08-01-2014 03:22 PM
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  1. AaHaa's Avatar
    Allright, I'll be honest, the title is just to lure people in, but I think there's something very wrong with gaming on Windows machines. Let me explain:
    I recently picked up GTA IV from Steam (I'm about 6 years behind when it comes to gaming) and I love the fact that I'm earning achievements and it's tracking my progress via Games for Windows LIVE. I can view my achievements on my phone in the same place where I can see the achievements from games I play on my phone. I want to try to get all achievements and I started getting excited for GTA V, only to realize: it (almost certainly) won't have Games for Windows LIVE support. It will be available on Steam and I'll have to do with Steam achievements. My awesome GTA IV achievements will be on my Xbox account and my awesome GTA V achievements will be on my Steam account. This frustrates me greatly. Gaming on Windows devices (desktop, tablet and phone) should not be segmented by different services. I don't think it's unreasonable to expect that if I play a game on Windows, it will use the same service to track my progress as when I play a game on Windows Phone. How and why did Microsoft lose the chance to be the main player in the PC gaming market? Almost every PC gamer runs Windows!

    TL;DR: I think it's only logical that gaming on Windows desktop, Windows tablets, Windows Phone and Xbox should be run by the same service. Now it's segmented because Microsoft allowed Valve to take over PC gaming with Steam. They should fix this.

    Just to be clear: I don't hate Steam, I love it, but I think it's a shame Microsoft let GFWL die and allowed the PC gaming market to be taken over by Valve. Agree? Disagree? What should they do about it? Can they ever take the PC back from Steam?
    07-24-2014 06:09 AM
  2. Connor Price's Avatar
    I agree to a certain extent. GFWL was a great idea, and I liked it a lot. Especially in GTA 4. But the problem was that GFWL was plagued with problems and being put on to badly optimized games. Thus, giving GFWL a bad reputation. I don't think it was ever popular enough for Microsoft to continue. They would just loose money on it. I have no problem with the PC gaming market being taken over by Valve. Valve is considered more of an Xbox Live of the PC world than GFWL was Oh, and by the way, you might want to change the title.. You know how irrational some people can be
    07-24-2014 06:30 AM
  3. AaHaa's Avatar
    Haha I don't think I can change the title ;-) Let's hope nobody gets too mad.
    A hypothetical "solution" to this problem I can come up with is expand the Windows app "Games". This currently serves as the main gaming-achievements-Xbox Live-hub on Windows 8, maybe with Treshold (and the ability to run apps on the desktop) they could make this app a kickass Steam-like client that sells and plays full-scale triple-A titles?
    07-24-2014 09:51 AM
  4. Connor Price's Avatar
    That's a good idea. I like that. You could then have it universally across all Windows Platforms. Except on Windows Phone, it just shares the achievements and stuff. But it would be cool to have the same app on Xbox and PC.
    07-24-2014 11:39 AM
  5. QwarkDreams's Avatar
    Games for Windows Live was just awful. I'm actually glad it doesn't exist anymore, although the way MS killed it (leaving some games unsupported) matches the previous experience with it. I didn't buy many games because people complained about not being able to install them properly.
    07-24-2014 02:29 PM
  6. gedzum's Avatar
    Haha I don't think I can change the title ;-)
    I think you can change the title by editing the original post.

    I think if Microsoft were serious about the XBOX brand as their PC solution as well they should have brought them together sooner and I feel like it would have reached out to a bigger audience. As it stands, Steam is pretty much the standard for the PC platform.
    a5cent likes this.
    07-24-2014 07:56 PM
  7. a5cent's Avatar
    Agree with everything in here so far. Steam is diversifying and becoming more inclusive for Mac and Linux gaming. It's their defence strategy, because just the existence of a Windows app store is a huge threat to their business model. For these reasons, it seems to me that Steam and MS are headed towards being more competitors than partners, and based on Steam's current standing, I think that could be extremely dangerous for MS.

