Xbox and Windows will soon become one unified gaming platform. According to sources from within Microsoft, Project Helix will enable both console gamers and PC gamers to play on the same servers.
It will cater to the expansion of the Xbox Live platform into the PC gaming world – eventually giving PC gamers access to all the same features that are currently available to console users and vice versa.
Developer sources have told us that Microsoft's new mandate is to release future games–including the flagship Halo series–on both platforms. Kotaku reported.
Using the Universal Windows Platform (UWP), developers will now in theory be able to make games that will translate across 100 percent from console to PC. The idea is currently in operation, however, the results so far have been pretty woeful on Quantum Break and Gears of War 4.
Although it has been reported that by utilising the Dev mode on UWP the development teams have been able to make key jumps forward by enabling FreeSync, G-Sync and uncapped frame rates on the current Windows Store.
UWP will, in effect, make up the basic infrastructure to allow for the games and apps to be shared between the two platforms. This will hopefully mean that your games, saves, profiles and more will seamlessly save to both PC and console, allowing you to jump into your last save on either machine from anywhere in the world.
Already we see that the Xbox One is operating on the Windows 10 OneCore OS which allows the One console to have access to almost all of Windows 10’s best apps and modes. The plan is for ‘Xbox’ to no longer be synonymous with a console but be recognised as a product brand. A system used by both console and PC gamers.
This is another attempt by Microsoft to close the gap in gamer segregation. Whether you are a console or PC gamer – at the end of the day, we are all gamers. People who collectively love to game and share our gaming experiences – the platform upon which you choose has no relevance to the fact that we are all part of the same sect.
Microsoft will have to bear in mind however, that this platform must remain open to third party participation. To lock down your PC platform to Microsoft specific titles would be madness – which incidentally was one of the original terms and conditions. With Valve flourishing with over 100 Million users it would make sense for the UWP to allow third party involvement as to allow this huge market to flow into Microsoft’s stores too.
What this means is that we may see a lot more upcoming PC games listed and demonstrated at this year’s E3. What's more, Forza, owned by Microsoft, has confirmed that all their future Forza titles will be made for both PC and console.
To be fair – this whole proposition is somewhat discombobulated and more than a little confusing – the basics are:
- Microsoft will have a singular gaming platform, UWP
- Console gamers and PC gamers will share the same network
- Console gamers and PC gamers will share the same store
- Xbox is to become a platform brand, not a singular term for a console
- All future Microsoft owned IP will release across both console and PC identically
This is all surmised from the report that Kotaku received from developers inside the Microsoft gaming division. How much of this is true is still unclear.
The only way we are going to know exactly what is going on will be to wait for the announcements from Microsoft. According to the same report we are expected to hear more of Project Helix and the future of console gaming at E3.
Microsoft's E3 2016 briefing will be held, Monday morning on June 13th.
I am in no way a tech minded individual, so this is where I would really love the community input. Does any of the above report hold water with you?
Is this even possible and if so, is it a good idea?