hassle and more function and such are added with steam OS which is what everyone is hoping

    • predatorpr says:

      The only things Microsoft should do for us PC Gamers: (And I mean the only)
      1. Keep Upgrading/Developing Direct X
      2. Continue Improving Windows.
      Nothing else

  2. rustybroomhandle says:

    Microsoft don’t want to sell you games, they want to sell you a platform that they own that happens to have games on it that they take a cut of sales for.

    They are in the process of trying to do that with Windows, but for now it’s just not what they want it to be, so they’re going to keep on pushing the console. To them PC games are like people that keep showing up at a party where the host merely tolerates their presence.

    • Perjoss says:

      ” To them PC games are like people that keep showing up at a party where the host merely tolerates their presence.”

      Very well said, could not agree more.

      • Premium User Badge

        Rizlar says:

        While they are the only reason the party is actually any good in the first place!

    • XhomeB says:

      If Microsoft were smart, they would have been the company to create something like Steam (and Steambox) – and then, they would get “all the cut” they need, rendering Xbox as a brand totally useless, thus saving billions of dollars in the process.

      There you have it. They never needed Xbox in the first place, but were too dumb to realise that.

    • Moraven says:

      And in music, movies, media apps and game DLC. They can not have that unless they went full on WIndows 8 store on gamers which they will refuse. They missed their window by half assing it with GFWL when they were trying to promote Xbox Live! as a cross platform brand but went the easier way of focusing fully on the 360 when the PS3 tanked.

    • Kittim says:

      Late to the party again, but you never know, somebody may read this.

      I agree with the OP, but I think there’s more to it than that.

      MS are going balls out for the cloud, the want a version of Windows they can rent to people, with compulsory updates to the latest and greatest version of whatever Windows will become and as much of your data as possible stored on their hardware in the “Cloud”. This is so they can keep charging you for access to your data. Ultimately, the goal will be for everyone to be consumers, even developers.

      The selling point will be “you can access your data anywhere”. Whant to show your granny a photo of your kid? No problem upload it to the cloud and using your Windows phone, your can access it from anywhere.

      I’m not denying there will be convenience and your average punter who just wants it all to work will lap it up.

      Unfortunately it fucks up games under Windows, MS just don’t have any drive to advance games on PC anymore. It took AMD to develop and release Mantle to embarrass MS into committing to DirectX 12. And you can bet your bottom dollar that it will only be available on the latest version of Windows.

      Personally, I think we’re heading for the end of Windows as a viable gaming platform. Unless there’s significant benefits to installing Windows Nien, Windows 7 will be the last version I buy and I’ll be heading for dual boot with Linux as my main O/S.

      I don’t like making such a negative post, but I had to do a two month long analysis of moving to MS’s cloud for my work, wading through document after document of disparate information. My conclusion? The cloud is a one-way trip, plenty of tools to migrate data to it, fuck all to get it back.

  3. joa says:

    Microsoft’s approach makes a lot of sense. Promoting two platforms for the same product, big budget video games, is a foolish move from a business perspective. If they produce different products for the different platforms, then they can get people to spend money on both Xbox and Windows. Xbox for the big budget games, Windows for the strategy stuff that doesn’t work on Xbox. Remember they make considerably more money if people buy an Xbox. Everyone already has a copy of Windows anyway.

    • frightlever says:

      Exactly, Xbox One owners can have Halo and Windows users get Excel. Everybody’s happy.

      • SominiTheCommenter says:

        Correct! Everyone knows PC don’t work when controlled from a couch.

        • Cockie says:

          Yeah, it’s really weird how the keyboard stops working as soon as I sit down

        • PC-GAMER-4LIFE says:

          Remedy know very well!!! MS let them self publish Alan Wake & reap millions despite MS fully funding the game! What a joke you could not make it up Remedy must have thought it was xmas when MS let them self publish Alan Wake! All because some moron exec @ MS said Alan Wake is a couch non PC gaming experience.

  4. Winged Nazgul says:

    I don’t know if I’d want Microsoft supporting the PC in any way considering its ham-handed release of the XBone.

    We’ve done perfectly fine without them all these years.

    • Juffo says:

      To be honest, I and many Gears of War PC GFWL players are gutted that only the First gears was ported to PC 2007, now is the perfect opportunity to release the new Black Tusk/Microsoft gears to PC.

