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07-02-2013, 10:38 PM #1
Microsoft could have overtaken Valve's Steambox, 12 years ago...
... by making a small but crucial tangent: package xbox games as standalone windows applications.
This simple adjustment to the trajectory of the xbox would have guaranteed dominance for Microsoft in both the console and PC markets. You can say that it would be a nightmare to patch xbox games so that they worked with the multitude of PC configurations in the wild - but Microsoft could have easily released a spec sheet and required certification for an "xbox ready" PC that must be adhered to in order to run xbox/xbox360 games. Think of the possibilities over the following 12 years: over time, we would not only have branded PCs that would run console games in addition to PC titles, but even laptops that are "xbox ready".
That could have been followed up by a digital distribution service for these PCs which would eventually trickle down to xbox live. A console/PC wide service similar to Steam perhaps?
I'm actually glad the xbox team felt they needed to act like a separate company from Microsoft, that kind of world domination would have been depressing!
Last edited by mashakos; 07-02-2013 at 10:40 PM.
07-02-2013, 10:42 PM #2
07-02-2013, 11:09 PM #3
Did the GabeN stay at Microsoft in this alternate reality to take charge of gaming stuff?
Last edited by eRa; 07-02-2013 at 11:49 PM.
07-02-2013, 11:14 PM #4I am once again writing a blog, vaguely about playing games the wrong way
07-02-2013, 11:19 PM #5
08-02-2013, 01:48 AM #6
Also the Steambox isn't even out and we don't know much about it, it might not be worth the money or effort for all we know.
08-02-2013, 02:48 AM #7
08-02-2013, 03:27 AM #8
- Join Date
- Oct 2011
They tried the whole Games for Windows thing, which had some specifications for games. There was PC/laptops certified for Vista. That was more so you knew your new PC could run the latest software, which was known to require more power. They messed that up bad by certifying PCs that could run Vista like crap.
Xbox Live was originally an paid for steam service for multiplayer games. Now it is that plus a lot of other services while never really going up in price.
Games for Windows Live was their attempt at the whole console/PC wide service. You share the same Live account. Sadly multiplatform connection is not a part of it. They have an app on Windows 8 phones, not sure about 7. Took Steam long enough to get an app to smartphones.
And what Soldant said. I doubt developers at the time wanted to invest into making their games work on PCs. Then it would come down to how would you define is xbox certified? What about new hardware coming out every 1-2 years? Thankfully developer tools have advanced more and more today that you see more and more games exist on all platforms.
08-02-2013, 09:13 AM #9
Last edited by mashakos; 08-02-2013 at 09:16 AM.
08-02-2013, 12:42 PM #10
You're either arguing for creating one hardware profile on the PC (which means you're an enemy of competition, so AMD might as well just roll over and die now) or for specific gaming PCs which just turn us into consoles.
08-02-2013, 01:02 PM #11
you seem to have misunderstood my original argument - the console would still run on a custom version of Windows with more access to the hardware, but the games themselves would be standard windows executables. See Sega Lindbergh as a Linux example, and Taito Type X2 as a Windows example.
the focus for Microsoft would absolutely be the console first. Whenever a game breaks on the PC because of "close to the metal" console optimisations, a separate division patches it to make it "universal" (this would be an official certification). A console developer can always choose to opt out of making a game playable on both platforms officially. Even then it would be a win-win, many developers who happen to be PC gamers (me included) can release guides for hacks or code their own to make unplayable games work.
On the PC side, support would be for general hardware. There would be a platform limit i.e AMD cpu's without support for SSE4 would not be eligible, but in the end this would promote AMD to push harder and not release inferior tech.
Either way, all this would only be relevant to PC gamers interested in console games. For the average counterstrike gamer a cheapo AMD system would still be a viable and great choice.
Last edited by mashakos; 08-02-2013 at 01:10 PM.
08-02-2013, 02:29 PM #12
Honestly, I think it's just an argument that consoles should have been PCs... with all the problems that come with them. This sort of universal compatibility testing has been a pipedream for a long time, with Games for Windows Live being Microsoft's most recent attempt. It failed... miserably.
08-02-2013, 02:39 PM #13
09-02-2013, 01:55 AM #14