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'Game Mode' for Windows 10 will power Xbox One and Project Scorpio games too [Exclusive]

Recently, Game Mode was revealed in a leaked Windows 10 Build 14997. Game Mode for Windows 10 appears to be a method for allocating resources to prioritize games when they are running, and we expect this to ship with the Creators Update this Spring.

Thanks to trusted sources, we now have more detail on what Game Mode is for, and how it will benefit developers building games for Windows 10, Xbox One, and Project Scorpio.

Update: Updated this article to reflect the fact Game Mode for Windows 10 will bring benefits to Win32 as well as UWP.

In the past, we have discussed Project Helix, which is the codename for an effort by Microsoft to streamline the development chain between Xbox One, Windows 10, and the upcoming next Xbox, Project Scorpio. Project Helix will take the form of the Scorpio dev kit, which Microsoft hopes will power all Windows 10-based game development.

Game Mode, it appears, is a feature that streamlines variations between Xbox consoles and PCs, making sure as many Windows 10 systems as possible can run games to the standards set by the Xbox One and Project Scorpio. Microsoft describes those "target" standards as 900p to 1080p resolution for Xbox One and 4K resolution with 60 frames per second for Project Scorpio, and we've received evidence to suggest that the Xbox One already utilizes "Game Mode" in games developed for the Universal Windows Platform.

If our information is correct, Game Mode made its way to Xbox One dev kits in the summer of 2016, with improvements arriving in subsequent updates throughout fall and winter.

Our information states that games developed for the Windows 10, Xbox One, and Project Scorpio ecosystem specifically need to be "Game Mode enabled" Universal Windows Apps (UWA).

Previously, we were unable to ascertain whether Game Mode would be a feature restricted to games built for the Universal Windows Platform (UWP), but Xbox Platform lead Mike Ybarra confirmed Win32 support will also be included. Our information states that games developed for the Windows 10, Xbox One, and Project Scorpio ecosystem specifically need to be "Game Mode enabled" Universal Windows Apps (UWA).

This means that developers using Game Mode enabled UWP today to build games for Xbox One at 900-1080p and up to 4K for Windows 10 PCs are ready to deploy those games for Project Scorpio, with over 95% of the existing project code intact. This could explain why we're already seeing major players jump on the UWA-train, with Resident Evil 7 set for a Windows 10 Store debut on January 24th, 2017. If it is a Game Mode enabled UWA, Resident Evil 7 is ready for true 4K on Project Scorpio as a result, unpacking its 4K PC textures and settings when it installs on the console.

As a Windows 10 Store "Game mode enabled" UWA, Resident Evil 7 would be ready for a true 4K Project Scorpio debut.

As a Windows 10 Store "Game mode enabled" UWA, Resident Evil 7 would be ready for a true 4K Project Scorpio debut.

It certainly looks as though Microsoft is making a big push into Windows 10 Store gaming with Project Scorpio, leveraging the Xbox ecosystem and the Windows 10 install base as a means to allow gamers to truly play anywhere. Whether it's on consoles, PCs, or with Windows 10 on ARM, maybe even future mobile devices.

Whether or not developers will buy into this vision is another matter entirely. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is available as a UWA on the Windows 10 Store, but it's segregated from all other versions, becoming practically useless for anything other than its campaign. Also, how many of us will really be willing to buy Resident Evil 7 twice to take advantage of Xbox save syncing between the Windows 10 and console versions of the game, considering the game doesn't look like it will support Xbox Play Anywhere? And there's the matter of the Windows 10 Store being an unpleasant experience in general, crammed with shovelware.

Games like Gears of War 4, Astroneer, Halo Wars Definitive Edition, and Killer Instinct are a joy for cross-platform play and purchasing, but convincing major players to sacrifice sales of multiple versions of their games may prove to be an uphill battle. We'll have to wait and see just how many publishers jump on board.

