It was recently announced that Quantum Break will be releasing on PC along with Xbox One and this is sent some ripples among the Xbox One owners who are concerned about sales of the console.
The game was originally announced for the Xbox One and would have no doubt convinced many people to buy the console. After all, an exclusive Remedy game has a lot of potential. For someone who has a good PC and bought an Xbox One to play this game, it would seem like a major waste of money.
So did Microsoft make a right decision in announcing this? It is speculated that games like Forza 6, Gears of War 4 and others will be heading to the PC as well which will no doubt make people think twice buying an Xbox One.
However, one has to take into account that games are expensive to make and considering the Xbox One install base which is quite behind the PS4, it may not be feasible to make it an exclusive. Lately we’ve seen Sony do the same thing by releasing console exclusives. It remains to be seen if they do the same thing with their first-party games but for third-party ones releasing on multiple platforms seems to be the best way to go to reduce financial risk.
Microsoft tends to benefit a lot because Quantum Break is exclusive to the Windows 10 Store on the PC which means they do not have to pay 30% cut to Steam and can make quite a bit of profit if the sales are good. However, it’s difficult to get PC gamers to support a digital distribution platform other than Steam.
This has been a new strategy from Microsoft to unify their hardware and software services. It’s great that they are paying more attention to the Windows 10 OS but the concerns are real. Xbox platform brings in a lot of revenue to Microsoft and releasing games on the PC will make people lose interest in the platform.
As long as Sony keeps their first-party games exclusive to the PS4, people will look at a combination of PS4 plus PC as a viable solution to play most of the games released in the market. This not only increases PS4 sales but reduces the appeal of Xbox One to many potential buyers.
One could argue that the audience which plays on consoles versus the one on PC have nothing in common and this won’t really affect hardware sales but only time will tell if such a move becomes disastrous for Microsoft’s living room ambitions.
It’s clear that Phil Spencer, boss of Xbox, does not have a console war mentality and wants to pay equal attention to both Windows and Xbox and he should be applauded for this. Certainly, more people getting to play games is a good thing. If Quantum Break does not sell well on the PC due to piracy or any other reason, other games which should be announced for the PC may not be announced. In a way you can say Microsoft is taking a huge gamble and it’s up to PC gamers to reciprocate positively.
The PC platform provides a lot of advantages and games can look absolutely stunning. This recent decision may tempt a lot of people to build a powerful PC instead of investing in the console ecosystem. Thus the importance of exclusives becomes clear. It kinda feels like Microsoft has thrown in the towel and are looking forward to the next-gen where hopefully they do not make serious mistakes that they made with the Xbox One.
Being behind the PS4 when it comes to sales can be extremely demoralizing and there is no way they are ever gonna catch up to Sony this gen, so it may be a good move to try to expand to the PC market and come out all guns blazing next gen.
If Quantum Break is successful on the PC, we may see other games getting announced for the platform as well and Microsoft will be getting the one thing it needs the most right now – goodwill of the gamers.