    Not sure what the best approach is, but as usual for everything MS related, it sounds like a lot of risk is involved.
    07-24-2014 08:27 PM
  8. AaHaa's Avatar
    Maybe, just maybe, there will be some space for Microsoft when Valve progresses their Linux-approach with the Steam boxes and promoting Linux and all? Focus on the PC gamers that say "but I don't want to install Linux!"
    07-25-2014 05:05 AM
  9. Keith Wallace's Avatar
    The only way Microsoft could make real progress on a PC gaming store would be to bring their consoles franchises (Halo, Gears, Forza, Fable) to an Xbox PC Store exclusively. The problem there is that Microsoft has used recent history to show us that they care more for short-term financial gains than establishing an ecosystem, like how they took many of their things to iOS and Android. In that manner, I'd expect them to make a PC games store, but still offer stuff on Steam, thus giving no one a reason to switch.
    07-26-2014 12:40 PM
  10. QwarkDreams's Avatar
    The only way Microsoft could make real progress on a PC gaming store would be to bring their consoles franchises (Halo, Gears, Forza, Fable) to an Xbox PC Store exclusively. The problem there is that Microsoft has used recent history to show us that they care more for short-term financial gains than establishing an ecosystem, like how they took many of their things to iOS and Android. In that manner, I'd expect them to make a PC games store, but still offer stuff on Steam, thus giving no one a reason to switch.
    Switch to what? If MSs games (Halo, Forza,...) are Windows exclusive it doesn't matter if they offer it in a special MS Windows Store or on Steam (assuming they won't run on Mac and Linux).

    With rumors about MS selling the XBox division, who knows if MS even wants to be a involved in gaming at all.
    07-26-2014 11:10 PM
  11. AaHaa's Avatar
    Switch to what? If MSs games (Halo, Forza,...) are Windows exclusive it doesn't matter if they offer it in a special MS Windows Store or on Steam (assuming they won't run on Mac and Linux).
    Why won't that matter? I'd love to play Halo on my PC and Xbox with synchronised saves, achievements and stats. That won't be able if the Xbox version uses Xbox integration and the PC version uses Steam integration.
    07-27-2014 06:11 AM
  12. QwarkDreams's Avatar
    Why won't that matter? I'd love to play Halo on my PC and Xbox with synchronised saves, achievements and stats. That won't be able if the Xbox version uses Xbox integration and the PC version uses Steam integration.
    Seems a bit unfair to me if you'd be able to get achievements for Steam AND XBox Live at the same time. Cross saves don't make much sense to me because I doubt that MS would offer double-packs that include both the PC and XBox version (especially for a reasonable price; such as Sony did on their own platforms). IF they even consider releasing games like Halo and Forza on PC (again).
    07-27-2014 10:21 AM
  13. Keith Wallace's Avatar
    Switch to what? If MSs games (Halo, Forza,...) are Windows exclusive it doesn't matter if they offer it in a special MS Windows Store or on Steam (assuming they won't run on Mac and Linux).

    With rumors about MS selling the XBox division, who knows if MS even wants to be a involved in gaming at all.
    You'd have a situation similar to that of EA. The publisher won't want to pay Valve money for selling the games on Steam, so they'll need an incentive to make people move to a Microsoft-run distribution program. If Microsoft wants to improve PC gaming, they'll want to make it as profitable as possible, which means not losing money to Valve to get games on Steam.
    07-27-2014 09:51 PM
  14. AaHaa's Avatar
    Big difference with EA/Origin though is that they could include this client in Windows automatically. Make it feel like its a part of Windows (which is done pretty well with the current Xbox Games app by the way), so people won't complain about having to install two clients. Then, offer some kick *** exclusives like Halo, Forza, Gears of War... hell, bring back Banjo & Kazooie, Age of Empires and Conker and watch your user base grow!
    07-28-2014 08:51 AM
  15. QwarkDreams's Avatar
    You'd have a situation similar to that of EA. The publisher won't want to pay Valve money for selling the games on Steam, so they'll need an incentive to make people move to a Microsoft-run distribution program. If Microsoft wants to improve PC gaming, they'll want to make it as profitable as possible, which means not losing money to Valve to get games on Steam.
    It always depends on what your attitude about platforms like Steam is. Some people even dislike Steam and won't buy any game you need to register via Steam.
    Having a seperate platform like Origin, uPlay,... and forcing people to use it when they buy your games can be bad too.

    Big difference with EA/Origin though is that they could include this client in Windows automatically. Make it feel like its a part of Windows (which is done pretty well with the current Xbox Games app by the way), so people won't complain about having to install two clients. Then, offer some kick *** exclusives like Halo, Forza, Gears of War... hell, bring back Banjo & Kazooie, Age of Empires and Conker and watch your user base grow!
    And in regards of my reply to Keith: I would hate it if MS implemented their own service and fragment the places where to buy games even more. Of course it's annoying for publishers to pay Valve so they can offer their games via Steam but I'd rather have one account and platform where I can the majority of games and not having to create several accounts, sharing my bank account info with them and having my games scattered across several platforms.

