Xbox Boss Confirms More Steam Releases Coming, Discusses PC Struggles

"I don't think Valve's hurt by not having our first-party games in their store right now."

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Appearing on GameSpot sister site Giant Bomb's E3 livestream tonight, Xbox boss Phil Spencer talked about Microsoft's efforts in the PC gaming space. He started off by discussing one of PC gaming's biggest players, Steam, and how Microsoft will release more of its games on it.

"I look at Steam today, it's on an incredible growth trajectory. It's a massive force in gaming; a positive force. I think it will be bigger a year from now than it is today. And five years later it will still be bigger again," he said. "I look at Valve as an important [independent software vendor] for us on Windows. They are a critical part of gaming's success on Windows. I don't think Valve's hurt by not having our first-party games in their store right now. They're doing incredible well. We will ship games on Steam again."

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Also in the interview, Spencer stressed that, while Microsoft will put some of its future games on Steam (he didn't say which ones), he is also committed to further building out Microsoft's own Xbox store on PC. "I want to build a store; there's no doubt about that," he said.

Microsoft's PC game releases on the Windows Store haven't all gone too well, Spencer admitted.

"They all haven't gone swimmingly. Some of them have gone well," he explained. "Forza 6 Apex did well. Quantum Break wasn't our best PC release. Killer Instinct did well on PC. Gears of War Ultimate Edition was OK--we definitely learned there."

Speaking generally about Steam, Spencer added, "There's going to be areas where we cooperate and there's going to be areas where we compete. The end result is better for gamers."

Some Microsoft-published games on Steam include Age of Empires II HD and Ori and the Blind Forest. One game that's not there is Quantum Break--Valve isn't missing out, Spencer said. "I think they're doing fine without Quantum Break in their store," he explained.

Additionally, Spencer addressed some of the concerns people, including Epic Games founder Tim Sweeney, have about Microsoft's Universal Windows Platform.

"There's still definitely concern that UWP and our store are somehow linked in a way that is nefarious. It's not," he stated.

Sweeney previously accused Microsoft of monopolizing PC development with the Universal Windows Platform. In the interview tonight, Spencer said he is on good terms with Sweeney, calling him a close friend and someone he speaks with frequently.

One other interesting thing to note from the interview was that Spencer revealed he demonstrated the new, more powerful Xbox Scorpio console to Valve higher-ups.

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SkyHighGam3r

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pffffft **** steam. Put your games on GOG.

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Iemander

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Edited By Iemander

Wut? Quantum Break? Is that a PC game because I didn't see it on Steam?

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MeM

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Lord GabeN has brought Xbox games to justice. The other game companies may be catching on the the fact that they will probably make more money in game sales than consoles bought to play the exclusive game. It seems Sony is now falling behind in the race for least blind Console manufacturer.

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wayne3763

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I think Microsoft is wrong about not putting Quantum Brake on steam, they would probably see about 25-35% increase in sales!

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streamline

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Edited By streamline

@wayne3763: They are probably balancing that against the drop in price and profit by that much or more for that game.

Also, when someone visits their store, they're more likely to buy something else from them.

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Getesh

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Until Microsoft removes the API used for loading games, i would rather have them on steam. One of the key reasons gamers play on PC is either the ability to mod their games, or play without restrictions found on consoles. Ask anyone about the debacle that was tomb raider.

Also a side note is that it's rather cumbersome to find games you've bought on the windows store as you don't have a game list.

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wayne3763

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@Getesh: Consoles suck they are to restrictive!

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LordCrisp

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@wayne3763: Windows Store is the exact same... and it's even harder to find your way around in that mess

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TheWalkingGhost

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What reason do i have to buy an xbox?

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OmegaTau

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Edited By OmegaTau

Nobody wants your games on steam mircosoft.

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SkyHighGam3r

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Screw Steam and the Xbox Store

Just put them all on GOG

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Choad-Warrior

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Edited By Choad-Warrior

Valve is of course not hurting. HOWEVER the gamers who know and don't want to use MS (or Origin) can potentially be if they want to play certain titles behind content walls.

I don't like having a million different accounts for a million different stores. Undue hyperbole aside, having all the developers try and profit with their own content one stop shop (and forced registry) is bad for gamers. Steam and GoG are great universal stores for people to get their content. But publishers are getting worse and worse these days and all want their own slice and wall off their digital content. That is bad for the gamer.

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R4gn4r0k

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@Choad-Warrior: "I don't like having a million different accounts for a million different stores." And I don't like having to own PC and multiple consoles to play all the exclusives, but that's the reality of things.

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Choad-Warrior

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@R4gn4r0k: Again, bad for gamers. We don't have to accept the reality of the market by supporting it. That's why a free market is designed the way it is.

Sadly too many casuals who don't care, and defeatists who just accept it, make it a tough free market.

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R4gn4r0k

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@Choad-Warrior: But I feel a monopoly would be even worse for gamers. Now we have choice and now there are options.

