Microsoft at GDC: The PC still matters

Microsoft’s talk at the GDC has seen the software giant reassuring PC users that they matter.

Now, I haven’t seen the conference for myself, and to the best of my knowledge there’s still no stream available, so for now I’ve had to cobble together what I know from a variety of liveblogs. Apologies in advance for anything that’s either factually incorrect (which hopefully won’t happen), or which desperately needs some expansion due to context. So, uh, this is a kind of CliffsNotes of the Microsoft talk.

So, Windows 10 is at least partially aimed at gamers. There’ll be connectivity for Xbox LIVE across everything Microsoft do: phones, tablets, the Xbox, Windows 10. Windows 10 itself will offer cross-buy and cross-platform play, so you can buy a title once and play it across multiple devices; an example given is that if you buy a table for Pinball FX 2, you’ll be able to play that table on both PC and Xbox One. And yes, you’ll have one account across every platform, which brings back painful memories of Games for Windows LIVE.

Windows 10 will have a full software development kit, with the same API as the console; Microsoft aims for developers to create games for console and then easily push them out on PC as well. DirectX 12 will offer large performance improvements across both the CPU and the GPU. Oh, and there’ll be a wireless adapter released for the PC which will allow all wireless controllers for the Xbox One to work on PC, which might have some interesting implications for games that use non-standard controllers.

What else? Microsoft will be publishing Gigantic, a Motiga-developed MOBA/shooter, and – yes – there’s work being done to make sure Windows 10 is good for both gamers and game developers.

Lots of talk about how important the PC is, then, but we’ll have to see whether or not anything actually comes of that. People routinely talk about the importance of the PC and then continue focusing on consoles, and Microsoft have hardly been an exception to that, so… well, time will tell.