Phil Spencer Promises Windows Store Launches Will Improve

Microsoft’s attitude towards PC gaming has dramatically shifted in the past few months and they’ve become more open to releasing console exclusives on the platform. The company’s Universal Windows Platform is designed to reduce barriers and allow consumers to play against each other without restrictions. Arguably, Microsoft is doing this to help with Windows 10’s adoption rate and cater to an additional player base after experiencing poor sales on the Xbox One compared to its nearest competitor. In the past, Microsoft has taken the PC market for granted which explains their abysmal reputation among this particular demographic.

Games for Windows Live is the perfect example of Microsoft’s tomfoolery which angered a great number of people. This was one of the worst forms of DRM ever created and it’s the main reason why PC gamers have such a cynical attitude. On another note, promises have been made on a number of occasions about taking the platform seriously but these never came to fruition. Thankfully, Phil Spencer’s appointment has helped the company’s regain its gaming focus and communicate with fans in a much better manner.

Despite this, the UWP’s launch has been far from ideal and featured a number of bizarre omissions including mod support, VSync off, ability to use frame-rate monitoring software and much more! Also, major titles including Gears of War: Ultimate Edition and Quantum Break run quite poorly. Even though the hitching issues in Gears of War: Ultimate Edition were resolved, it’s still not the kind of optimization I’d expect. Additionally, the PC release of Quantum Break is marred by terrible optimization which means users with a high-resolution monitor cannot acquire an acceptable frame-rate. Remedy might not even be able to fix some of these problems because they are to do with the game’s engine.

Clearly, UWP has had a rocky start and Phil Spencer admitted this when addressing a question on Twitter:

Phil Spencer also promised that future releases would improve:

Quantum Break is Microsoft’s Fastest Selling Game This Generation

Quantum Break is a third-person action adventure game which incorporates episodes from a live-action television programme. These episodes contain segments which showcase the impact of any decisions you make. This is a revolutionary concept which greatly enhance the narrative’s immersion factor. The game was developed by Remedy Entertainment, the studio behind iconic classics including Max Payne and Alan Wake. It’s not all been good news though because the PC version barely functions and suffers from horrendous optimization.

This is surprising given Remedy’s PC background and love for the platform. Not only that, the PC edition opts for the same form of temporal reconstruction as the Xbox One. Unfortunately, a lot of the problems are to do with the game’s engine and Remedy isn’t confident that they will be able to fix these widespread issues. On a more positive note, Quantum Break has rapidly become Microsoft’s fastest selling exclusive this generation outperforming other giants such as Halo 5, Ori and the Blind Forest and Sunset Overdrive for the opening week period. On another note, the Xbox One version became the UK’s best-selling boxed game and just pipped DIRT Rally. This is great news for Microsoft and Remedy Entertainment.

Annoyingly, this isn’t going to be any consolation for PC gamers struggling to play Quantum Break on high-resolution monitors with extreme hardware. Microsoft might feel the console version has been a resounding success but this isn’t the case on the company’s Universal Windows Platform initiative. Honestly, the evidence is pointing towards the PC version being made at a very late date which was rushed for release.  This is a shame and I would have preferred to see a delayed PC release with improved optimization. Whatever the case, we should applaud Remedy for creating such a successful game, and I really hope the PC version is sorted out in the future.

Quantum Break Dev Says Bugs Likely Can’t be Fixed

Over the last week, it looks like Microsoft’s new Universal Windows Platform has claimed another PC game victim. Designed to unify the diverse Windows platforms and bring Xbox One exclusive to Windows 10, it’s turning out that UWP may only port over broken games. This is exactly what has happened with Quantum Break, with the developer Remedy claiming unresolvable problems with UWP and their Northlight engine.

So far, Quantum Break has been running like a dog, with inconsistent performance across all GPUs, especially Nvidia. Even the top end card are having trouble keeping above 30FPS and 60 seems impossible, even on 1080p. This is before you even consider the host of graphical and texture bugs which range from superficial to downright obnoxious. While Remedy promised to look into the issues, it seems like some are out of their hands.

According to PR rep Thomas Puha, texture pop-in are due to the quirks of the Northlight engine and graphical ghosting “just a result of the temporal reconstruction. Just the way we render things”. With the bugs baked into the engine, it begs the question how this game got approved to ship for PC. On the flip side, the game runs perfectly fine on the Xbox One. It seems like UWP just isn’t ready to port games over from the Xbox One over to PC just yet.

