Microsoft hasn’t treated PC gamers very well over the last decade due to the introduction of Games For Windows Live and failure to port major Xbox exclusives. This made the PC audience quite distrustful of any promises regarding a new attitude towards the platform. On another note, the company’s inability to take PC gaming seriously helped Valve to forge a huge audience on their Steam client. However, Microsoft’s new management is apparently more supportive of their gaming division, and wants to unify players across Xbox and PC.
Remedy, the studio behind Max Payne and Alan wake, recently announced Quantum Break’s release date. In a rather surprising move, they also confirmed a PC version was in development and said it would release on the same day as the Xbox One version. This is astonishing because Microsoft has either kept its core gaming line-up on the Xbox One or released smaller side projects like Halo: Spartan Assault. Furthermore, Rise of the Tomb Raider faced a small delay before coming to PC. Whether this was done to encourage consumers to purchase an Xbox One is unknown. Perhaps, the reasoning behind this was the game simply required more time to help with optimization.
As expected, Quantum Break will remain in the Microsoft ecosystem and not launch on the rival Steam client. Aaron Greenberg, Head of Xbox Games Marketing at Microsoft clarified on the MajorNelson podcast:
“So, Quantum Break on Windows 10 is a Windows store exclusive.”
This means you have to upgrade to Windows 10, and use Microsoft’s store. To be fair, Quantum Break is a DirectX 12 title and I welcome this decision to push forward and see how the new API could enhance performance across a number of systems. Saying that, the system requirements are extremely high. Arguably, this is a terrible idea because it’s limiting Microsoft’s install base. On the other hand, Microsoft doesn’t want to pay Valve any fees for selling games it funded. It’s clearly going to be a polarizing decision and there are merits to both arguments. Personally, I welcome competition in the form of another store, but also prefer to have all my games on Steam. Maybe, the ability to cross play with console owners and attain achievements will make the launch fairly successful. Although, I have my doubts.