More: Everything we know about Project Scorpio

Jez Corden is a Senior Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

  • Now developers will have to ask themselves if they still want to publish two different versions of their games.. one for Steam and one for the Windows Store. I'm glad I don't have to make that decision.
  • I've been told it's "relatively" easy to move a game from Win32 to UWP even without using a bridge, but yeah it is a bit disruptive. Look at Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare for e.g. PC version on Windows 10 Store can't communicate with the Win32 version... for some reason. Microsoft will need to make sure the UWP versions of major games aren't just weak ports of PC games.
  • Well if i remember Activision could do that but they just chose not to :P
  • Exactly. Microsoft flatout said there is zero reason they can't play with steam or even Xbox if they wanted. Uwp is really a win32/64 app in a secure wrapper. That's it. Microsoft has also said devs have zero limitations. SLI would work fine if the devs wanted, every visual setting is available, it even can support modding likein fallout. It's all up to the dev. The whole point of thisis to put full control in the developers hands. If something doesn't work or a feature is missing its the devs fault. The reason they are doing this this Xbox mode is because they are rolling code into the SDK to make it easier for devs to support cross platform/store play and lots of other things. Now Ms just needs to focus on improving the store itself. There have been some updates that have helped but there is more work to be done and they know it and are working on it
  • Could be problems with anti-cheat etc. we don't know, so let's not be too hasty in condemning
  • Couldn't they deploy the UWP version to Steam as well? It would just download the .app file rather than the equivalent .exe
  • They could, if Steam allowed UWP games in their store. Last I knew, they don't.
  • Correct. I think Valve needs to get some certification from Microsoft for that to happen. 
  • Why would a gamer or even a developer want to be involved in UWP apps/games?  Generally, if you put a comparsion list together for Win32 v UWP, you have a very loopsided affair.   For some indie devs I could see it making sense but not for most developers and probably not for a vast majority of PC gamers.   Ultimately, imo UWP/Store is nothing more than an attempt to turn my PC into a console.   Either way not sure why gamers would interested in UWP games whether on Steam or the MS store, generally. 
  • just take a look at the numbers. Games sell much better on consoles than on PC. And we're talking about a huge difference. That's also the reason why PC games often look like "bad console ports". Because the consoles are more important for the developers. A UWP Game would run on Xbox and PC. So no need for an extra PC port at all.
  • That is the point, going forward there really is no MS console, there is only Windows 10.    There is no reason for a PC gamer to consider playing a UWP game or most developers to even think about it, generally.   There is no more Xbox as a specific hardware... its all Windows 10.    The only question is whether Scorpio will just run a full Win10 OS or they throw another stop game measure OS on it.    As to your point, still not sure why a PC gamer would want to have anything to do with UWP or the MS Store... and I am not sure your comment really addresses my point as far as developers.... there is no more Xbox console, other than a brand name.   Large developers already sell their product on Steam or they have their own store, or sell on multiple outlets.   Why is the MS store even needed?   I mean the MS store is light years behind the competition, heck, they are not even at Games for Windows Live level.   
  • Win10 on the Xbox is not the same as Win10 on the PC and will never be. That's the reason for UWP. Otherwise you would simply play regular PC games on the Xbox. But it's the other way.
    I already said the reason for the developers. They make most of their money with console games not with PC games. Be able to run one game on both would save a lot of resources. PC > Scorpio > XboxOne this is how (potentially) powerful the systems are. Normally they would have to make three different games for each platform.
    But yes. The future UWP games are more like classic PC games we already know.
  • You are confused, Xbox is now a service which runs across their Windows 10 platform. My phone now run Xbox.   Xbox is no longer or in the future will not be tied necessarily to specific hardware, it will be tied to Windows 10.   The Scorpio is nothing more than a Windows 10 box with Xbox brand probably printed on the side, whether there is another stop game OS remains to be seen but its no longer Xbox, its Windows 10.   Xbox is just a service now. The large developers have no incentive to continue down this path as they already their own Store on Windows 10, Steams or other.    Why would a PC gamer want a UWP game?  I really can't think of a reason.   At the end of the day "Xbox" is a service and the name might be used as a brand name on MS hardware products like the Scorpio.    MS would rather you just upgrade your Xbox whenever you want by either upgrade your existing PC or building/buying a new one.... Windows 10 device = Xbox in the future, at least to them. 
  • I'm afraid it's you that are confused, about a great many things.  Everything you're saying is completely wrong. 
  • You just like to say on this forum how everyone is wrong, very constructive.  
  • You're wrong, revenue was already higher on pc than on consoles the past few years. And as long as most pc-gamers refuse to buy UWP games, developers won't bother to publish their games in the Windows 10 Store unless Microsoft pays them to do so. Of course, this may change in the future, but Microsoft has a lot of work to do to make this happen. As MakoDaniels already said, most pc-gamers aren't waiting for a Microsoft controlled ecosystem on pc with console-like limitations, policies and insane digital prices (= huge problem outside the US).  
  • There is only one Store the Microsoft Store... the Xbox store was moved intergrated with the MS Store in 2016.... that part seems more or less complete.   They will continue to move Xbox into Windows 10.   Oh I agree, there really is no incentive for large publisher to sell on the MS Store, generally.   I am not saying they will be successful.  The Xbox division is being placed into the Windows 10 division as Xbox is going bye bye more or less as a specific hardware.   
  • @MakoDaniels, UWP is the way for developers to be able to write the game once (minor tweaks aside) and have it work on PCs and XBox One and Scorpio. It saves them work and produces a better game than a port. The only reasons not to do UWP is inertia and concern, as some dev houses have expressed, over MS gaining more contral over game distribution. Maybe I'm missing your point, but I don't think I'm saying anything surprising or controversial here. As to the inertia reason, that will fade over the next year. I expect that by about the start of 2018, we'll see the majority of games released for the various Microsoft systems as UWP games plus a separate PS4 version.