      Windows 8 is the new GFWL it has Xbox integration and achievements, its all ready a nice foundation for Microsoft to release there AAA First party games, Halo 5 and Gears.

      I really hope they have learned there lesson and support it like Steam has.

      Gears of War PC Please

  5. Suction Testicle Man says:

    I really think committing to PC isn’t backed by anything besides their PR. They’re trying not to piss off Windows gamers to prevent anything Linux-based gaining extra traction, while they work out how best to merge it into Xbox. They’ll probably never work out a way to merge it without destroying user trust in the process, but won’t have the foresight to u-turn on the idea and will just fade away through inaction.

    • Neutrino says:

      The thing is that if they wanted to roll PC gaming and XBox gaming into one, in terms of development, deployment and marketting, then MS had the perfect tool to support that with their XNA api (cross platform PC/XBox managed directx). And with consoles now using x86 architecture this api would have been trivial to develop.

      But a few years after marketting XNA as “the one true platform” to target for PC and XBox games, and just as it was starting to gain traction, they axed it, leaving developers in the lurch, (much as they have also done with Dotnet, WPF and the transition to WinRT).

      MS have been twisting in the wind not knowing where they are going for years now, and their customers and develeopers are suffering as a consequence. That they would like to prevent PC gaming on Linux from taking off I have no doubt, but I suspect (or at least hope) that in terms of PC gaming they have now lost so much relevence that this is now out of their control.

    • Chuckleluck says:

      Thing is, they HAVE pissed off Windows gamers with their two-faced attitude toward PC. I’d be fine if MS just said “You PC gamers are doing just fine, we’ll leave you alone.” instead of assuring us they love us and then never do anything to support us.

      • Suction Testicle Man says:

        True, though PR departments don’t exactly have a history of effective communication. However I’d argue that there’s plenty of feasible decisions that MS might still make that would piss Windows gamers off a LOT more. I predict we’ll see a few more mildy-irritating cack-handed attempts at solutions from MS before it doesn’t matter what they do anymore.

  6. Distec says:

    E3 is a “console show” because everybody jumped from the PC gaming ship when they thought it was dying. There’s no reason you can’t show off PC games there. Not that I’ve given a shit about E3 since I was sixteen.

    I’d rather Microsoft just stopped doing anything with PC gaming altogether.

    • P.Funk says:

      I don’t remember this event. Did I miss the grand exodus?

      • drinniol says:

        It was when Microsoft pushed into the console market and gained a vested interest in putting the XBox above the PC.

        • P.Funk says:

          I’m pretty sure this is when people started buying consoles who never bought PCs for gaming. If everyone on XBL is an angry 12 year old then they were hardly there to change over from PC when it first launched.

          • Lemming says:

            This. PC gaming was never dying, Microsoft just wished it was dead when they wanted to sell their new toy.

          • Stardreamer says:

            Drinniol wasn’t referring to what happened from a consumer perspective, he was referring to the endless parade of developers who, publicly and on-record, dropped the PC like a sack of Susan Boyle’s underwear when they sensed gold in the burgeoning console hills (Much like the rush to casual gaming when Zynga’s profits started making headlines). Perhaps the most famous of whom were Epic, creators of Unreal Tournament and the Gears of War franchises. “No, you can’t have this awesome thing the PC could run two of at once because PC is dying, frankly, and over-run by piracy: we won’t make any money. Sorry, you thieving bastards!”.

            Perhaps the most gratifying aspect of those long years of being sent to Coventry was when other people started making fortunes on PC and suddenly all those who had previously left while belittling the platform suddenly remembered their roots and came back proclaiming their abiding love for us, which held us much weight as what Microsoft have said above,, i.e. sweet fuck all.

  7. Viroso says:

    What I saw was a bunch of games that were going to be multiplatform even though they implied would be on Xbox. Is there any meaning in showing PC games on E3 anymore? I sure don’t think there’s merit in showing console exclusives, I don’t mind at all if they just show games that will come out on as many plataforms as possible.

    • Sian says:

      Neat. I didn’t follow E3, so this serves both as a reminder of Microsoft’s “commitment” and a checklist of games I might be interested in.

