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June 15, 2017

Microsoft promises to achieve parity between Xbox and PC games

by John_A

Why it matters to you

Microsoft may not have the greatest track record on PC over the past decade, but it’s looking to improve that moving forward with some major changes to console ports.


With Microsoft’s recent push to see many games playable just about anywhere, you might imagine there would be one platform somewhere that was better than the others. That’s not something Microsoft itself wants to see, though, and the firm has announced at this year’s E3 gaming show that it will endeavor to make all of its games play equally well on the Xbox and the PC.

Although for decades there have been mountains of mud slung by gamers of various camps about why their chosen system or platform is the best, gaming today is much more universal. While there are exclusives, they are far less common and more often games are multi-platform and can be streamed to and from various devices. That’s a push Microsoft has been part of in recent years and as it expands its Xbox into a service as much as a hardware choice, it promises to make sure there is parity across its platforms.

Crucially, that means that Microsoft wants to ditch the age-old system of porting. Indeed two upcoming games, Sea of Thieves and Forza Motorsport 7, will not be ported in the traditional sense. Instead, as TechSpot points out, the two versions of the game are being developed in parallel. The plan is to offer the game on both platforms with comparable features and performance.

This will mean a lowering of the minimum requirements to run the games, which should make them more inclusive for gamers playing on weaker hardware on PC. While that could give those on higher-end systems pause, Microsoft has clarified that it wants to build a base game parity across systems, while still providing options for those with more powerful PCs and graphics hardware to really push the games to the limit.

Scalability on the Xbox platform could have some benefit on the console itself, too, since Microsoft will be spreading its latest generation across three hardware configurations when it launches the Xbox One X this fall. It will want to make sure games play just as well on the original Xbox One, the One S and the One X, despite their hardware differences.

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