  •   You could be right, I doubt it but we will see how it works out.   My guess the bigger publishers more or less stay away or let it fade like Games for Windows Live.   For a gamer, I see no reason why one would even consider picking UWP over Win32... its not a close contest.   My take is it is and will continue to be Games for Windows Live but worse.   My take large publisher/devs sticke with Win32 (as PC gamers really don't want UWP) and then maybe PS4 and Nintendo (maybe).    At this point, if I am a gamer or even if use applications... why does UWP exist?  (oh the write once thing... same recycled thing they said about Java in the 90s)  
  • Win32 is deprecated, for all intents and purposes. Windows will continue to support it for the foreseeable future, but the roadmap for that API is dead. UWP is the future of Windows development across the board. Gamers and developers alike will migrate to it, sooner than you think.
  • So, Sweeney was correct?  Ultimately that is what we talking about, I agree.    A topic for another day perhaps.   But if Windows does not support Win32 legacy and beyond.... I see no use for Microsoft or Windows.... really that is the only thing they got as far as the OS imo   But you do make a valid point, which is what developers are worried about.   If the Store is not successful, then in theory have to abandon the hidden plan or just get rid of Windows completely as its no longer a money maker.
  • UWP apps will be available from many sources, not just the Windows Store. Adobe just released its XD design tool as a UWP app downloadable from its website. So no, Sweeney was not correct.
  • UnnDunn, but if UWP was successful, than all that has to be done is turn off the ability to sideload.  Sweeney actually said what COULD happend is that MS ham-string Win32 as time goes on, just as you mentioned.   Whether you can sideload today is immaterial, as that loop can be closed at that point.
  • It's tough to argue with a conspiracy theorist.
  • ​UnnDunn You probably meant to say its tough to backtrack on your own comments.   You actually said what Sweeney said, Win32 could be hamstrung, then once people move over to UWP, they close the sideloading loop.   Its not a conspiracy... its a possible path, kind of like, it could rain today and it may not.   Usually when people pull out the "conspiracy theory" stuff that means they have no way of getting out of their comments.    I guess it was a conspiracy theory when MS abandoned Games for Windows Live and left all those gamers out in the cold?  Or when they abandoned countless technologies, let alone hardware.   MS can't really make money on Win32.... its common sense that they would try and look to close the system... now that doesn't mean they will. So, when you say he (Sweeney) is wrong, what he described was one possible outcome.... which would greatly affect all Win32 users.... you actually pinpointed what he described as the first step... hamstring Win32.   So, no Sweeney is not wrong because he can't be.... all he did was pinpoint a one possible horrible path.... its his fear that would happen so he can't support UWP.
  • "There is only one Store the Microsoft Store... the Xbox store was moved intergrated with the MS Store in 2016" As long as there is a discrepancy in available software, the terms need to exist. Otherwise, you end up with a total mess where people go to a platform expecting programs that never exist. It's not all one store if the software isn't consistent, and calling it such isn't to Microsoft's benefit.
  • Just because you refuse to buy your greatly awaited game doesn't mean that devs won't save money either way. You do realise that they spend millions creating additional versions of the game right? So creating one UWP game is cost saving. Why would PC gamers refuse to buy UWP? UWP is no different than Mac package file just more secure and helps more with piracy and modding/cheating. Console like limitations? LOL!!! You mean console like reliability? And maybe do some more research before throwing nonsense out because MS is not ones who set game prices but developers themselves just as they do on steam. And since their game is not selling they lower price when they have to.  Maybe you should look into buying Steam box instead since MS os is so bad.
  • Nothing you're saying is accurate. It completely misunderstands what both Windows 10 and Xbox are. 
      It sounds like you're just regurgitating what other misinformed people have said.    Xbox isn't going anywhere. Not sure why you'd think otherwise. 
  • test
  • therightclique, all of its accurate unless you think MS is inaccurate with their presse releases and interviews.   Xbox Store has already been intergrated into the MS Store.   Xbox isn't going anywhere... it already did, its a service and the Xbox Store is now intergrated into the MS Store.   Whether they produce another stop gap OS for Scorpio is really irrelevant.   Not sure why you think otherwise.   Eventually, even if they release a "Xbox" its just a Xbox branded PC, heck, why wouldn't one just buy a PC?  
  • well as a gamer(consumer) the only think i care about is for my game to and play so i dont think gamers will care but you wont changer from steam if its on steam and windows 10 unless there is cross play from the version of windows 10 and steam and you love that xbox play anywhere as long as the title is one!!!
  • How is Steam any different? It tries to turn your PC into Steam Console? Benefit of UWP would be one game working on 3 platforms vs exe just working on steam, don't you think it makes sense? It sure doesn't make sense for pirates because UWP is more secure while having all the openess of EXE, now if MS start limiting what's allowed to be installed on PC that's different story.
  • ​Kretenn, I agree actually.   Steam is more or less a closed system, of course, they don't control the OS and the closed nature of the OS... I think that is difference, although of course there are similarities.   The fear is the loop will be closed if UWP was to ever gain a following.   I'm not worried as I would just dump Windows completely at that point but its interesting to discuss one possibility. 
  • xbox using game mode is not anything new.  The system just lets the reserved kinect ram go and then the game will have better performance; they started this in 2014.  Now for computers, that is big news.  That means a medium computer can run just as smooth as the bigger more powerful computers.
  • Not the same. This specifically pertains to UWP game development.