Hopefully, the issues that can be fixed will be resolved eventually and future UWP play titles won’t have as many issues. In the end, a console port still is a console port even if it uses the fancy new UWP.

Quantum Break Dev Investigating PC Version’s “Potential Issues”

Quantum Break was the catalyst which sparked Microsoft’s new plans to launch major Xbox One exclusives on their new Windows 10 store. The Universal Windows Platform is designed to bring PC gamers and console players together while offering an alternative to the Steam store. Unfortunately, the UWP’s launch has been pretty disastrous due to the lack of basic features including mod support, an uncapped frame-rate, ability to use frame-rate monitoring software and lots more! Thankfully, Microsoft acknowledged that it’s unacceptable and work needs to be done. However, why release it in such a state? Surely, that’s going to create a negative reputation and it would have been a better idea to delay the UWP’s release.

Not only that, the UWP games thus far have suffered from huge performance problems. For example, Gears of War: Ultimate Edition on launch was full of hitching and became unplayable on AMD graphics cards. The latest title, Quantum Break is an absolutely breathtaking game but the PC version features an abysmal level of optimization. As a result, it’s ridiculous challenging to even obtain 30 frames-per-second using a 1920×1080 monitor with extreme hardware. Increasing the resolution to 2560×1440 and 4K exacerbates these issues even further.

In a post on the NeoGAF forums, Remedy Entertainment head of PR, Thomas Puha reassured fans opting for the Windows version and said:

“We are monitoring the discussion and what is going on. I had written a longer response, but it’s just gonna be misunderstood etc, so what I will say is that, rest assured, lot of work went into the Win10 version and we are looking at the reactions now as well as potential issues.”

Remedy are also working on a bug which covers the screen with intermittent blinking lights. Apparently, this will be fixed in the latest patch. I’m honestly really surprised by the technical ineptitude of Quantum Break considering Remedy’s reputation and love for the PC platform. To me it suggests one clear notion, that the PC version was rushed and approved at the last possible moment.

Not Logged into Windows Store? Quantum Break Thinks You’re a Pirate!

Quantum Break was recently launched on the PC, and even though some people are reporting horrible FPS issues even on high-end hardware, we’re not going to focus on the game’s performance right now but rather on its anti-piracy system. Apparently, the Quantum Break anti-piracy DRM automatically assumes that you are a pirate as long as you try to play the game without being logged into the Windows Store. The problem with this system is that users might sometimes lose connection to the Windows Store without any fault of their own, in which case the DRM could trigger even though they have legally purchased the game.

So what does this DRM do anyway? Well, it forces the game’s main character, Jack Joyce, to wear a pirate eye-patch, but we don’t know exactly if gameplay is actually affected in any way. Alan Wake featured a similar DRM, which was basically harmless, but other games such as Serious Sam 3 had systems installed that made the game unplayable for pirates. So there you have it: if you want to play Quantum Break on the PC without looking like an actual pirate, just make sure that you are logged into the Windows Store at all times.

Quantum Break’s PC Graphics Settings Have Been Revealed

Quantum Break is definitely one of the most anticipated action games right now, and since we’re only a few days away from its official launch on April 5, its creators have decided to give the gaming community a glimpse of the title’s PC graphics settings. The reason behind this decision is probably to appease PC gamers who have been worried about a proper list of available settings, particularly since the game is being ported from the Xbox One. Fortunately, there are quite a few options to choose from when it comes to tweaking this game on the PC, which means that even those of you who have relatively modest rigs will probably be able to get decent framerates.

As you can see, PC gamers will be able to adjust the game’s resolution as well as turn on or off the title’s 30 FPS lock. Then there are the settings regarding shadow resolution, volumetric lighting, effects quality, global illumination, screen space reflections, screen space ambient occlusion, texture resolution and shadow filtering , all of which should help gamers achieve a decent mix between quality and performance. Naturally, reducing the resolution and the texture size will help out those who plan to run the game on graphics cards with 2GB of memory or less. It’s worth remembering that 2GB of VRAM is stated as a minimum for Quantum Break.