    One thing that bugs me personally about Steam is the missing option to pay games via direct debit. I don't own a credit card and don't want to create a PayPal account (which would be the easiest option but I don't do online banking, so I would've to transfer some money via going to the bank everytime I want to buy something from Steam).

    But what my main reason is for not wanting so many different platforms to buy games is that I like to keep it simple and so far Steam kept it that way.

    Banjo Kazooie and Conker on PC? I have my doubts about it. It even suprised me that the Oddworld games have been released for PC.
    07-28-2014 10:47 AM
  16. Keith Wallace's Avatar
    Fragmentation might suck, but so does a monopoly. People complain (partially for the sake of complaining, I'm sure) that Steam's sales haven't been as good now as in the past, and part of that is likely due to the fact that they don't face much competition in the PC gaming market. If you want a PC game outside of EA or Ubisoft, you almost always HAVE to go through Steam. I'm totally against inconveniences like needing an Origin account to play a game on my Xbox One, even though the account offers nothing for the game, but I also don't want to see prices increase because there is no alternative or the royalties for publishers increase and they raise prices to make up for lost profits.
    07-28-2014 02:55 PM
  17. IEhrgeizI's Avatar
    So this is to do with GFWL not the state of pc gaming? Change the title or delete it.
    07-28-2014 03:02 PM
  18. QwarkDreams's Avatar
    Fragmentation might suck, but so does a monopoly. People complain (partially for the sake of complaining, I'm sure) that Steam's sales haven't been as good now as in the past, and part of that is likely due to the fact that they don't face much competition in the PC gaming market. If you want a PC game outside of EA or Ubisoft, you almost always HAVE to go through Steam. I'm totally against inconveniences like needing an Origin account to play a game on my Xbox One, even though the account offers nothing for the game, but I also don't want to see prices increase because there is no alternative or the royalties for publishers increase and they raise prices to make up for lost profits.
    The problem with Steam and those "alternatives" like Origin or uPlay is that Steam only has this monopoly status because the alternatives suck and only exist because of publisher-exclusive games. And to be honest, I think those platforms only exist for the purpose of collecting data (especially on consoles).
    The only reason why I created an account for Origin was because I got some in-game weapons and armor for free in Kingdoms of Amalur for playing the demo of it and the Mass Effect 3 demo.

    The big advantage of Steam is that you can get games for Mac and Linux as well (not that I have any use for this) and it's a big opportunity for Indie game developers.

    Console gamers don't have that much of a problem with it, but platform-exclusive games are kind of the same (if you want certain titles you have to buy a certain console; like with the Uncharted series). This problem ain't true only for console gamers, PC gamers as well are left out on some games. Biggest restriction must be with Nintendo games. I've never seen a port for other consoles with their games except Conker's Bad Fur Day on the XBox.

    So this is to do with GFWL not the state of pc gaming? Change the title or delete it.
    Well, I wouldn't say GFWL has nothing to do with the current situation of PC gaming. It's a part of it and caused quite a bit of frustration among PC gamers (especially with games that weren't available over Steam and that required GFWL which sometimes didn't work as well (failed installations and stuff).
    07-29-2014 03:00 PM
  19. Keith Wallace's Avatar
    That's kind of my point--Microsoft needs to bring a compelling services to break the Steam monopoly. You say it exists because the alternatives suck. Well, it's not like I'm suggesting that Microsoft release another crappy alternative.
    07-29-2014 06:02 PM
  20. Jas00555's Avatar
    @QwarkDreams what would ever cause you to believe that Microsoft isn't serious about gaming? Both Phil Spencer AND Satya Nadella have committed to gaming and talked about it constantly even when the layoffs were announced. Hell, they even sold off XES because they specifically said that they wanted to focus on gaming (or so they claim, but that's what they said).

    @Keith I think making their own Steam is kind of what they're doing right now. It's called the Windows Store. I think the problem is that since only ~25% (I think) of PC gamers are on Windows 8.X, they can't just go full in on it yet. Actually your "they seem to focus on short term profit" actually doesn't hold true for things like Halo:SA. It was originally only going to be sold via the Windows/WP store but Windows 7 users demanded the game, so after a few months they ported it. I'm sure there are things that you know of that I don't, but that's what I've observed.