  • No, the question is.... does anyone really care about the Microsoft Store/UWP?  Generally, the answer is no.  Why would a PC gamers want to be involved with UWP either on Steam or the Store?   Let alone, developers. The Microsoft Store/UWP is just an attempt to turn a PC into a console, imo.   Its like Games for Windows LIve but worse, much worse.   I understand their logic to an extent but ultimately this will eventually fail just like GFWL did, but it will probably take longer than that did before they stopped supporting it.   The only real question is whether the the Scorpio runs full Windows 10 or another stop measure.  
  • Maybe if you continue to repeat yourself, someone will agree.
  • There is nothing to agree or disagree with, really.   If one has a problem with Microsoft's stance going forward I guess you can bring up to them, all I am doing is restating what they have already disclosed to the public.   If you have no idea what I am talking about, it might mean you do not understand the current Microsoft strategy or maybe you are just wanting to attack the messager.  Either way, good luck.
  • @MakoDaniels, that's a bizarre interpretation of what MS has said. UWP is a critical part of the Microsoft ecosystem, including games success vs. PS4 and a return to the consumer mobile space. I would agree to the extent that Microsoft is seeking to make their Windows One Core work on various hardware platforms and UWP ensure apps run on those systems, regardless of the hardware (unlike Win32 apps). There is no indication that Microsoft will stop making XBoxes though, nor that the XBox will become just branded PC (but I'd agree it's becoming closer to being a PC). Think about it from a strategic perspective -- what is MS trying to accomplish? They want to build profit in their various lines, and leverage any synergy they can to protect and gain market share. Providing a dedicated XBox for the living room experience and hard-core gamer is a key piece of that. It's their main consumer-side stronghold (as opposed to other efforts they are making to grow their enterprise-side sales). They also want to maximize software and licensing revenue by getting a piece of every game sold. They can do this either by taking a piece of every game sold through the store (UWP apps) or dedicated XBox apps (because developers pay for the XBox logo on the box). Microsoft also doesn't want to lose its OS dominance to Google or anyone else, so they want to build as large a library as possible of software, including games, in the Store. This has nothing to do with Games for Windows Live, which was a novelty run by the Live team; this is now a core part of the MS strategy to preserve Windows' market share. The optimal path for Microsoft, is UWP, so they will try to make that sufficiently attractive to developers to lure them over. I expect them to succeed, with the majority of new games being UWP by (my estimate) about the start of 2018. Maybe the second half of 2018.
  • "Microsoft will stop making XBoxes though​" Hm.  As I mentioned, Xbox is a service not a hardware platform.   As far as say the Scorpio, I have never said they will stop making hardware, actually they said if they find a niche market which they don't believe is being covered they will sell hardware at a premium i.e. Surface lineup.   I would include the Scorpio in that.   Now I agree it could be that the Scorpio does not run full Windows 10, but does it really matter if they lock it down at this point?   MS already lost its OS dominance which is why people are stilling running old versions, no reason to upgrade.   The problem being Win32 is better in every way.    I think we will have to agree to disagree on this.   I think it will not be anymore successful than GFWL as there really is no incentive to jump on the MS Store, and then add UWP to the mix.   Their plan is simple, Xbox as a hardware made negative money, get rid of that and try and move the customers over to the MS Store then intergrate it all.   I don't think they really care as Xbox was a huge money burn as a hardware platform.     Not sure why the large publishers would jump on board, most of them have their own Store or sell in combination on Steam.   Steam is light years better... the question what is the incentive?    I can't see anything... matter of fact, we're approaching a few years in on the MS Store and nobody really cares, generally.     I disagree with you, but at least I understand your opinion.... whereas some posters here don't even understand what is really occurring.   Nice posts although I disagree, generally.
  • @MakoDaniels, it seesm to me that you are confusing Windows, the technology, with Windows the thing that Micronsoft sells and licenses to OEMs to include with their hardware and whatever custom software/bloatware they want to add. Yes, Windows the technology will serve as the underlying OS for the Xbox (on that, I think we agree), but with many customizations that are unique to the Xbox (e.g., native Xbox game support and install frim disks, native BluRay player support, the controller-based UI with limited customizability). I have not seen any evidence to suggest that Microsoft plans to allow anyone else to build an XBox or to provide any of the unique Xbox features to Windows PCs. I don't see how to reconcile the facts with your assertions that Xbox is now just a service. Without some evidence to the contrary, I believe that is a demonstrably incorrect conclusion. That said, I would strongly agree that Microsoft is trying to leverage their dominance in the PC space to help their Xbox (through initiatives like UWP and Play Anywhere) and conversely trying to leverage their lesser success with Xbox to help protect PC market share against advances by Google Chromebooks by ensuring long-term development of hard-core gamer games that are much less like to appear on Google Play. So to the extent Microsoft can merge the lines to gain those synergies, that is in their interest. Turning Xbox into a pure service and not maintaining exclusive sales rights and control over the hardware needed to run everything that is Xbox, is not, at least not in the present environment.
  • Mako, you keep making HUGE assumptions and leaps in logic based on your own misinterpretations of the facts. For example, "Win32 is better in every way"?? Really? How about security, scaling, and compatibility across devices? Win32 is ancient tech... there are many things UWP does MUCH better. No, not all of them, but it's still quite early. I suggest you stop making grand proclamations... most of them are simply untrue.
  • If what you said is true, you would have everyone jumping ship.... hasn't happen and doubt will happen.   If Uwp is so great why do even MS UWP suck balls?  
  • Why would everyone be jumping ship? I said that UWP does some things better, but not all. And obviously there are less clients out there for it. You seem to see everything as all or nothing. I'm saying that you can't just write UWP off as being inferior in every way. I didn't say Win32 stinks. That's your method of thinking.
