Xbox Head Talks Gaming Across Xbox One and PC

Xbox head Phil Spencer was at Microsoft’s Build keynote today to say the company is working on making Windows 10 a “great gaming experience.” Spencer spoke to press after the conference and although Microsoft wants to strengthen ties between PC and Xbox One, that doesn’t mean all first-party games are coming to both.

“Our intent is for when the genres and creative makes sense in both spaces that we’ll put our games in both spaces,” Spencer explained. “I don’t want to make it some kind of artificial mandate because then I think we end up with a ‘Frankengame’ that really wasn’t meant for a certain platform. And because some suit said ‘Hey, everything’s gotta run on both platforms,’ you end up with something people don’t want.”

Spencer said that certain games will be better suited to playing them in front of a monitor with a keyboard and mouse, while others will be better sitting “10 feet away from he screen with a controller in [your] hand.”

The Xbox boss confirmed that keyboard and mouse will work on Xbox eventually, so playing PC-style games will eventually be easier on Microsoft’s console. However, he says he will make sure players will never be forced to play against others with different control methods.

“I’ll never force somebody in our games whose playing with a controller or a mouse and keyboard to play against somebody with a different control scheme,” he said when talking about Xbox’s games. “Mouse and keyboard rotation speed is faster than controller. We know that, you’ll lose.”

Spencer has experience with cross-platform play as he was with Microsoft when Shadowrun came to both Xbox 360 and PC, where it was met with mixed results.

While PC players have a clear advantage in competitive FPS situations, cooperative games like The Division offer experiences where keyboard and mouse and controllers are roughly equal. Spencer says he wants to “completely enable those scenarios” and added that he wants to “enable developers to make the choices” that make sense for them and their games.

Lastly, Spencer talked about Halo on PC and the possibility of bringing Halo 5: Guardians and future titles to PC.

“Halo 5 was shipped as a console game,” he explained. “If we’re going to [bring Halo to PC] moving forward then we’re going to plan on both platforms.”

“I don’t want to get into the world where we’re looking back… it doesn’t mean there’s nothing [in Halo 5] that could ever end up on PC, but I’d much rather look forward with what our plans are.”

In related news, Microsoft announced that all future Forza games would come to both Xbox and PC platforms.

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