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Microsoft's Visionary Plan to Blur the Lines Between Xbox and PC

The Xbox Series X, launched nearly four years ago, was hailed as a "next-gen PC" due to its boxy, rectangular design and hardware upgrades that enabled PC-like graphical modes. Microsoft is now poised to further bridge the gap between Xbox and PC with its next-generation console, as hinted by recent statements from Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer and leaked internal memos focusing on Xbox game preservation and forward compatibility.

Spencer has discussed the potential for opening the Xbox ecosystem to PC stores like the Epic Games Store and Itch.io, indicating a significant shift in the console model. This move would require the console to run PC games, though not in the traditional Windows desktop format. Instead, the console could lean more towards PC game development, utilizing Microsoft's GameCore method to make it easier for developers to package games for both Xbox and PC services.

Microsoft has also established a new team dedicated to preserving existing Xbox games, suggesting a transition away from separate Xbox and PC games. This team would ensure that existing games continue to run on future consoles adopting this new operating approach, making it easier for developers and expanding the range of games available on Xbox.

The integration of PC stores on Xbox would have economic implications, potentially leading to more expensive consoles due to the complexity of subsidizing hardware when rival PC stores are involved. Spencer has acknowledged the challenges of subsidizing hardware in today's market, emphasizing the need to explore ways to simplify the model for creators and players.

Microsoft's rumored Xbox handheld, powered by Arm-based chips, could also benefit from this closer alignment with PC development. By leveraging the strengths of Windows and Xbox, an Xbox handheld could offer a seamless and versatile gaming experience across various devices.

Microsoft has also established a new team dedicated to preserving existing Xbox games, suggesting a transition away from separate Xbox and PC games
Microsoft has also established a new team dedicated to preserving existing Xbox games, suggesting a transition away from separate Xbox and PC games
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