  •     Not sure what you are smoking but xbox hardware is what gets them royalties on software sold. Xbox one is not a service it's a console and they won't stopmaking xbox consoles, on other devices xbox is a service.  Maybe because those devs make more money onconsoles than they do on Steam? Maybe because they will save millions in development costs by making one version of the game. Sure MS loses money on hardware but they more than make up for it through games sold and xbl or those don't count? You keep pointing at how devs have their store or sell on steam, here's a fact they sellmore on xbox and by doing UWP they save development costs of making multiple versions. How san win32 be better than UWP when UWP works on win32 and 64? Also not sure where have you been living but Win10 is very popular and has grown faster than any windows b4 it. Like you are just soo anti MS that you twist anything into a negative eventhough that you are spreading false information!
  • Agree. He's twisting information for his own negative reasons.
    Shares in Linux??
  • so steammachines are not that? i mean for developers it could be great if they can make a game once and publish it to pc and xbox without putting teams and effort to make 2 games that are simillar but they develop 1 game that playes on both and is developed well and has more features!! (since you can spend more resources on that part) that for a company sounds great!!  
  •     You are greatly missinformed, people keep telling you why devs and gamers would want to but you keep ignoring it. MILLIONS OF $$$$$ as reason how's that? From only having to make one version of the game? I don't think that it's so hard to comprehend as you make it sound. UWP package is no different than what apple is doing on Mac and there'sno issues there. How is Steam any different? They evencreated SteamBox and SteamOS in order for people to jump on their console. Xbox one is a console not Win10 machine, Scorpio is aconsole not Win10 machine, xbox live is a service yess just because I have xbox app on my iPhone doesn't mean that I can play xbox one games on it does it? Xbox as service is to bring PC and console gaming closer together and then we allbenefit from it because instead of Pc gamehaving 1000 players online it'll have 3000 because of crossplay that will eventually come. 
  • Xbox One is just hardware, the software is not a pure Win10 OS.   Xbox One is running a stop gap to convince the old Xbox users to say on the Xbox Store as the Xbox Store is moved over to the MS Store.   Xbox is just a service.  Xbox One is just hardware, just like the Surface.  
  • If the Scorpio does end up just running a full Windows 10 OS, then I would think the developers/publishers the majority of them would just abandon the MS model, as they can just sell via their own store or Steam across all OS platforms (or most used).   
  • Microsoft will NEVER allow competing 3rd party stores on Xbox consoles.
  • Funny I am running Steam on my Xbox right now (Windows 10).   Matter of fact, Steam is on it and the MS Store has been removed.  Xbox is nothing more than a service now.   Every Windows 10 machine is now a Xbox.   Whether or not there is a stop gap OS on the Scorpio is not known... I think it could go either way but at the end of the day.... there is not really going to be anything different between running the game on the Scorpio v. any other Windows 10 PC, generally
  • You are 100% not running Steam on an Xbox. A Windows 10 PC is not an Xbox. You need to stop saying that, because it's idiotic and completely untrue.  Xbox very specifically refers to hardware. Yes, there are Xbox apps for interacting with that hardware from another device, but nothing has removed Xbox's status as a hardware line. You're very, very confused about how all of this stuff works.  You REALLY should stop talking about things you have zero understanding of.   
  • Xbox is a service, every Windows 10 machine is Xbox in MS's model.   So, yes, I am running Steam on a Xbox as MS considers every Win10 machine a Xbox.  You are very confused, as you apparently don't know its a service now. If I have zero understanding, you would have negative understanding of it.   You really should shutup, you look silly.  Having this conversation in 2017, is quite bizarre, like talking about man landing on the moon in 1975 and discussing whether they are going to land on the moon.   
  • How can you be so ignorant? Yes xbox is a service on OTHER devices, but it is still a CONSOLE. You acting as if xbox 360, xbox one, xbox scorpio don't exist? Yes Scorpio will have mouse and keyboard but will not have Steam, just because you are so paranoid and so anti MS doesn't make if bad as you try to make it sound. Besides why are you even using Windows10 when you hate MS so much? Maybe go install SteamOS or ChromeOS? There's a major difference of  running a game on xbox, can't be hacked!  Xbox consoles use VERSION of Win10 suited for them.
  • Scorpio end up running full Windows 10 OS? To me, that would be great: an 8 core PC with relatively powerful graphics would make it a low cost workstation. That could make it very attractive for research.
  • I'm not sure if it will run a full Win10 OS, or another stop gap OS.... I would expect all the software elimation to be put into Win10 within due course so that there is really no difference even during the stop-gap OS is rolled out.   MS has said they will continue to sell hardware where there is a need to be filled and where they can make a premium i.e. Surface brand.   I think the Scorpio is just the stop gap to get as many of the old Xbox store further into the MS Store... eventually I think they want to charge a premium for say a Xbox branded PC. 
  • U sir had at least one to many drinks at new years.
  • Well considering that developers already have to publish four versions of their games (Steam, Xbox One and PlayStation 4, PS4 Pro), with potentially a fifth version on the horizon in the form of Nintendo Switch, then I do not see what the issue is.   What Microsoft is offering developers, is all Xbox versions (including the Windows 10 Store) lumped into what essentially is a single SKU, single code base.  So in 2017, instead of developers having to publish seven versions of the same game, they can target three platforms [Xbox One, Xcorpio, and Windows 10] on a single SKU. And then there is the entire Windows 10 on ARM thing.  That represents an entirely as yet untapped marketplace for PC/console game developers to tap into.  So that is four platforms on a single SKU.  And we still have not discussed compatibility with all future Xbox consoles.  Once again, while still using the exact same code base. At the end of the day, Microsoft is not making more work for developers.  They are just providing developers the opportunity to sell their games in more places, and across more platforms, without having to do all the extra work of porting their code [individually] to each and every one of those platforms.  Developers do the same amount of work they are already doing now making their games available on Steam and Xbox One, but wind up being able to sell those games with full compatibility across almost half a dozen different platforms at days end. If they look at it for what it is, then only the most myopic of developers, or publishers would pass up on that.  That is like me telling you that the work you are already getting paid to do everyday on your job, can for peanuts effort on your part, be parlayed into generating you an additional three, or four paychecks on top of the one you are already getting paid.  Can you honestly tell me you'd look me in the face and turn down that offer? 
