Microsoft announces major PC gaming changes

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And just as we committed on the console, it is our intent to include new games from Xbox Game Studios in Xbox Game Pass for PC the same day as their global release, including titles from newly acquired studios like Obsidian and inXile.

Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox and all gaming at Microsoft, announced changes today that change Microsoft's approach to gaming on PC fundamentally. According to people familiar with company plans, the PC version of Game Pass will be included with Ultimate Game Pass that was announced earlier this year for no additional cost.

"We know millions of PC gamers trust Steam as a great source to buy PC games and we've heard the feedback that PC gamers would like choice", Spencer said.

Microsoft will sell more in-house Xbox Studios games on other platforms, including Valve's Steam marketplace.

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The company will also be offering 20 previously-unavailable games on Steam, including all three Age of Empires games, and it'll also be offering the upcoming game Gears of War 5 there. Spencer emphasizes, "the player should be at the center of their gaming experience" and admits that its previous preference for its own store might not have been the most user-friendly attitude. With a slate of new game modes and improved skating mechanics, you can cool down your summer on the ice. While not mentioned by name, the elephant in the room here is the Epic Games store.

Microsoft acknowledges that Win32 is the "app format that game developers love to use and gamers love to play". While that might be a bunch of techno-nonsense to the average consumer, what it means is that games will no longer have to specifically require Windows 10 or the Windows Store to be featured in Game Pass.

While there are, of course, plenty of PC storefronts out there, I'm willing to bet that Spencer isn't referring to Uplay or Origin.

Win32 Support on Windows 10Microsoft will be adding full support for native Win32 games on Windows 10, allowing for more player customisation with their experience and better support for developers.