It’s about the experience.
It’s a known fact that the Xbox 360 controller for Windows is a great asset for PC gaming. However, some people feel that they shouldn’t get an Xbox when you can get a superior experience on the PC with high visual fidelity, solid performance and more.
It’s something most of you must have thought about at least once. There will always be a slight differentiating factor though, and that’s the games.
We recently spoke to Xbox India boss Anshu Mor in a massive interview where he revealed a lot of things about the Xbox brand in general. We asked him whether Steam’s Big Picture mode can be a threat to Xbox Live or not, considering the former is free and arguably offers a better experience.
“I don’t think the concept of taking a PC gaming experience on to the TV…I don’t think that’s the big picture here,” he said. “There’s two parts to the gaming experience. One part is the game itself, and the quality that you get.
“There are different ways to look at how you can give a user a complete experience of different games meant for different screens. Xbox Live has games that would work on an Xbox, would also work on a Windows Phone – there’s just a few but there are – there could be more for the future.”
He also revealed that games that are meant for the PC could also be delivered on the Xbox. However, the experience will be a bit different.
“There could be games which are just meant for PC but the experience could be delivered on Xbox,” he said. “But that is not technology innovation. That’s the easiest thing to do, to kind of give a smaller experience or a smaller quality experience on a higher platform.
“The experience could be what could I do with your identity as such, and keep your identity consistent so that when you play a game on TV, on a PC, on a phone, your Achievements, your score, your bragging rights around a game, are consistent across your network.”
I personally don’t think it’s a threat to Xbox Live as such because as long as exclusive games, gamer profiles, achievements and more keep gamers occupied with the platform, not many people would find it to be a big deal.
It’s also something that has to do with Xbox Live integration with Windows 8, something many developers have spoken out against.
In a way I believe Windows 8 is Microsoft’s indirect way of trying to gain some kind of control back in the PC space. They tried before with GFWL but failed spectacularly. Anshu Mor also described the level of integration the Xbox brand has with Windows 8.
“Windows 8 as a platform would carry three services from the Xbox portfolio, which would make them land across multiple devices or different screen sizes including phones, PCs, tablets, etc,” he said said.
“The first is Xbox games services, in which you would look at games coming from the Xbox Live Marketplace, which could be created for those smaller screens. They would get associated with your gamer ID, which is a secondary area of integration – the entire identity of the gamer – and that’s something you carry along.
“So your friends on Xbox Live, messages, notifications, which friend at what point has started playing a particular game – all of that lands on your smaller screen when it happens. The other level of integration that we bring to games per say is that we bring part of the gaming experience onto these small devices.”
Hopefully this level of integration will pay off for them, because it surely looks like a bold move.