    • Seafort says:

      You should send that to Phil Spencer on twitter if you haven’t already done so :)

      Sums up Microsoft perfectly :P

    • clom says:

      Thanks coflash! It hadn’t been for that image I would still have Peter Moore’s face in my head when reading about Phil Spencer (for some strange reason I’ve apparently had Peter Moore’s face in my head whenever Phil Spencer was quoted)

    • Ziffy says:

      Holy schnikes!

  8. Premium User Badge

    Mungrul says:

    My PC at home is almost exclusively used for gaming.
    The only reason I buy Windows at the moment is to allow me to game.
    If organisations such as Valve and GOG manage to deliver a viable Linux gaming environment where I can play all of my games, I will no longer have a reason to buy Microsoft products.
    And I’m sure there’s more like me out there.

    Sure, the vast majority of Microsoft’s money comes from the corporate sector, but the point is that if people get comfortable using Linux at home, they’ll then be more open to using it in the workplace, at which point it starts affecting Microsoft’s core business.

  9. Drake Sigar says:

    I really don’t get why Microsoft and certain large publishers have been so intent on ignoring the PC an army of new fresh hungry consumers would be just what the doctor ordered. And yet they ignore entire countries, ignore PC gaming, ignore women. No, just keep pandering to a very specific demographic and expect growth to triple, because that’s how the universe works.

    • P.Funk says:

      Because they are obsessed with the notion of proprietary front ends. The power and flexibility of an open platform is a problem for them.

  10. Evil Pancakes says:

    Is that the reason they didn’t show any PC games at E3?
    I thought it was because Microsoft doesn’t make PC games anymore. It’s hard to show games that don’t exist. That’s what Kickstarter is for (heyooo)
    Really, the only way for MS to convince me of their interest in PC gaming, is to make and release Age of Empires 4.
    Before I see a playable AoE4, I will ignore any and all assurances of MS’ dedication to PC gaming.

    • Stromko says:

      They could win a little faith from me very easily. Give DoubleFine permission to remove Games for Windows Live from ‘Iron Brigade’ and substitute in a working multiplayer solution. What a lovely fun game, so much potential and bombast, ruined even in single player by horrible GWFL implementation.

      DoubleFine has been clear the game isn’t even in their hands anymore so they can’t fix it unless MS wills it. It won’t have multiplayer at all pretty soon, it might even have brand new showstopper glitches when GFWL is dead.

      • Frank says:

        Eh, that’s on DF. They made their bed, and so on

        • Lemming says:

          Agreed. Quite why DF would even sign something over to MS like that with their history, is anyone’s guess.

      • Juffo says:

        GFWL is the windows 8 store now, it has Xbox integration, we are just waiting on the new gears of war and halo 5 to come..

    • Chuckleluck says:

      Why make a new AoE game when you can release broken, barely-updated “HD” editions?

      On another note, your Kickstarter comment made me literally lol.

  11. tomaac says:

    They don`t care about PC because MS share on this platform is pretty much nonexistent apart from providing OS. And This platform is way to open for MS to have big enough share from game sales to care about it. On xbone they control everything and can screw people over more easly.

  12. Stromko says:

    It’s actually very simple.

    They don’t back the PC because there’s no competition for the PC.

    Until they seriously consider Linux or SteamOS or iOS or something to be a threat to their market share, they have no need to back PC gaming, because it’s going to be a fixture no matter what happens.

    It’s hard to write off a XBone as a work or educational expense, it has no backwards compatibility (unless you want to buy all your old games again), the only thing it has going for it is exclusives and that’s why they push for exclusives. Exclusives suck for consumers, but until they get that ‘killer app’ how else are they going to switch people away from older consoles and more useful PCs? Gimmicks and exclusives.

    • Lemming says:

      I think you have the backwards. They don’t back the PC because there is too much competition within the PC space. They don’t want to deliver on an open system where a kid can bedroom code rings around them in days what it took them months to roll out of the bloatware factory. MS like a nice cosy closed system like the Xbox where they remain in perpetual circle-jerk.

      • Stromko says:

        So long as we continue to run their 200$ operating system, I don’t know how much they care that we’re not buying their games. It’s only software, so every sale is almost pure profit. Sales of a console on the other hand are a loss, so they need to get a large established base and THEN sell a whole lot of games to make their money back on licensing.