  • In the end, it's not the compatibility layer between platforms that requires all that much work. Most of the code is already single code base among all platforms, the cost comes from optimization and testing multiple hw variations and UWP offers very little in that regard. Well, let's see.
  • The whole point of Game Mode is to abstract hardware optimizations, leaving to the OS to do it.
  • It's not just optimization, especially on PC, there are driver variations etc. to consider. And no, optimization will still need to happen, regardless of Game Mode.
  • 2017 is already looking bright for all things Windows, can't wait to see what more Microsoft has in store for Xbox. So hyped!
  • This year is gonna be awesome. :D
  • Do you think MS is going to overhaul the PC part of the store for gaming by E3, I imagine they are aware of the Pain points and are seriously working to resovle them, I think we can look forward to some reform to the pc side of W10 gaming ecosystem. Also do you think the pain points in the store are more Technical Learning Lessons for MS and not negligence?
  • I hope so. They have to realize the biggest complaint from core gamers is the quality of the Store. Perhaps they arent' going after that audience though, not sure. They were adamant about not wanting to compete with Steam to me previously, so this could purely be a play to add value for Xbox gamers.
  • The biggest complaints from core gamers are the closed nature and limitations of the UWP ecosystem, the insane pricing outside the US, the annoying Xbox app and the bad taste that Microsoft left in their mouth with GFWL. There's A LOT more work to do than fixing the Store, since buying and downloading a game is only a small part of the experience.
  • What limitations of UWP ecosystem? What are you smoking? It works on win32/64 and can be sideloaded without Windows Store so what grapes you talking about? It is not Microsoft setting the prices, if it's high then go and complain to developer.  
  • Insane pricing outside the US is right.
    I only ever by used games now, X One games are way over priced and their digital only counterparts are even more expensive.
    Digital games pricing is an absolute joke.
  • I wonder if the Windows Store would truly be a successful platform for PC gaming moving forward. Basing on the current state of the Windows Store, it's not as good as other platforms when it comes to finding games. I literally just tried searching for Gigantic on the store, and results show nothing. I'd have to search for the game in my browser which properly leads me to the game's Store page, and from there click the Get the App button, to open the equivalent Store page on the Store app. Yay efficiency? You know what concerns me the most about the game-finding ability of the store? It's that in the suggested game page itself, Microsoft didn't even suggested AAA-titled games like RotR or Quantum Break. Forza initially didn't show up, but after some time, it did. 
  • One thing Microsoft could do (assuming developers allow them to) is something similar to Steam Connect for GOG. You connect your Steam account, it sees what games you've purchased, and then the UWP version of those games could be added to your Windows Store library. The biggest hurdle will be getting developers to port their games to the Store. 
  • Yeah it's a total mess, if they wanna push hard on making it a credible place for core PC gamers they need to overhaul it. It's super bad as is.
  • "I literally just tried searching for Gigantic on the store, and results show nothing." Yeah, that usually happens because the publisher restricted the languages/locations the app/game supports in the Store. Here's Gigantic's Windows Store web page, see if your OS's language/location is listed there:
  • Uhm, i literally just searched Gigantic in the search bar and it came up (Game Preview). Maybe you need to update the Windows Store app...
  • Gigantic is still in beta, so it is understandable it is not "marketed" on Store yet. I´ve seen this with several apps on Windows 10 as a way to keep availability limited.
  • It worked just fine for me. Not sure if it's because I have Gigantic already or not. Been playing that game the whole break.
  • I still dont get it why they went for DDR3 on Xbox one, when they could easily use GDR5 and few more cores on GPU , because every then and now we see news that states: " Xbox one now give 10% power thanks to (insert magic optimization) to developers"
  • Costs I guess.
  • Choice was either 8gb ddr3 or 4gb gddr5. They wanted the extra memory. Ps4 was 4gb until almost the point it released, they got "lucky" with the higher density memory modules becoming available. Could you imagine a system with 2-3.5gb of memory for games? Crazy the thought either machine ended up with that
  • Costs and quantities, DDR5 was expensive and there simply wasn't much of it being produced..  Rumour was that Sony had to pull a few strings to get Samsung to produce DDR5 at the quantities needed.  It's in ample supply now but a few years ago DDR5 was only used for GPU's.  
  • Outside of the PS4, I think that's still the case. You don't see PCs built on GDDR5, it's all DDR4 with the newest stuff.
  • GDDR5 doesn't make sense for PC RAM, because of latencies.
  • There is another piece of the puzzle that will be very important this year... UWP is the platform for Windows Holographic games, which will be the platform for playing in VR with $300-$400 headsets in a few months.
    ​This could bring many games developpers to UWP, considering Rift and Vive will be the niche market compared to the 6 cheaper headsets already annonced (Lenovo, HP, Acer, Dell, Asus, 3Glasses).
    ​Most of the code will be common between screen-based (PC/Xbox) and VR, meaning writing a single game for Xbox, Windows PC and VR can only be done with UWP. ​Very soon game engines will support switching between screen and VR modes in the middle of the game when the game targets UWP, both on PCs and Xbox Scorpio.
  • Aye, Fallout 4 VR will be among the first to support this, and I imagine Resident Evil 7 VR too, since it's already coming to the Windows 10 Store. Exciting times ahead.
  • There is a chance of UWP being the only place to compile ARM apps to take advantage of ARM processors on Windows 10.
  • So this is more UWP crap feature that nobody will care for. MS should stop trying push their UWP agenda so hard because they will hit the wall. If this was a mode you could enable in every game then people would actually care and upgrade to Windows 10. 
