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Phil Spencer promises to fix Microsoft Store for PC games, commits to powerful hardware

It's no secret that the Microsoft Store is difficult to navigate on Windows 10. You can't find games that easily and even updating games is quite a chore. Due to this and many other annoyances, a lot of people don't like using it. Luckily, it seems like Head of Xbox Phil Spencer knows that it's an issue and promised to fix it during today's Microsoft event.

Today during X018, presenter Julia Hardy asked Phil Spencer what he saw as the future of gaming. Instead of giving some grand answer about the prevalence of virtual reality, he mentioned how he would like to fix the Microsoft Store to make gaming content more discoverable and easy to find. Additionally, he added that he was committed to powerful hardware like the Xbox One X, so that Microsoft would lead the industry going forward.

The Xbox One X may not have had a lot of support in 2017, but 2018 changed that rather dramatically. Games like Red Dead Redemption 2 achieve native 4K resolution on the system, but utilize fuzzy checkerboarded techniques on PlayStation 4 Pro. There are some titles like Immortal Redneck and We Happy Few that run at 1080p on PlayStation 4 Pro and native 4K on Xbox One X.

Hopefully Microsoft will ensure that it has great storefronts and hardware going forward. The public image of the Xbox One should serve as a learning experience for the future.

Keep an eye on WindowsCentral.com/Gaming for all the latest in Xbox and Windows 10 gaming, accessories, news, and reviews!

Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.