Quantum Break Will Receive a Large Graphics Patch This Week

Upcoming action-adventure third-person shooter game Quantum Break will be released for Xbox One consoles and Microsoft Windows on April 5, and I honestly can’t wait to get my hands on it. These days, certain outlets have the privilege of playing pretty much any AAA game before its official release, and fortunately for us, they often share their gameplay experiences via YouTube or other video sharing websites. The gameplay videos of Quantum Break that we’ve seen so far certainly look impressive, not just from a graphics point of view but also gameplay-wise. However, it looks like the game will actually look even better on its release day as it is about to receive a major patch sometime this week.

The patch will focus mainly on improving the title’s graphics, and since this is going to be an exclusive DirectX 12 experience, we can definitely expect great things. Even though the company behind Quantum Break has stated that it will not be releasing any DLC for it, the developers already have some ideas on how to expand the universe and its storyline. Obviously, all of this is going to depend on how the game will be received. Below you will find a gameplay video of Quantum Break released by Angry Centaur Gaming. The announcement regarding the upcoming graphics patch was made at the 4:18 mark.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqwqmjUijNA

Quantum Break Receives a Launch Trailer

When I first saw the gameplay trailer for Quantum Break, I wasn’t necessarily too impressed. Sure, its graphics seemed pretty good and the gameplay had a few  innovative features, but overall it just looked like a regular third-person shooter that would have me kill one wave of enemies after another until I got bored. I’m pleased to say that I was most likely wrong on all accounts, as Quantum Break is shaping up to be a very interesting game, not just because it requires DirectX 12 but also because it has a well-written story behind its action-packed scenes. The game was developed by Remedy Entertainment and will be published by Microsoft Studios, which means that it won’t be arriving on Steam.

The good news is that we don’t have to wait too long until its official launch date, as Quantum Break is scheduled for an April 5 release for PC and Xbox One consoles. And since that date is almost upon us, the game’s developers have decided to treat us with a launch trailer, which features the renowned “Come As You Are” track by Nirvana. Even though this game is likely to push my PC to its limits, I’m really looking forward to playing it for a bit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eU17_kd-e4w

Will you be picking up Quantum Break?

Remedy Reveals the Truth Behind Alan Wake’s Return

The internet was all abuzz following the revelation that Remedy Entertainment – developers of the highly anticipated Quantum Break – had trademarked “Alan Wake’s Return”, which was assumed to be a forthcoming sequel to Xbox 360 and PC survival horror game, Alan Wake.

Now, Remedy’s Sam Lake has spoken to Kotaku about the speculation about Alan Wake’s Return being an imminent sequel, and the news will leave many disappointed: the trademarked name instead refers to a series of in-game mini-episodes about Alan Wake, similar to the Bright Falls web series, which may or may not feature within Quantum Break.

“A big part of the trademarking process all in all is the legalities of it,” Lake explained to Kotaku. “Just making sure everything is covered.” He added that, with video game development, “it’s a different process of making sure everything is locked down”.

“So,” Lake said, “[there’s] no real news about anything future Alan Wake-related.”

Regarding a potential future Alan Wake game, Lake admitted, “Other than that, we are exploring possibilities and concepting different things, but lots needs to click into place for anything to happen. We will be the first to talk about it when there is something definite to talk about.”

An Alan Wake cameo within Quantum Break has been rumoured for some time.

Quantum Break to Require Internet Connection

Quantum Break is set to be one of the biggest games to grace Windows 10 this year, and with the game using directX 12 (DX12) you will have to buy it through the app store. This may be a problem for some as those who purchased the rather silently released Gears Of War Ultimate Edition found that the game was more than lacking in terms of performance and stability. It may come as a shock to some then that the next nail in the Windows 10 gaming experience is the constant online connection that you will require for Quantum Break.

Why is this a big deal you may ask? The problem people will have with this is that the game is a single player game, requiring an online connection means that should your internet drop out or you want to play on the go you won’t be able to. The reason given by Microsoft is  that you will require a high-speed internet connection to enjoy the cutscenes in the game, which is considered story heavy.