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sonicnerd14

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@Choad-Warrior: To be fair though its to their discretion to how they want to sell their games, and they have a rigbt to make their own platforms. I don't see how people don't understand that these companies are bussiness first like everyone else. The consumer is always going to be their as long as they get what they want, but if the company isn't humming along, then the consumer can't get what they want.

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Choad-Warrior

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@sonicnerd14: Oh I get it. I just vote with my wallet. But even Apple sells their stuff outside their stores. Because they know that more exposure and consumer availability is better.

Really Phil should have said: "We won't be hurting by not having our games on Steam."

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greaseman1985

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Competition is good for gamers. Only haters think this is somehow bad.

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Choad-Warrior

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@greaseman1985: Cause MS store and UWP are not good.

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greaseman1985

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@Choad-Warrior: Growing pains of a new platform. Steam simply has us spoiled because it works well now. It wasn't this great when it first came out either. With time the Windows Store will improve and it'll become a worthy competitor.

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R4gn4r0k

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@greaseman1985: Steam isn't great now either. The store is a flooded mess. Whenever I search for a game that looks interesting, I have to go over two dozen games that don't interest me at all.

The store is absolutely flooded with surivival games, unfinished games, early access games, broken games and now of course VR tech demos.

More competition is good so Valve would finally fix things.

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BigDegs

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I don't care who I'm giving my money to, but I want all my games in one space. I begrudgingly opened up an account on GOG because they have a lot of the games steam is missing, but I don't want to go any further than that. Uplay can go suck it! So can Origin. And so can MS if they go the same route. Steam beat you all to the punch.

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mane_basic

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@bigdegs: so do you think all stores should close down since u can get is at Walmart? the answer is hell no so why should no other company open a digital store front up just cause you like steam. the more places who are fight for your money is a good thing ms store is mostly going to be ms first party games which with one purchase you have access to it no matter where you wish to play. but if you buy it on steam you will only get it on pc. it seem like ms has given us a good reason for y to pick their store for their first party games. steam could always partner up to sony to allow crossplay if the dev allow it but I doubt crossbuy will be a thing for any other game beside ms first party games bought thru their store front

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with_teeth26

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I don't begrudge them wanting to use the windows store for games, I just wish it was better. and it sounds like they will work on improving it. The important thing is, MS is putting all their games out on PC now. Regardless of how they do it, I'll take that as a win.

Not playing a game because it uses a third-party platform other than Steam is silly. competition is a good thing, and Valve could really use some competition since they are in a rut of trading and cosmetic items right now.

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LordCrisp

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@with_teeth26: agreed... I don't care how many places I need to be to play the games I wanna play...

What I DO care about is the usefullness of those platforms... Steam works pretty great, although it has it's flaws. uPlay is horrible, but at least better that it used to be... same with Origin, although better that uPlay... GOG Galaxy is decent, but is still lacking some things.

Microsoft Store though... it's utterly USELESS...

No executables, so you can have good old fachioned icons on your desktop, in a toolbar etc...

It's incredibly annoying to find the actual games you own (even when they're installed)

It's stupidly hard to tell it to install on a different drive that your Windows drive.

It's equally stupid hard to figure out how to uninstall something in there.

Then there's the problem for modders, that everything is so secretly hidden, and the store won't accept mods.

And why is that horrible place STILL set up for tablet/phone use... the UI in HORRIBLE :(

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BrunoBRS

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Edited By BrunoBRS

i won't lie, as interested as i am in some of the games they announced this E3, i won't play them because they're windows 10 exclusives, and require me to sign up for yet another store.

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Bickle2

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Dear Phil

Please make external modules that will allow products from other stores to pop Xbox achievements. Even stuff that's not yours

No one wants fake Steam Uplay or Origin junk.

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santinegrete

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Right, it only hurts the sales of your games. But not as much as the abysmal state of current ports.

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mep69

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If they put games on Steam but it then just opens on the Windows 10 store, then i'll pass.

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runstalker

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Edited By runstalker

To paraphrase Johnny Minmat -- We have four (4) groups now:

Group 1: Doesn't want to buy a PC and only has a 1080p TV, they stick with Xbox One.

Group 2: Has a powerful PC, they buy the best Xbox games through the Windows 10 Store.

Group 3: Wants 4K media/UHD disc playback for cheap, they buy Xbox One S.

Group 4: Has a 4K TV, doesn't care for PC and wants premium 4K gaming - they buy Scorpio.

All four groups are purchasing 'Xbox' games and using Xbox services, supporting Microsoft. The console people are buying hardware (running a retrofit of Windows 10) and console games, the PC people are buying/updating to a new Microsoft OS that is being heavily phased-in, and as a bonus they're buying exclusive Xbox games from a Microsoft Store, for their PC. All of it cash in the bank for MS. For better or worse.

