By now, we can say Quantum Break coming to PC is well-known news (heck, at the time of me writing this, there are two articles talking about it on the front page). Now, I would be hesitant to call this a bad move. It's actually a smart move for Microsoft, although somewhat at a cost to Xbox One.
Perhaps a PC release serves as something of an insurance policy for the game's success. Honestly, I would say that's a great thing to do. The game looks like it has a pretty hefty budget, after all.
So anyway, let's look at history and see where Microsoft might be going with this decision...
Historically, Microsoft has struggled to rightly defeat their opposition. The Xbox was beaten mercilessly by PlayStation 2. Despite the Xbox 360's headstart, it was outsold by Wii and eventually, PlayStation 3 on a global level. Where Microsoft succeeded, however, was taking market share away from Sony. Nintendo managed to do the same on a larger scale. In this capacity, Microsoft and Nintendo gained a lot and Sony lost a lot. Fast forward to the present, Nintendo chose to capitalize on the Wii's success with the Wii U, which, as we see now, has not played out entirely favorably. Microsoft appears to have succumbed to the "third console curse" and did what Sony did last generation: see what you can get away with. Microsoft made the mistake of riding on the laurels of a widely acclaimed predecessor and believed they established a very sizable loyal fanbase. Today, we see that Sony has made an amazing comeback and has been besting the nearest competitor by about 2:1.
Now, the issue at hand is Quantum Break's Microsoft exclusivity, which extends to Windows. For the aforementioned reasons, it's a great course of action. Microsoft keeps the game in their catalog, but at the Xbox One's library expense.Then you begin to look at the bigger picture: Microsoft often shares their exclusives with PC. This much is not news and has not changed from previous generations. So what's new now? For starters, Microsoft owns Mojang. Mojang also still supports the other platforms, meaning Microsoft is still supporting other platforms. Financially, you're tapping into your competition's market. It comes at a bit of a cost to them with associated platform holder fees, but they stand to make more money that way than trying to hoard Minecraft exclusivity (even though they could). Now with Windows 10 integration, Xbox One has a somewhat symbiotic relationship with PC. So what's the angle?
Can't say for sure, but here's my hunch: Microsoft has given up competing directly with Sony...for now. I suspect Microsoft has plans for a multi-phase takeover. By allowing many of their titles from Xbox One to be available on PC, they are devaluing the Xbox One, which I would say is not exactly a bad move, financially speaking. From here, we have a community of people who are probably going to invest in a PC and play that over buying an Xbox One. Not to mention, DirectX12 and Windows 10 integration with the games, so there's incentive to stick with a Windows Operating System for gaming needs. Add to the fact that it's heavily marketed as a great gaming operating system and you're in business. Then we look at Sony, who has gotten comfortable with having console exclusives with PC releases (think Final Fantasy XIV and Street Fighter V). Back to the Xbox, if more people from Xbox flock to PC, you have an established PC market--in fact, it makes me wonder if giving away Windows 10 was the means for this very end. Now if you have a PC that runs any of Microsoft's Xbox/PC games well, you can probably run plenty of games that are on PC and PS4 as well. The question then becomes: why buy said game on PS4 if I can get it to run better/with mods/etc. on PC? It would actually function in taking away business from the competition and affecting their sales. Eventually, people would only buy consoles for the exclusives. And frankly, PCs are multi-functional. It's a reliable market and people may not have high quality PCs, but it very well may inspire some market changes. This move could have been in the works for a while with Sony's recent activities forcing their hand on the issue sooner. It makes sense this was the plan for a while though; consider the Xbox One supports DirectX12 and its own variant of Windows 10, it puts Microsoft in a prime position to increase their sales. It's likely, but we'll never know for sure.
The question at the end of the day then becomes what of the Xbox One? Was its primary purpose to be a harbinger to Windows 10 and their gaming ecosystem with PC? It would be taking a leaflet from Sony's use of the PS3 as Blu-Ray's Trojan Horse. In short, I believe that, based on Microsoft's talks about what information they share with NPD, they have moved into a very meta-gaming space where they are no longer selling Xbox One, but Windows 10. The possibility of streaming Windows 10 games to Xbox One as well still produces a console experience for those who are a little reserved in moving away from the console space. Oh, and Oculus Rift being bundled with the Xbox Elite controller? It's actually a damn clever idea to get you gaming on PC with an Xbox controller and also step on Sony's toes with VR (Oculus, I believe, is argued to be a better experience, but I'm not here to debate that).
All things considered, if I'm correct in my hunch, Microsoft has created a very elaborate game and it'll be interesting to see how competition responds. Considering neither Sony nor Nintendo have the right means of competing with Windows directly, it should make for interesting developments regarding the platform after NX and PS5. Competing with Windows is something Chromebooks and Macs can do. Competing with the entire ecosystem though, that would provide an incredible challenge (unless Sony and Nintendo team up with Android and Apple--even then, the market share is heavily slanted towards Windows, meaning the others would be operating at a handicap). We only know Sony has streaming services which, if we're being honest, is a very hard sell versus PCs where everything is run on local hardware. Assuming Windows 10 becomes Microsoft's next-gen platform and Sony is stuck using Gaikai to compete, we would likely see a very different outcome in the next generation. On one hand, with local hardware, they could demand games on PC being connected to the Cloud which would actually allow them to aid PC hardware power. But with Gaikai streaming, Sony may be able to have hardware with indefinite power with its weakness being connectivity.
I'm certainly no pundit or affiliated expert on these matters but, regardless, there has to be some systematic reason for Microsoft's motions so far. From games on the "struggling" Xbox One being reliably developed for PC as well to a heavily integrated ecosystem, they've got something up their sleeves and, frankly, I'm interested in knowing what.
If you read all of this, thanks. Feel free to agree or disagree below.
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CG writes: With the arrival of Cyberpunk 2077 2.0 update, we created yet another female V character for the next playthrough, ahead of next week’s Phantom Liberty expansion. CDPR suggest starting the game again now, as the systems are different and there will be new references to the missions prior to the Phantom Liberty storyline. Take a look at our video to give you some pointers, or you can just copy our rather sexy looking female V. We have also listed some of our older character creation videos in case you prefer those versions of V.
Twinfinite: "With the colossal size and scope of Starfield, players will likely be discovering unique points of interest for many months to come. The latest discovery we’ve found? An outpost structure overflowing with loot, mercenaries, and even a spaceship for you to make your own. Thing is, you won’t come across this location if you’re simply following the questlines as it’s off the beaten path."