    I have no proof of this, but I'll bet money that if Microsoft can get enough people on Threshold, then they'll start using the Windows Store to sell their exclusive games (which I 100% agree with you in that they need to break the Steam monopoly). Look at it from Microsoft's perspective. Do they really need to build a PC gaming alternative to Steam when they've already got the groundwork for one? The Windows Store already has (albeit poor) Xbox support. Now that they're breaking down the barriers between their various divisions, Phil Spencer and Terry Myerson's Xbox group can now start working together in ways that they couldn't in the old silo'd ways of the old Microsoft and get proper Xbox support in the Windows Store.
    a5cent likes this.
    07-29-2014 06:28 PM
  21. QwarkDreams's Avatar
    I'm not sure if many good vendors can take on Steam. Even if there were several good alternatives some games would still be exclusive to some vendor-platforms. The problem with those unattractive alternatives would be erased (with them now being good) but you'd still have several accounts. Even with real life stores you're most likely to go where you have the best prices and largest range. Even if there are some stores that offer one or two items cheaper than the one you buy frequently at, you'd weigh if the lower price makes up for - lets say - driving an hour (which adds the time and gas money to the lower price for the item). The comparison may not fit that well and is a bit exxagerated but I think y'all get what I'm sayin' ;-)

    Maybe it's just me not really caring for cross-platform MS games but I'm kinda happy with Steam and don't have the urge to look for alternatives (well, except when there's games I wanna play that aren't sold via Steam).

    @Jas00555 On one hand there's the shareholders wanting MS to abandon the XBox, on the other hand it's abandoning GFWL and killing many games completely (rendering them non-playable).
    Pulling the plug on such a service and not coming up with a great replacement shortly after doesn't look too commited to me.
    Last edited by QwarkDreams; 07-29-2014 at 08:06 PM.
    07-29-2014 07:54 PM
  22. Jas00555's Avatar
    I'm not sure if many good vendors can take on Steam. Even if there were several good alternatives some games would still be exclusive to some vendor-platforms. The problem with those unattractive alternatives would be erased (with them now being good) but you'd still have several accounts. Even with real life stores you're most likely to go where you have the best prices and largest range. Even if there are some stores that offer one or two items cheaper than the one you buy frequently at, you'd weigh if the lower price makes up for - lets say - driving an hour (which adds the time and gas money to the lower price for the item). The comparison may not fit that well and is a bit exxagerated but I think y'all get what I'm sayin' ;-)

    Maybe it's just me not really caring for cross-platform MS games but I'm kinda happy with Steam and don't have the urge to look for alternatives (well, except when there's games I wanna play that aren't sold via Steam).

    @Jas00555 On one hand there's the shareholders wanting MS to abandon the XBox, on the other hand it's abandoning GFWL and killing many games completely (rendering them non-playable).
    Pulling the plug on such a service and not coming up with a great replacement shortly after doesn't look too commited to me.
    To your first point. That is exactly what would give Microsoft the advantage. I don't know the exact numbers, but when you sign into Windows 8.X, you're asked signed into a Microsoft account. Microsoft could leverage the fact that since you've already got an account that came with that computer, you wouldn't have to make another one, thus eliminating that barrier, which I personally don't even see as that big of a barrier since most people have a Facebook, twitter, Microsoft (from Windows, Outlook/Hotmail/Xbox), Google (Gmail), Apple ID, and various other accounts so they probably wont care about another one.

    To your second point. I would argue different service, different time, different management. I don't see the Windows Store becoming GFWL 2.0.
    07-29-2014 09:00 PM
  23. AaHaa's Avatar
    To your first point. That is exactly what would give Microsoft the advantage. I don't know the exact numbers, but when you sign into Windows 8.X, you're asked signed into a Microsoft account. Microsoft could leverage the fact that since you've already got an account that came with that computer, you wouldn't have to make another one, thus eliminating that barrier, which I personally don't even see as that big of a barrier since most people have a Facebook, twitter, Microsoft (from Windows, Outlook/Hotmail/Xbox), Google (Gmail), Apple ID, and various other accounts so they probably wont care about another one.

    To your second point. I would argue different service, different time, different management. I don't see the Windows Store becoming GFWL 2.0.
    Exactly. I think they could pretty easily make the Windows Store a strong Steam competitor without having it feel like one. When you buy an iPhone, it's not weird that there's a gaming service on there run by Apple, right? When you buy an Xbox, it's not weird there's a gaming service on there run by Microsoft. So why should it be weird or annoying that there's a gaming service on your Windows PC run by Microsoft? Of course, you'll have the PCmasterrace people who hate Microsoft and will do their best to delete the app and solely run Steam, but I don't think the general public will see a service like this as an annoyance.