        They don’t make any real effort for PC gaming because that war was already won a long time ago, but every console generation is in doubt. We may be on the cusp of gamers being able to switch to a new OS and never look back, but MS certainly isn’t seeing it that way based on their behavior.

  13. Nibblet says:

    Is microsoft even relevant to pc users anymore?
    Apple is has pretty much gobbled up all the less tech savvy ones who don’t mind paying for closed down, proprietary, overpriced stuff as long as it is simple and easy to use.
    Meanwhile SteamOs/Linux is poised to take over the gaming front, finally rendering windows obsolete. Linux is also far better to build a server on so what is left aside from Ms office?

    • Premium User Badge

      Harlander says:

      You’ve got an interesting definition of “poised to take over”, given that Windows 7 alone counts for about 51% of internet-browsin’ PCs[1].

      • Nibblet says:

        Poised – (Adjective): Not moving but ready to move, ready or prepared for something.
        The number of current win7 users is rather irrelevant since SteamOs is not even out yet hence they are “poised to take over” (see how that works?).
        Between Win 8 and Xbone’s planned launch features Microsoft has made it abundantly clear what direction they are heading and a lot of people gamers will want to get off windows once a viable alternative presents itself.
        I am guessing SteamOs’s sucsess will largely depend on whether or not it can run older Dx games with little to no hassle but in any event we can hopefully expect most future titles to support it.

        • Stardreamer says:

          Mark his words! 2015 may yet be The fabled Year of Linux on the Desktop!

          /sniggering

    • Sian says:

      Once a majority of games runs on Linux with the same ease they do on Windows, I’ll happily jump the fence in a heartbeat, but right now I don’t think we’re quite there yet.

  14. malkav11 says:

    I dunno, I buy “it’s a retail show”, to a degree. The point, in theory, of E3 is to sell the games to retailers. Not journalists, not the public in general. And retailers don’t really stock PC games in a meaningful way anymore. I mean, you are correct that that is a direction that consoles are increasingly heading as well, and E3′s relevance in general seems to be on the decline perhaps as a result. But if nothing else, they want those retailers to stock the consoles themselves, and promoting the games that will be available for that console helps show what kind of demand there will be for the hardware.

    It’d sure be nice for PC to be acknowledged, though. Maybe we don’t need PC only games shown there (though I wouldn’t complain), but I’d really love it if companies would at least frigging remember to cite PC as one of the platforms supported by a given game.

  15. ElDopa says:

    I’m glad that they neglect Windows as a gaming plattform, I don’t want them to impede the transition to Linux.

    The only good thing about Windows is that it makes the hardware cheaper, because systems need to run relatively smoothly even with an antivirus programm, browsertoolbargeddon, and 50 programs which have to run at startup.

    Just recently I had a situation where I just knew that I will have to switch to Linux with my gaming PC:

    I was playing XCOM, and I got stuck for a while in a quite difficult mission, so it took like 3 tries till I made it.
    But then just before I step into the extraction zone my game exits and my computer shuts down…
    In the first moment I was shocked and I didn’t know what happened, then I saw that Windows was installing a bloody update.

    We all know that problem, and it’s pretty old, but seriously… What kind of system shuts down without explicit authorization by the user? Imagine this happens in a hospital…

    Anyway, this rant got longer than I first intended, but yeah – I find this pretty unacceptable.

    I’m pretty glad Civ V got ported to Linux, once GOG supports linux as well there’s not a lot of reasons to stay with Windows.

    • Premium User Badge

      Harlander says:

      I remember trying to install an updated version of the Radeon driver on Mint.. I think it was version 16.. and it clobbered the Gnome settings so it wouldn’t start.

      Not to mention the excruciation of trying to get it to let me set the desktop resolution to what I wanted when it couldn’t figure out what monitor I had.

      It’s still got a few rough edges, is what I’m driving at. The Steam OS is probably going to speed up the rate at which the remaining ones get polished down, I guess.

      • ElDopa says:

        So true,
        the drivers for Linux are not yet that great, hopefully SteamOS will change that.

      • Cockie says:

        Ah, the joy of using AMD’s linux drivers, the reason I’ll only buy nvidia for now.

