Microsoft has unveiled plans to knock down the barriers between Windows 10 and the Xbox One, in an attempt to unify its PC and gaming platforms. This essentially means that the Xbox One will become more computer-like, with consumers able to upgrade at regular intervals.
Both Windows 10 and Microsoft’s gaming platform would run Universal Windows Applications (UWAs), which could allow gamers to play older titles on new machines, as well as play PC games on the Xbox One (and vice versa) without dipping into their pockets again and again.
“In other [consumer technology] ecosystems you get more continuous innovation in hardware that you rarely see in consoles because consoles lock the hardware and software platforms together at the beginning and they ride the generation out for seven years or so,” said Phil Spencer, the head of Microsoft’s Xbox division, according to the Guardian. “We’re allowing ourselves to decouple our software platform from the hardware platform on which it runs.
“We believe we will see more hardware innovation in the console space than we’ve ever seen. We’ll see us come out with new hardware capability during a generation and allow the same games to run backwards and forward compatible because we have UWAs running on top of [the Universal Windows Platform]. It allows us to focus on hardware innovation without invalidating the games that run on that platform."
It represents a major step for the company, which says it's as dedicated to PC gaming as it's ever been. Whether its masterplan succeeds in boosting its gaming community, or simply confuses them, remains to be seen. [Guardian]