    By the way, I remember a news article from a while back that said that someone at Xbox/Microsoft said that they would start trying to retake the PC gaming market soon, but I can't seem to find it anymore... Anyone who can help me?
    07-31-2014 06:44 AM
  24. QwarkDreams's Avatar
    To your first point. That is exactly what would give Microsoft the advantage. I don't know the exact numbers, but when you sign into Windows 8.X, you're asked signed into a Microsoft account. Microsoft could leverage the fact that since you've already got an account that came with that computer, you wouldn't have to make another one, thus eliminating that barrier, which I personally don't even see as that big of a barrier since most people have a Facebook, twitter, Microsoft (from Windows, Outlook/Hotmail/Xbox), Google (Gmail), Apple ID, and various other accounts so they probably wont care about another one.

    To your second point. I would argue different service, different time, different management. I don't see the Windows Store becoming GFWL 2.0.
    That can be a disadvantage too. Having too many services combined under a single account with the same password (Hotmail/Outlook, PC account, Windows Store/XBox Live (that might include bank account information), etc.) makes the damage far greater if you get hacked and gives the hacker access to more than just one service with your information (like it is with Google services -> Gmail, YouTube, Play Store (which might include your bank account information too) etc. or all the services that allow you to sign in with your Facebook/Twitter/[insert social media service] account).

    Also, having trouble with your account means you can't access any of the services it is connected with.

    Exactly. I think they could pretty easily make the Windows Store a strong Steam competitor without having it feel like one. When you buy an iPhone, it's not weird that there's a gaming service on there run by Apple, right? When you buy an Xbox, it's not weird there's a gaming service on there run by Microsoft. So why should it be weird or annoying that there's a gaming service on your Windows PC run by Microsoft? Of course, you'll have the PCmasterrace people who hate Microsoft and will do their best to delete the app and solely run Steam, but I don't think the general public will see a service like this as an annoyance.

    By the way, I remember a news article from a while back that said that someone at Xbox/Microsoft said that they would start trying to retake the PC gaming market soon, but I can't seem to find it anymore... Anyone who can help me?
    What gaming service run by Apple do you mean?`Game Center? I find that one rather annoying.
    Having XBox Live on your XBox is the only way to get DLC and other stuff for your XBox (well, besides retail versions but DLC is rather rare these days to be released on disc). Same goes for Sony's PSN. But those are closed environments with no alternative. With PCs being a very open environment the number of alternatives to get games/DLC/etc. is vast.

    MS trying to introduce its own gaming service (again) reminds me of Nokia waiting too long to participate in the smartphone market. Without the cooperation with a bigger company that already has some experience and credibility in this field, I don't see how MS can stand out between mediocre services like uPlay or Origin, or even be a serious competitor against Steam. Offering the same services with no benefits (don't want to speculate on this, since I don't know what MS might be able to offer, so for simplicity I just assume there are none, not saying there will be none) will only attract people who play on both their PC and XBox console. Cross-buys would be a heck of deal (getting both PC and XBox version of a game so you can play it on both platforms or give the other one to a friend - the last part could be difficult to realize since there needs to be a system that makes suure you don't just sell one of the versions) or even fusing the servers so you can play online multiplayer on your PC with a friend that plays the same game on his XBox.

    The possibilities for MS are quite a few but I'm not getting my hopes up that I will be wowed when MS comes up with a new gaming service on PC.

    @AaHaa Do you mean this one? Phil Spencer: a 'renewed focus' on Windows PC gaming from Microsoft is coming | Polygon
    07-31-2014 03:13 PM
  25. Jas00555's Avatar
    *QwarkDreams uses confusion on Jas00555*
    ...
    ...
    *it is very effective*

    Alright, now you've confused me. Maybe I'm not understanding you or maybe you've misspoke, but you're not making any sense. First you were saying that having multiple accounts is annoying to people and you would rather have one. Then when I point out that you wouldn't need to create another account, you say it could be a bad thing because more of your stuff could be compromised. You can't have it both ways unless you wanted to make two Microsoft accounts. One for email and one for Windows 8.X.

    To be perfectly honest, you sound like a Steam apologist that is just like "there's no need to make a Steam competitor because Steam is amazing". Well, I disagree that Steam is amazing and I would rather use the account that I already have with my PC than make another one.
    07-31-2014 05:43 PM
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