    • Cockie says:

      I’ve already seen a classmate lose work that way – his laptop just shut itself off to install updates while he was programming. And there’s a fair chance you can’t use your pc for an hour too.
      While linux allows you to use it while it’s installing itself :) .

    • mattevansc3 says:

      It doesn’t. During install Windows gives you the option of choosing how it installs it’s updates, if you leave it on the default option of automatically installing important updates then that’s you giving your explicit permission for it to work that way.

      • Cockie says:

        Which changes the question to: who thought it was a good idea to make that an option, let alone the default one?

        • Frank says:

          Someone who knows how the majority of PC users interact with their OS’s and wants to make the job of sys admins (is that the right term?) easier.

          If you or your friends can’t figure out how to change this setting, then the default is for you.

          • Joe Deadman says:

            I dunno man, the option where it downloads the updates automatically in the background and then only installs them when you manually shutdown seems like a better default option to me.

            But yeah I’ve had the default option screw me over a few times in the past too. It gives you an option to postpone it but that never pops up over full screen programs (like say videogames) which is just dumb.

            Oh also changing the update settings to anything except default actually causes the action center to flag it as a problem which I’ve always found hilarious, particularly since the default is the problem as far as I’m concerned.

          • malkav11 says:

            That stupid flagging of my deliberate choices to make my system usable as dangerous problems leads me to tuck the action center in the overflow part of the taskbar and ignore it, which I’m pretty sure defeats the point of that particular utility. :P

      • Arglebargle says:

        One of the very first things I do on a new computer is turn off automatic updates. There’s very little there that really requires you do it RIGHT NOW. And if there is some new gaping security flaw baked in to the Windows OS, you will usually hear about it pretty quickly.

  16. XhomeB says:

    That’s great Micrsoft, so WHERE and WHEN is a good place and time to talk about PC? Because YOU NEVER BLOODY DO IT.
    I keep hearing this nonsense every year since 2006/7 or so and quite frankly, I went from being annoyed to flat out laughing out loud whenever I hear this bullcrap.

    • Shadowcat says:

      I’ve long since ceased to be remotely surprised by Microsoft’s awful attitude to PC gaming, but I am now starting to get annoyed with RPS each time they bring the subject up.

      Microsoft lie. You know it. I know it. Everyone knows it, and it’s a waste of everyone’s time. So don’t ask them the question, because they’ll just lie. Your time is wasted writing the article. Our time is wasted reading the article. Everyone who comments is wasting their time (the only reason I’m writing this is in the hope that I can prevent future articles).

      Unless and until such time as they show actual evidence of a commitment to PC gaming, please just forget they exist?

      • ShadyGuy says:

        Just because they might lie is not a good reason to not ask important questions. If they lie keep asking the tough questions because sooner or later they will have to own up to the truth.

        • Shadowcat says:

          Magic eight ball says: Not going to happen. They won’t own up to the truth. Seriously, if that was going to happen, it would have happened by now. It’s not remotely in Microsoft’s interests to state that they are generally disinterested in PC gaming.

      • Stardreamer says:

        You know what? I agree. Continuing to give Microsoft room to spout this meaningless bullshit is tiring for everyone concerned. It’s been, what, a decade now since they did anything other than piss PC gamers off?

        RPS, you might wanna give this some thought. I can’t help but react to a Microsoft post with heavy cynicism; is it time for PC gaming to shut the door on these idiots?

  17. PC-GAMER-4LIFE says:

    Dead Rising 3 coming to PC tells you everything really. MS fully funded this on XB1 they paid all the bills Capcom provided their canadian division Dead Rising 2 devs.

    DR3 also uses the MS Azure Cloud like Titanfall did. DR3 clearly cannot come close to breaking even on XB1 when it only sold 1.3m copies so suddenly MS allow it to come to PC Capcom started work on it in Dec 2013.

    When it suits them MS allow their exclusive’s on PC like Halo Spartan Assault failed on Win 8 App Store so 6 months later it turns up on Steam with Steamworks only integration.

    MS know that showcasing PC games will turn people off from their console division. The real question Gates/Ballmer should have asked when they were running the company is why can you not monetize PC gaming when you own the OS & let Valve take most of the pie!