It was recently revealed that the Xbox One version of the game will be 44.09GB in size, a whole 8GB more than the 36.18GB. It now seems that the size difference is because Xbox one will be downloading the video content as well, requiring only PC gamers to have a constant online connection. With the Xbox One video being limited to 1080p video files, a mere shade of the 4K content the PC will enjoy, some people will argue that for a single player game, downloading the video at a lesser quality may be worth saving the hassle of an always online connection.

First a bad release for Gears Of War and now the news that always online single player games are Microsoft’s hope for Windows 10 games, are you likely to pick up the game and if so do you think that Microsoft has done the right thing?

Quantum Break Bigger on Xbox One Than PC – Price Revealed

Forthcoming third-person action shooter Quantum Break, developed by Alan Wake producers Remedy Entertainment, is now available to pre-order for Windows 10, with the store page revealing that the install size of the game is less than on Xbox One.

According to the page on the official Microsoft Store, the Windows 10-exclusive version of Quantum Break will be 36.18GB, compared to 44.09GB on Xbox One.

Windows 10:

Xbox One:

The Windows 10 version will feature:

  • XBOX LIVE: Stay connected to the Xbox Live community, view achievements, watch game clips, chat with friends and more. Record, narrate, and share your most epic gaming moments with built-in Game DVR.
  • XBOX LIVE: Store saved games in the cloud and continue playing on a different PC right from where you left off. Play with your Xbox One Controller for Windows using the wired or wireless adapter.

While the specifications are listed as:

  • MINIMUM SPECS: CPU: Intel Core i5-4460, 2.70GHz or AMD FX-6300; GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX760 or AMD Radeon R7; RAM: 8 GB; Hard Disk Space: 55 GB; DX12 capable GPU; Windows-compatible keyboard/mouse
  • RECOMMENDED SPECS: CPU: Intel Core i5-4690, 2.70GHz or AMD equivalent; GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX970 or AMD Radeon R9; RAM: 16 GB; Hard Disk Space: 55 GB; DX12 capable GPU; Xbox Game Controller
  • SUPPORTED OS: Windows 10 (64-bit version only)

Quantum Break is out for Windows 10 and Xbox One on 5th April.

Quantum Break is Not Coming to Steam

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.

Microsoft: ‘Bringing Quantum Break to Windows 10 is a Great Benefit’

Microsoft has forged a fairly distrustful relationship with PC gamers over the last decade due to broken promises to take the platform seriously, and the horrendous Games For Windows Live DRM client. As a result, any claims regarding their renewed focus is rightfully met with scepticism because of Microsoft’s poor track record. On the other hand, Phil Spencer has been nothing short of a revelation and adopted a more open approach to PC gaming while catering to the core console demographic. Sure, he’s made some mistakes along the way as Microsoft’s initial PC gaming talk was very disappointing, but at least there is some progress thanks to his leadership.

In an interview with PC Gamer during Gamescom 2015, Phil Spencer openly answered questions about the likelihood of Quantum Break coming to PC and said:

“In the case of things like Scalebound or Crackdown or Quantum Break, you know, just to be completely honest with you, we started those games before we really looked at expanding into Windows in the way that I wanted to bring as part of becoming head of Xbox.”

“Going to those teams mid-cycle and saying: ‘Hey, by the way, I want to add a platform,’ didn’t really feel like necessarily the best way to end up with the best result for the game. They had a path that they were on. It’s not to say those games could never come to Windows, but right now we’re on the path to finish the great games that they’ve started, and I want that to be the case. These games are on a path, whereas with, like, Halo Wars 2 I had the opportunity from the beginning, when we’re sitting down with the studio, to say, ‘Here’s the target. Here’s what we wanna go do.”

Despite this, Microsoft and Remedy recently announced Quantum Break was coming to PC at the same time as the Xbox One version. Clearly, this is uncharted territory and a major departure from the company’s initial plans. Up to this point, Microsoft has either dismissed the PC with major exclusives, or delayed them to encourage users to purchase an Xbox One console. I’ve been very critical about their decision-making process and fixating on the idea that putting Xbox One games on the PC platforms results in lost sales. I don’t think it’s that simple because many console owners prefer the simplicity of not upgrading their hardware and have no intention of building a gaming machine.

Head of Xbox Marketing Aaron Greenberg recently discussed the decision on the Major Nelson podcast and eloquently argued:

“We weren’t sure how and when we could get the Windows 10 version done. They lined up [with the Xbox One version]; a lot of people’s reaction on Twitter was like, I get it, you want to bring this to a lot more gamers to play, but why didn’t you tell us about this before?”