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Seafort

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@runstalker: You missed out the most important group. The one with PC gamers who hate the Windows Store and UWP and won't support Microsoft's initiative of try to control PC gaming once again. I'm part of this group and that's the one Microsoft will have the hardest time to persuade to buy their overpriced subpar console ports.

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IAmMcGruber

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Edited By IAmMcGruber

@runstalker: I know, its funny when people go "Screw you MS, i'm just gonna play them on my PC"....well that's the point. MS gets your money now regardless and they really don't care how you play their games. IF they cared they wouldn't have made PC an option (like Sony). They've just made their install base for their games that much bigger.

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ShepardCommandr

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remove UWP and we'll talk

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Gamer_4_Fun

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@ShepardCommandr: UWP is here to stay. If developers don't like it, simply use the existing Win32.

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LoafIt

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Where's all the salt.. coming from..

sure Xbox's launch is a failure... but they chopped the head of that other head and installed Phil Spencer.

So far Xbox's efforts have only ever been on improving their console and service.... it's also a hot time right now for the Xbox community to speak up... because they are actually listening and providing features asked by the community.

Xbox One S will be obsolete in 18 months if people go out and get a 4k TV for their Xbox Scorpio... If people don't get a 4k TV than you might as well stay with Xbox One S.

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pound-u

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@loafit: LOL, what pathetic logic. Scorpio is more powerful. Even if people still have 1080p TVs, it will still be better than the current Xbox One S. This is Microsoft trying to get people to buy the Xbox One S instead of not buying it and waiting for the Scorpio. Of course, like the usual apologist, you buy into that stupid logic. Secondly, there is no way in hell a console will be able to pull off native 4K at anything over 4K, if that. Wake up and stop brown-nosing Microsoft.

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d1m1m1

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*shrugs* I'm just going to forget that UWP exists the same way I forgot the Windows 10 store exists. I don't trust Microsoft and never will until they prove otherwise.

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Spartan_418

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Quantum Break would benefit from being on Steam. Even if it's still broken, at least Steam would allow me to fully download and install it, unlike the Win10 Store.

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DaVillain-

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DaVillain-  Moderator

I hope everything works well for MS part so I can play all of there games on PC and I won't need to use my Xbox One anymore.

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runstalker

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Have to agree here. Look through the PR-speak to see reality:

Ultimately, this is their Windows 10 set top box. Their Steambox. The Xbone was intended to be this vessel, but it simply lacked the muscle to stay long term, as Microsoft's Windows 10/UWP strategy evolved. Now they'll have their vessel for that UWP roadmap with Scorpio. It's all about countering loss on hardware with profit on software and service platforms, placing a Windows 10/Store entity in the living room for general consumers lacking the know-how or interest to assemble a HTPC Win 10 solution. Despite the battle cry for 'end of generations' and 'Play Anywhere' this is decidedly a plan to expand the walled garden of Xbox Live, Windows 10, UWP, and associated platform services.

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runstalker

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Edited By runstalker

@runstalkerNot speculative - It really is about the MAU.

http://mspoweruser.com/microsoft-says-xbox-one-sales-number-not-an-important-indicator-monthly-active-users-is/

The financials sort of prove it. Phil is just carefully doing what is ordered from higher up: intergrate Xbox into Windows 10, try and convert the users to MS Store users. The money is in the store, Xbox services ecosystem, exclusive software on Xbox and Windows 10. If you can make money on hardware, you are going to have to charge premium - but some are willing to pay for convenience instead of building a Win 10 PC.

But hardware, does it really matter going forward? Xbox and Windows 10 become platforms independent of hardware.

http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2016-06-15-why-scorpio-and-xbox-one-s-sales-dont-actually-matter

:

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Richardthe3rd

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@runstalker: exactly this, and I think it's why Microsoft is really putting themselves in a strong position.

They can make their own windows bases ecosystem but can allow independent publishers to still use that platform across multiple types of devices.

They're basically opening the gates and banking on getting more users who'll in respect be more likely to pay for their services. It's simple and it makes sense, and it accomplishes thier goal without ostracizing consumers.

It's becoming less about "mine is mine" platform wise and more about competing services, and I think that's a very exciting direction for consumers in terms of value. Having multiple publishers compete for my dollar on a single platform is a really big deal.

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ExcelEVO

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@runstalker: I disagree with both RANTS!

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PS2fweak

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I completely understand where they're coming from, but I think MS makes these type of decisions for business reasons and then lose business.

They will break me at some point, but everything is working for me and I just don't see a reason to switch to Windows 10 yet. MS loves forcing people, like they did with their indie dev policies and Kinect. Again, I get it, but it just turns a lot of people off. Might help them in the long run, but look how quickly they usually switch things up when people don't respond as well as they hoped.

Games like Recore, Scalebound, and a full Forza game will probably force my hand, but for now I'm good with what I can play on Steam & GOG. I'm still glad MS is finally showing love to their other platform. I just wish they handled things differently.

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