  18. soonerdad3 says:

    What I saw was a bunch of games that were going to be multiplatform even though they implied would be on Xbox. Is there any meaning in showing PC games on E3 anymore? I sure don’t think there’s merit in showing console exclusives, I don’t mind at all if they just show games that will come out on as many plataforms as possible.
    traffic genesis

    • Cockie says:

      Those bot makers are getting clever.

      • ElDopa says:

        Not a bot, probably just a ruthless human.

        • Cockie says:

          If you scroll up you’ll see it’s a copy of a previous comment by someone else with a link pasted to the end, and this account had done the same thing on another article too.

        • HadToLogin says:

          If that’s bot, then it’s able to pass Turning test!!!

          Scary thought: spam will be most advanced AI ever made :P

  19. LordMidas says:

    I couldn’t care less about eSports. I just want to play great games on my PC. Steam supports that perfectly (though there is always space for improvement).

    Though it was humorous that everyone complained about GFWL, and when MS said they were getting rid of that and replacing it with the Xbox brand of the PC, everyone complained about that too. It’s probably one of the reasons why they focussed on Xbox at E3, they cannot win in the PC space because they just get moaned at no matter what they do.

    I’d like to see them back, as I like whoring achievements (so sue me). My preference would be MS published games, with chvs, on Steam.

    • Horg says:

      ”they cannot win in the PC space because they just get moaned at no matter what they do.”

      They used to have it good. Age of Empires, certain Mechwarrior titles , Flight Simulators, Dungeon Siege, Asherons Call, just to name a few of their published games. I wouldn’t moan at them if they went back to those days and just did hands off publishing. But they don’t want to do that, they want a controlled always online ecosystem with all the flaws of the console model, and PC gamers generally do not want that. They get moaned at because they no longer understand the market, and so far their attempts at forcing the market to fit their business model have failed.

    • bleeters says:

      Here’s the thing. ‘Everyone moaned’ about GFWL, because GFWL has rarely been anything but a broken, unstable mess with a penchant for rendering your games unplayable. My most positive experience of it has been of it being adequately functional but still a completely unecessary burden I never wanted to deal with. My worst experiences have had it just straight up decide all my save files are unusable.

      And now it’s apparently dying, ‘everyone moaned’ because that death has been one that Microsoft have, for the most part, been entirely uncommited towards. First it was happening. Then it wasn’t. Then they just refused to talk about it. And all the while, the question of ‘will my games that actually required GFWL before now actually still work?’ has mostly gone unanswered, at least for me. Heck, the only game I know I can still play after it croaks is Dawn of War 2, and I only found that out fairly recently. People are moaning – or at least, I’m moaning – not because I want GFWL to stay, but because the process of dismantling it reeks of the same non-commital we-don’t-really-give-a-crap-about-you-anyway attitude Microsoft have had about PC gaming as a whole for years now.

    • Frank says:

      It’s not “no matter what they do”, it’s when they move to make gaming on the PC worse by adding their unnecessary DRM layer and pay off THQ, Eidos, et al. to use it. Here’s hoping they stay away.

    • babbler says:

      People grumbled about GFWL because it was awful and had a tonne of problems but despite that Microsoft had enough clout to get developers to use it and thereby tying their games to GFWL. GFWL had a bunch of big games so people used it and then Microsoft decided to unceremoniously kill it and switch to XBOX. Some games have transitioned over to Steam (Batman games), others are planning to (like Dirt 3) but some games will probably be lost in the shuffle (like Dirt 2 which Codemasters have no plans of bringing to Steam and isn’t even on sale anywhere for PC anymore). So of course there is moaning about that. People might not be able to play their games anymore.

      They would have gotten far less complaining if they made an effort to make GFWL better. Killing it off is a dick move after so many big games ended up using it.

    • LordMidas says:

      I agree with the lot of you.

  20. tomimt says:

    The problem in current PC gaming from Microsoft POV is, that they are just the OS the games operate on. They don’t really benefit that much, as people don’t usually get that many OS licenses and MS doesn’t get a cut from the game sales. It’s pretty much pointless from MS to be that visible in the games other than their XBOX line.

    • Premium User Badge

      Martel says:

      Personally I’d prefer if they focused even more on the OS, and give us a streamlined version of Windows designed just for gaming. They don’t need to actually make games, there are tons of companies out there doing that now, but they’re one of the few making an OS.