“We’re trying to bring gamers together, we’re trying to break down the walls if you will.”

“To be able to bring a title like Quantum Break to the Windows 10 ecosystem is a great benefit. We know that there are a lot of PC gamers out there who would like to play the game, so that opens up a new audience.”

Quantum Break is scheduled to launch on Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs on April 5th.

Quantum Break is Coming to PC With Hefty System Requirements

Quantum Break is an upcoming third-person-shooter action game by Remedy Entertainment. Remedy made itself a household name with the release of Max Payne which deployed an intriguing bullet time mechanic. Later on, the company produced Alan Wake, and received widespread critical acclaim for its occult, eerie setting. Even though Alan Wake originally launched on the Xbox 360 and took a considerable amount of time to arrive on the PC platform, it was well worth the wait. Remedy is a PC developer at heart which raised hopes that their latest endeavour, Quantum Break would eventually come to the PC.

In a rather surprising move, Remedy has just announced that the game will launch on PC at the same time as the Xbox One. Now this is an intriguing strategy, because Microsoft has typically given PC players delayed releases to encourage those with an impatient disposition to purchase an Xbox One console. Please note, Quantum Break is a Windows 10 exclusive and this is mainly due to the use of Microsoft’s latest API, DirectX 12. During the shocking announcement, the studio unveiled the very hefty system requirements to play Quantum Break optimally:

Quantum Break PC Requirements

Minimum Requirements Recommended Specs
OS Windows 10 (64-bit) Windows 10 (64-bit)
DirectX DirectX 12 DirectX 12
CPU Intel Core i5-4460, 2.70GHz or AMD FX-6300 Intel Core i7 4790, 4GHz or AMD equivalent
GPU NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 or AMD Radeon R7 260x NVIDIA GeForce 980 Ti or AMD Radeon R9 Fury X
VRAM 2 GB 6 GB
RAM 8 GB 16 GB
HDD 55 GB available space 55 GB available space

As you can see, the recommended specification is absolutely mesmerizing and requires a top of the range PC. It’s unclear if this refers to 4K 60 frames-per-second or a lower resolution, but whatever the case, it’s going to use a lot of graphical horsepower. Additionally, it’s rather strange to see 16GB RAM to simply run the game properly, given the majority of gaming systems see 8GB as ample. Perhaps, it’s going to be a visual masterpiece and this is shown in the recommended specification. I have to say though if this only applies to 1080P, then it’s surely going to cause some major headaches.

Quantum Break launches on PC and Xbox One on the 5th April.

Quantum Break Rated For PC in Brazil

Remedy Entertainment is a legendary development studio best known for the Max Payne series and wowed survival horror fans with the release of Alan Wake. Originally, Alan Wake launched as an exclusive Xbox 360 title, and eventually made its way onto the PC platform. The long wait was worth it though due to the impressive array of graphical enhancements and good optimization. Back in November, the company’s co-founder, Sam Lake commented about Quantum Break’s current exclusivity and hoped it would eventually end up on the PC platform.

In an interesting twist, the Brazil Advisory Rating Board has rated Quantum Break for PC in addition to the Xbox One version. Clearly, this doesn’t mean the game is suddenly going launch on PC but it raises hopes about a PC version being considered. Perhaps, Microsoft is going to adopt a similar approach to Rise of the Tomb Raider and keep the game a console exclusive for some time while offering a PC release fairly quickly. I’d love to see Quantum Break on PC and I’m sure this sentiment is shared by the majority of PC gamers. Sadly, there are some Xbox One owners out there yearning for every exclusive to remain only on the Xbox One. I really do not understand this mindset, and it’s purely an act of selfishness to justify their purchase.

Given the success of Alan Wake on PC, it makes sense to launch Quantum Break in a similar fashion. Although, I’m hoping it doesn’t take as long. The Xbox One’s current market position is quite weak and a major disappointment for Microsoft. As the situation continues, they might become more open to the PC platform and release titles simultaneously. Although, this is a rather optimistic viewpoint. Whatever the case, it looks likely that Quantum Break will arrive on PC but there’s no indication when this will happen.