  • That's a bit of speculation, it might work for Win32 but I have no evidence for that, only that it works for UWP.
  • UWP is built on Win32, so there yeah, it would work, it's basically just a flag for the scheduler (not quite that simple perhaps, but still).
  • Exactly. UWP is great for "apps" like Agenda and Twitter, but in it's current state, it's no good for pc gaming. UWP apps are distributed in locked down encrypted containers, meaning the community can't mod, tweak or improve a game without hacking or official support from the devs. UWP apps also run in a sandbox environment, meaning overlays, dll injection (DsFix, SweetFX etc) and lots of gaming tools like RTSS don't work. Last but not least, system updates from Microsoft seem to be required for new features (support for steering wheels, GSYNC etc) or even to be able to play the latest games. All of this goes against the open nature of pc-gaming, and actually turns pc gaming into console gaming, where games can only be played "as is" and innovation or new features can only happen after system updates from the manufacturer. Unless Microsoft changes all this and gives UWP the same freedom and possibilities than win32, most pc gamers will keep ignoring UWP-games and the Windows Store.  
  • UWP allows for overlays, mods and so on. But only from other UWP apps. Soon, UWP developers will be able to create extensions that will hook into other UWP apps to provide things like overlays and mods. The extensions will be distributed on the Windows Store, just like other UWP apps. And yes, system updates will be required to add new platform features. But since they're free and automatic, that won't be a problem. Unless you turn them off, but that's your own dumb fault.
  • So you are complaining that UWP doesn't support cheating openly and that's an issue on top of piracy? Btw UWP can be sideloaded
  • I wonder why devs are so worried about missing out on those double sales... Surely there can't be that many people that buy a game twice, once for PC then again for Xbox... Personally, I'm probably not going to buy RE7, though if it is a play anywhere game, I likely will, just because of the fact there aren't many PA titles right now and having that cross-play and save is awesome. Means I can take my laptop with me and play on the train to work and in my lunch hour. I would buy it simply because there aren't any other games that do that. (Already been through the current PA titles.)
  • What do they get for those double-sales, though? They hand out an extra copy for free. Does that draw a purchase? Unlikely. However, signing up for single-license, dual-platform sales kills 100% of the cross-platform purchases. On top of that, they likely then have to sequester the two multiplayer platforms within game code.
  • Are devs actually worried about missing out on double sales?  I wouldn't think so, for the very reason you point out.  How many people actually buy the the same game multiple times on multiple platforms?
  • I only do FPS games, which makes most of this uninteresting to begin with. I only do PC gaming because I will never play games using a stupid controller--keyboard/mouse or, as appropriate, a joystick.  If Microsoft pushes this and it makes all games on W10 controller -only, I'm done.
  • The decision to intergrate Xbox into Windows 10 was made years ago, as you can see now the intergration of the Xbox Store into the Microsoft Store is more or less complete.    Xbox is now a service that runs across their Windows 10 products.   Whether the Scorpio will run a separate UI is not known but more or less you are on Windows 10 going forward and MS will continue to move to a one product solution i.e. Windows 10.   Although MS might continue to sell Xbox branded hardware like the Scorpio, Xbox itself is tied to Windows 10 devices.... so I would consider the scorpio another device just like the Surface....a PC. MS's goal is to retain as many of you old Xbox store users to MS store users, but at the end of the day you will be gaming on a Windows 10 device in the future... whether you consider that console game or PC gaming I'm not sure they care what you call it.... it will all be intergrated.
  • How many W10 Xbox games force you to use a controller? Oh wait, none.
  • PCMasterRace is that way...
  • Yeah god forbid you use great controller on your 3TF gpu mr master race. You are just high and mighty with your weak spec pc!
  • Yeah the store needs a redesign along with the xbox app or make the Xbox app the proper store front for all things Xbox. Also Xbox Anywhere is Microsofts ace card, that third parties like capcom are not using it is counter productive, MS should lower the royalty payments they take if the game is Xbox Anywhere compatible as an incentive even if it's only temporary. New Xbox Windows app store front plus more Xbox Anywhere is the solution.
  • Well, shouldn't the question be why are they paying a royalty at all?   At this point, basically there is no console going forward in MS's model. Xbox as a hardware platform is done, Xbox as a service is now here.   It might make sense for some of the smaller developers to release on MS Store but not sure there is really that much incentive for the larger publishers/developers especially with UWP involved.... what PC gamer wants UWP?    
  • Royalty is the revenue model for the store just about anywhere. I don't think that's really a question at all. What Apple did with its apps store on the phone, Microsoft is trying to do it everywhere.
  • I thought you meant a royalty as far as game disc, as in console royalties. 
  • >what PC gamer wants UWP? All of the smart ones do.
  • Xbox as a hardware platform is alive and well. You're just making things up.  Windows 10 is the service. Not Xbox. You have things completely backwards. 
  • Just a reminder its now 2017, not 2016.   Xbox is nothing more than a glorified branding in due course as you will be able to play all your Xbox games on Windows 10 PCs... no reason to have separate OS in the future.  Xbox Store has been more or less fully intergrated into the Windows Store by the end of 2016 from what I can tell.​  
  •   Are you deliberately ignorant? Why do devs pay royalties to sony or steam or game stop or best buy or amazon? Again you are talking about things you have no clue about! And how stupid do you have to be to comprehend that MS makes most of their entertainment money fromhome consoles? How many times does Microsoft have to state that xbox as console is not going anywhere? Just because you get xbox as service on your PC doesn't mean that console doesn't exist does it?  HOW STUPID DO YOU HAVE TO BE TO COMPREHEND IT TAKES LESS MONEY TO DEVELOP UWP APP THAT WORKS ON PC, XBOX, VR THAN IT DOES TO MAKE 3 DIFFERENT VERSIONS? My god I hate stupid people like yourself!