      • babbler says:

        I like that idea but I’m not sure if I like the idea of Microsoft handling it.

  21. derbefrier says:

    Sure is a lot of angry people here. Its quite simple really the xbox is microsofts gaming machine not windows so that’s what they promote. I wouldn’t even waste my time hating them I mean what’s the point? Its not like its gonna change anything.

  22. fluffy_thedestroyer says:

    There…I fixed it for ya : “”<blockquote cite="Oh well, it’s not like this is super surprising. Microsoft’s support of PC as a gaming platform continues to be desert dry, and after years of windy wisps of words (and little more), I don’t really know why we should expect much else. Same song, new verse. I always hold out hope for improvement, but I’m not getting my hopes up.”>

    Lets face it, Microsoft is on another planet when it comes to feedback for its product.

    - Windows 8 on pc (metro interface…who the fuck wanted that.
    - the option to remove IE, media player and other apps on Windows OS
    - Lack of games on pc which some are good or would generate sales for them. I don’t like Halo but I’m sure if they would port it on PC it would be good. A remake of Freelancer for more powerful computers would be a welcome and I’ll be glad to pay for it since its an awesome sci-fi space combat game

  23. Chorltonwheelie says:

    Why on earth is anybody arsed?
    Microsoft provide an operating system and the rest is up to game devs, us and hardware manufacturers.
    This is the best way, we shouldn’t want them sticking their noses in. When they do it leads to GFWL.

    Windows does everything, everywhere for everyone. As someone who uses Linux daily and knows all about it’s gubbins I’ve got to say people should be really careful what they wish for.

    We’ve got the best platform right now. More open and expandable than Apple and more diverse, usable and adaptable than various Linux distro’s. Not perfect but still the best.

    Why talk of abandoning it because an OS vendor won’t come and hold our ‘ickle hands for us?

    • Chuckleluck says:

      I don’t really get the people shouting to move to Linux. If past history is any indication, Windows 9 will be much better than Windows 8, and we can all move on with our lives. But I think a lot of us are just mad that Microsoft keep saying they want to support PC gaming, and then don’t actually do anything.

  24. AmirBan says:

    no, they will support PC gaming and they will support it with new IPs, such as Age of Empire 3 HD 2015 and Age of Empires Online Offline 2016

  25. Lion Heart says:

    WoW LoL and WoT dont count as microsoft committing to pc gaming… thats just them making an OS that lets devs do those games. when Halo comes to pc PROPERLY this time then microsoft can truthfully say theyre commited to pc gaming

  26. Frank says:

    Yep. “Xbox is our gaming brand” says it all. MS will only return to Windows on strength of GFWL-alikes.

  27. Moraven says:

    E3 seems like a game conference, that just so happens the 3 console companies have big mega events to promote their platform and show off exclusive to their platform add on.

    PC is an open platform that no one owns (well Steam kinda sorta, for most big releases and Steamworks now not EA). Hard to have a big conference by the owner of the PC platform.

    Valve, Riot do not need to be there and Wargaming, indies, etc show up still just no big conference to show their wares. Why they have booths.

  28. fish99 says:

    I think he has a point – since they publish very little on the PC, it’s not really Microsoft’s job to show off PC games. Also I doubt a large percentage of their OS sales are due to gaming.

  29. pilouuuu says:

    Well,if they say they’re committed to PC gaming, that is a complete and utter lie. That’s OK. But the problem is I consider that they want to downright damage PC gaming.

    The release of Games for Windows seems like a saboutage and the way they pay developers not to release games on the PC is downright evil. They even damage gaming itself. If Alan Wake had been released with PC in mind, it would have been an amazing open-world game. I even feel that they paid Ubisoft not to include E3 effects in the PC version to make it look more like its “next-gen” console counterparts.

    I just expect Microsoft to stop messing with PC gamers and hopefully support their OS we all bought. Or Steam OS to be so successful, so we can all play on it, instead of on Windows 8.

  30. dogsolitude_uk says:

    I’m actually not bothered about whether or not Microsoft release games for Windows, since many other companies are doing that quite admirably. Admittedly I’d like them to bring Flight simulator back (instead of that awful Flight! Live For Windows or whatever it was), maybe bundle a decent Chess game with Windows 9, but as far as Microsoft porting their Xbox stuff to PC I’m really not bothered.

