“Master Chief, would you mind telling me what you’re doing on PC?”
“Sir, finishing this fight… on a new platform!”
Halo is coming to PC after over 10 years of waiting, a few spin-off titles and a really bad port of Halo 5’s Forge Mode and Custom Games… Finally, the greatest franchise of all time (Don’t @ me) is coming to our home computers / laptops. This not only marks the redemption of 343 Industries in the eyes of many-a Halo fan, but also shows a promising future in which Microsoft truly embraces the PC gaming community.
With several Xbox exclusives seeing PC releases over the past few years, be it Ori and the Blind Forest, or Sunset Overdrive’s more recent port, in addition to the whole Xbox Play Anywhere scheme which introduces a shared PC and Xbox digital library, AND the fact that all of these PC ports are coming to Steam truly does bode well for Microsoft’s future plans with the PC gaming world. In addition to these recent ports, PlayStation exclusive developer Quantic Dream has recently announced ports of it’s three most recent games, “Heavy Rain”, “Beyond: Two Souls” and “Detroit: Become Human” heading over exclusively to the Epic Games store. Considering how much heat Epic Games have been getting over allegations that their store is concealing spyware, it’s not hard to believe that Microsoft is being praised for their decision to bring The Master Chief Collection to Steam rather than fall into the Epic exclusive category that so many games seem to be doing now, or even keeping it as a Windows Store exclusive.
With that being said, Microsoft still have a lot to prove. The Xbox One wasn’t exactly the most well received console, Xbox Game Pass still receives a fair bit of flak with the whole ‘games as a service’ model not really being held in high regard, so what they do in the coming years with regards to PC gaming is going to be held under a certain level of scrutiny, however, things do seem to be looking good for them as of right now. Given that Xbox Live is now heading over to the Nintendo Switch as well, this could see a bright future regarding cross play between PC, Xbox and Nintendo. Whilst Sony still retain a vast number of exclusive IPs such as the God of War franchise, Spider-Man and Death Stranding. The bold move to bring all Xbox exclusives over to the PC, is a comforting and commendable decision by Microsoft that I hope both Nintendo and Sony begin to embrace. If it’s working out for Microsoft, why can’t it for everyone else?
Unfortunately, I do still have some doubts that Microsoft will fully embrace the PC community. With a console of their own, there’s every chance they’ll still treat the PC as a second-class market in order to further promote buying an Xbox, after all, they are still a company that is primarily motivated by money, as all companies are. However, with time, and positive feedback and reception, Microsoft could warm up to the PC as their main platform and thrive on the platform. It’s a win for all.
Just please let them bring all their past exclusives over to the PC. The Master Chief Collection brings the Halo saga but what about Gears of War, Forza, Fable, or hell, even the ones no one remembers like Brute Force.
In summary, Microsoft have a bright potential future on PC, but they still have some trust to gain thanks to a few business choices that have been generally frowned upon by the gaming community at large. As a side note, during my research for this article, I discovered that not only was Drake of the 99 Dragons not an Xbox exclusive, but is also available for purchase on the Steam store. My day has officially been made.