  • I can produce a Windows Phone app cheaper and less costly than a iPhone app... so?   Nobody cares, generalized.   Haha.  I can make a Win32 application faster and cheaper than iOS, Android and UWP... again so?   Again, I am not saying all of this is good or bad.. .its just the direction they are going.   One one note though... I have no use for Windows if it goes to a closed system.  
  • Play Anywhere doesn't mean anything for most pc-gamers, since they don't own/want an Xbox console. Lots of games bought on Steam or GoG can be played on several ecosystems (Windows, Linux, SteamOS, Mac), which is much more valuable than a single company lock-in.
  • I have a question. I don't know enough about Steam, but can a Steam published game be played on Mac if there was never a native version of that game released for the Mac?   Also, is the Mac/Linux gaming market segment big enough to worry game developers?
  • The developer must release a Mac version of the game on Steam before you can play it on the Mac. In most cases, if there is a Mac and Windows version of a game, you can pay once and get both. But the developer does have to release both the Mac and Windows versions.
  • Why is it that Consoles have higher revenue for software sales than PC by a large margin? So that's why they would lock themselves into PC and XBOX and VR instead of Steam, Linux, Macos for which they have to make all separate versions of games. So for example spend $10M developing UWP app for PC, Xbox, VR vs spend $15-$20M making game for xbox, PC, VR, Mac, linux?
  • If you look at console gaming as a whole, then you are right, if you look at individual platforms, the PC has the best sales, and is growing, opposite to consoles.
  • @Jez Cordon glad you updated article, was going to point that out, and couple other things but decided against it.
  • Still not for me. Cross-platform purchases mean little to me, and certainly not enough to overpay for games like digital storefronts require. I prefer my launch purchases at BB for $48, which I can trade in for $30-40 upon completion, which can go towards the next game. As long as MS shows no ability to have good, competitive pricing with physical, I'm just not interested. If they go 100% digital with Scorpio, my planned purchase of that console is gone. I am not interested in paying MORE money for my games as MS increases the profit margins to boot. Pass on the savings or take a hike, IMO.
  • Well that sucks, you spend $20-$30 on a game and don't get to keep it, I always buy one game and get another for free due to Home Console sharing ohh and I keep all those games. What will you do once all the games move to digital like on PC? It's equivalent to saying if NES moves to DVD I'm done w em. Maybe complain to devs about prices cz they are ones who set em.
  •   No, your analogy is totally off-base. The problem is not the medium, it's the control. Going from cart to DVD doesn't change that retailers are still involved, meaning there is room and excuse for competitive pricing. Pricing on the Xbox Store is a joke, which is why the only time I get things digitally is when they are free (BF1 with my XB1S) or extremely cheap (Target pricing error on FH3 digital). I can get a brand new game for under $50 at launcch at Best But. MEanwhile, I have to hope it's that low on the Xbox Store at Black Friday. Their DLC pricing is a complete pile of junk (best example is that they never discount DLC fully, so getting the GotY version of a game is sometimes cheaper than JUST the DLC--this happened with me and Borderlands). As for that laughable joke of a "free game" statement...LOL. It's not that I "don't get to keep it." It's that I can choose to sell it. Oh, I don't play that game anymore? Neat, I can now get my next game half-off. Who the heck cares about having two copies of a game I haven't played in 2 years? If I had bought The Evil Within digitally, I'd have paid $65 (after tax) for a game I didn't like, and I'd be stuck with it. Instead, I paid $52 (again, after tax), then traded it in for $44. I got Sunset Overdrive for $8, thanks to that. I beat that in a week (it's a short game), and traded it in for $44 as well. I then got Halo 5 for $8. I ended up trading that in when I upgraded my console to the bigger HDD and free digital copy. Much happier to have spent $68 and gotten $44 back, an effective price of $24, rather than the financial disaster of spending $195 so I can game share things that never get played! Oh, and developers don't set prices. Publishers have more control over that. I complain about that stuff all the time, with bot my words and my wallet. It's why I refuse to buy a single thing Ubisoft puts out, it's why I didn't buy a single thing from EA for about 5 years, and it's why I refuse to give MS more money for a new XB1 controller when they keep providing a despicably bad warranty for fail-prone Elite Controllers.
  • Friends, Don't look at this from a PC gamer's perspective, but from an XBox gamer's.  If there are Play Anywhere titles available on my One / Scorpio / PC, I can play with my Live friends when I'm at home, and play with them on my laptop when I'm not.  I have no wish to play Call of Duty against PC gamers, but I'd gladly hook up a controller to my laptop to continue with my same crew.
    This doesn't mean that developers can't still release the game to PC gamers on Steam (or whatever other service).  More ways and places to play means we all win!
  • Highly doubt this will make a big difference in the high end PC gaming area. Those guys don't want any part of the UWP unless MS changes a lot. I for one don't any part of Windows Store games as it is right now.
  • Well then they have nothing to worry about, because only about 5% of all PC gamers have GPUs capable of 3TF or more.
  • I agree with the point that, it's fine if Microsoft wants this API integrated into all future PC games to help with cross platform titles matching performance for their respective platform.... But! It can't mess up the compatibilities between PC versions. PC is just PC it can't now make yet another version...I love my Xbox One S for sure.. But when I confess to my PC games Microsoft has better think really hard about the future of it's PC platform for gaming.... Really think about what it's trying to do.... Period.
  • That's not up to Microsoft, quality of the Pc port is up to developers.    
  • Great article but last time I checked Halo Wars 2 was NOT going to be "cross platform play" just "cross buy" (aka buy once, Play Anyware). Also, while I can confirm Astroneer is "cross platform buy" and supports "cross platform saves" we have not been able to get it to work with "cross platform play" between XB1 and Win10, although the developer seems to indicate that want to support it in the future.
  • I like the idea of my pc being a beefy xbox when I want it to be and still able to deal with steam or origin when I want. win win in my opinion with choice. whats to complain about? I say bring on the unified Microsoft gaming
  • > but convincing major players to sacrifice sales of multiple
    > versions of their games may prove to be an uphill battle
    IF, majority buy game twice.