35 Comments
  • Is there any hope for VR on the next Xbox? Or at least will it have Mixed Reality support? I didn't buy the X because such a powerful hardware badly needed at least one VR platform to make good use of that power and make it a definite step up, nothing was ever announced and I still can't believe Microsoft is just going to ignore it like that
  • Not to rain on the parade, but VR on PC and PS4 has been out for years now and did not take off. It's extremely niche. If it didn't even remotely approach the mainstream and mass appeal of the Kinect, which ultimately couldn't survive, I wouldn't hold your breath for a VR revival.
  • I wouldn't compare Kinect with VR.
    Kinect probably failed on XB1 because MS hardly supported it. They hardly made any games for it. Also the original kinect was only 150 bucks at launch which is so much cheaper what it takes to get into VR.
    Plus VR isn't the same as kinect. MS oversold the first kinect and didn't keep their promise. There was nothing that even looks or played like project milo. "It did not take off. It's extremely niche"
    It depends on the definition of take off. PSVR sold more than 3m headset and 21m games. I wouldn't say 21 million games sold is "extremely niche".
    And that's not counting VR on PC. It's not because MS broke their promise about having VR on Scorpio that people needs to downplay VR...
  • Which is a real shame because of those few games that had Kinect implementation some of them handled it REALLY well. Namely the Forza Horizon series and Alien Isolation. In my opinion Kinect worked best as an accompaniment to your controller rather than a replacement.
  • Kinect exploded out of the gates and would be a tremendous market today had it actually worked like we first thought. But we soon learned it couldn't analyze our workouts, dances or gaming moves. It was all made up BS.
  • Im expecting an attempt at Mixed Reality for the next Xbox. From what im getting, Xbox Scarlett will be made to support it and cater to PC gamers as well.
  • I agree, PS has sold over 2 million using a terrible system. Imagine what they could achieve with good VR tech which is what they are working on for sure.
  • It sold over 3 million. And how exactly is it a "terrible system"? Can you explain what you mean and your experience?
  • Its resolution is poor, it does not room scale and just has rudimentary tracking with one sensor
  • Well, resolution is not key when it comes to a new experience. If you think resolution is key when it comes to VR then I don't think you understand VR.
    It's true that it's not as sophisticated as the Vive but I think it does the job for the price. I think what makes the experience is the games and not just the machine.
    I've had some great experience and some not so great with it.
    Driveclub VR demo wasn't that great for me. But Superhot VR was an amazing experience, despite the low resolution. I think some of today's gamers see resolution as something crucial but resolution doesn't make a game good or bad. Spencer said something like that in 2013 and I agree with that.
  • I didn't say anything about the ability to sell to first time VR users which PSVR does quite well. But compared to PCVR, the experience is poor and yes resolution in a very important factor to the overall experience. No one would buy a PCVR with PSVR resolution. And we are starting to move beyond the Rift and Vive resolution as well.
  • You are calling it terrible system because you're comparing it to systems that are much more expensive. You are not judging for what it is.
    This is like saying the XB1 is a horrible system because it can't perform as well as a PC with a 2080 Ti.
    Sorry but it doesn't work like that. You got to judge for what it is. And no resolution or performance is not a very important factor when you look at the history of console gaming. Most of the time the weaker console sold the best...
    And again, low resolution doesn't mean a game is bad. I don't know if you're a young gamer but I would put many things before resolution. I would put Zelda: Link to the Past and it's resolution over something like SoT at 4K.
  • Sony knows it is terrible too. The next gen PSVR will be well beyond the current PSVR including the resolution. Resolution in consoles have been good enough for a long time. Resolution with the PSVR and current gen of PCVR is not good enough. Windows Mixed Reality has capture 8% of the SteamVR market despite lesser software, tracking not as good and no marketing mostly because of a little higher resolution. The Vive Pro is selling at ridiculous prices for nothing more than a bump in resolution. Many are choosing the Pimax 8K over the superior Pimax 5K+ just for higher resolution. You obviously nothing about PCVR but FOV and resolution are the two biggest factors driving next gen VR
  • Ok, you think it's terrible because you're comparing it to much more expensive product. You think resolution defines how good a product is and is not.
    Fine, but all this is just your opinion. Nothing else.
    When you say "Sony knows it is terrible too". That's bs, until you can prove that statement... Your initial statement was "PS has sold over 2 million using a terrible system. Imagine what they could achieve with good VR tech".
    Your definition of "good VR" is tech that would cost customers a lot more than what they are currently paying. So there would probably not be 3m but much less. If you think that resolution/power is the most important thing for console gamers than history proves you wrong because the more powerful console hardly ever "won" a generation.
  • I like my PSVR, but the resolution is certainly a noticeable issue, and it would be nice to have better VR-controllers than the Move controller.
  • Riiight. Like we haven't heard that before. 2016 february
    https://www.pcgamer.com/microsoft-promises-to-improve-the-windows-store/ 2016 april
    https://www.eteknix.com/phil-spencer-promises-windows-store-launches-wil... 2017
    https://www.pcgamer.com/phil-spencer-interview-we-have-work-to-go-do-on-... What's funny is that MS has been making these kinds of promises for YEARS!
    Here is a collection of promises or statements since 2005:
    https://linustechtips.com/main/topic/131377-microsoft-praises-valve-vows...
  • I feel it might be different this time, now that Phil is actually a VP, sitting at the decision making table and reporting directly to Nadella. Also considering that Xbox is one of the big money makers at Microsoft now.
  • This.
  • The fact that Phil Spencer is in now the SLT, makes a massive difference.
  • Yes, it always seems like it'll be "different this time".
    That argument was also used so many times in the past.
    The problem is that there is a really a lot of work that needs to be done. MS's way of thinking is not really compatible PC gamers. I don't think that adding services and 100s of different controllers that you'll get the PC crowd. They'll need to change a lot of things...
    Let's hope that this time it'll happen even though I have my doubts and I think it'll just be more of the same...
  • Also, they actually did improve on it. It just had a pit to rise 💹 from. On the other hand ✋ the last change was a big step in the wrong 👎 direction ➡ in my opinion.
  • Sounds like more hot air to me. I don't think we'll see many improvements to Micro$haft's consumer level products until Nadella is finally given the boot.
  • Thanks For The Awesome News
  • Awesome, the Microsoft store on Windows 10 does need a major over haul.
  • As a non PC gamer I don't see these problems
  • That's because you only have one digital store to buy from. As pc gamers, we have several to pick from, and sadly, Microsoft's isn't the best but at least it's an option.
  • If they fix the weird download bug I had with Forza Horizon 4, I will gladly buy the game again on the Microsoft Store
  • How about delivering and then talking? This feels like an insult and talking like a politician. "No you see, THIS time it will be different."
  • All they need to do is buy is valve/steam
  • Good luck with that.
  • Steam is not without faults either, and it's already a worse monopoly than Microsoft could dream of being.
  • Assuming Gabe is willing to sell...
  • Phil Spencer, you have the power, PC gamers need some love on Windows Store, and this needs the Xbox Game Pass to offer a serious catalog of PC titles.
  • Ever since Microsoft killed mobile off it just seems like the MS store is getting better and better. Focusing on apps built for laptops, 2 in 1s, and desktops was a brilliant decision. They're becoming a real alternative to Steam. If they'd only killed off mobile a few years sooner maybe we'd have the store we all desire already. By bringing more games to the MS Store Phil and Nadella only cement its dominance in laptop and 2 in 1 sized devices. Maybe it's time for Microsoft to cease all development on this silly foldable Andromeda nonsense? And just push 2 in 1s as hard as possible? As hard as it is for most of us to admit, Microsoft's future is most likely rooted solidly in its past... the laptop.
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