    The kind of support I’d like to see from Microsoft is regarding things like DirectX, and OS features that make it easy to install/roll back graphics card/sound drivers. Linux Mint has a great system where you can switch between them on the fly (almost), something like that baked into Windows would be useful.

    I’d also like to see them rekindle their support for XNA and the XNA Game Developer studio.

    Regarding hardware, I like theXbox360 controller, Microsoft make great keyboards too.

    So I’m really not bothered on a personal level about their approach to PC games as such. I’d rather they took a step back from Windows Gaming, focused on making decent versions of Windows that meet gamers’ needs, and made decent hardware etc.

    I do understand the frustration regarding things like not porting Forza, but I most certainly do not want stuff like app stores, GFWL or any other half baked stuff that clogs up the market rearing it’s head again. I actually don’t trust them to be able to get involved with PC gaming on a ‘games’ level and not mess it up.

  31. Arglebargle says:

    One of the things I have noticed about Microsoft the last couple of years: They hire away some bigwig from a major gaming company. Said bigwig leaves Microsoft within 6 months to a year.

    Probably an indictment of Microsoft internal workings, and it does seem to suggest that they aren’t on a games wavelength at all.

  32. Papageno says:

    Microsoft could show its great “commitment to PC gaming” by not shutting down the GFWL servers next month (on which the predecessor to Dead Rising 3 depends, as do many other games), or by paying to have the GFWL tumor removed from all the games that were contaminated with it (when no one asked for that crap in the first place). MS should have been happy just to sell all the copies of Windows under which so many PC games run, but no, they had to try to milk PC gaming for more money by trying to charge PC gamers to be able to play online with one another when they’d never had to before–the effing audacity of it is breathtaking. Since that didn’t work out for them, oh well, let’s f*ck all the gamers who bought those GFW games, who gives a crap, right MS?

    • pilouuuu says:

      That’s why I’d love for Steam OS to succeed as a platform for PC gaming.

  33. pilouuuu says:

    It’s funny that they say that E3 is not showing PC games when Watch Dogs was clearly shown on PC in 2012…

    They are showing PC games and saying that they’re on XBone and PS4 and then later degrading the graphics so “next-gen” consoles won’t look so awful. I wouldn’t be surprised to know that Microsoft paid Ubisoft for that.

  34. gi_ty says:

    I really just don’t understand how they could have screwed this up so badly. All Microsoft ever had to do with their console brand is make it run regular windows that had a GUI designed for the living room and less overhead. All games released on pc could have been on xbox as well and vice versa. That gaming library would easily dwarf sony. They could have had their own little store where they advertise their special games, and they could sell their gaming os separately. Everyone would be happy and all of their R&D money could support both platforms. They could have had a “windows box” years ahead of valve and paired with OEMs just like valve wants to. Its not too late to turn this around MS.

  35. ResonanceCascade says:

    Spencer’s explanation made perfect sense. E3 IS a retail show. The internet has somehow convinced itself that it’s about tossing raw meat to the geeks — and that is what the initial press conferences are about, to an extent — but really, E3 is a trade show for retailers. The more digital only/online-oriented PC gaming gets, the less sense it makes as a big showcase for E3.

    The last little bit there, where he waxes poetic about how much everyone cares about the Xbox One, was obviously just Spencer staying on message. He is a suit, after all. But clearly Microsoft understands that PC is an immensely profitable gaming sector. One of their ex-employees made himself a multi-billionaire by dabbling in it.

  36. Evil Pancakes says:

    I just realised something.
    Sony, through SOE, actually supports PC gaming more than Microsoft does.
    In the last six years, Sony has released more new games on PC than MS, and Sony has more PC games in development than MS currently does (probably).
    Is it just me, or does that seem strange somehow?

  37. Megakoresh says:

    Yeah. See, Microsoft does not get a cut from every game sold on Windows. So they don’t care about gaming on Windows. Simple as that. And why quote that corporate person? Nothing he ever says to the press is honest, there’s no value in those words whatsoever.

  38. Premium User Badge

    oceanclub says:

    “head of gaming at Microsoft”

    A very important position within the organization. I heard the salary for it is almost as high as Vice-President For Rubber Band Procuration.

    P.