We are mere months away from the launch of the Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5. The ninth-generation of video game consoles is about to begin, and proverbial dam holding back the gallons of pieces of information regarding what we'll actually be getting from these new systems is about to burst. Whilst we know the Xbox Series X is a vertical-oriented, towering monolith, by time of writing, all we've seen of the PS5 is its logo and a heavily stylised dev kit.
However, we're going to focus on team green here. The Series X is launching later this year (presumably November), and looking to Microsoft's newfound relationship with the PC gaming ecosystem, current and upcoming trends in the PC gaming market, and rumours a'plenty, there's quite a bit of evidence to point to the Series X not necessarily being just a console.
Buckle up, Xbox fans. If you've ever toyed with the idea of PC gaming, the Xbox Series X is going to make that potential very easy.
Xbox Is Already Heavily Invested In PC Gaming
Microsoft are already pretty established in the PC industry- duh, they're Microsoft. Not exaclty an unknown factor, I know. Though they have tried before to create a Microsoft-centric gaming platform on the PC before, the ill-fated Games for Windows Live, the soft reboot of the Microsoft Store launching on Windows 10 unified all previously fragmented parts of their software distribution into one place, available across PC, Xbox One, and Mobile.
Back in 2016, Xbox launched 'Play Anywhere,' which enabled purchased licenses for a select number of games, usually first-party offerings, to work on both Xbox One and/or PC, as long as you're signed into the same account. Game Pass arrived in 2017, two years later it launched on Windows 10 alongside a whole new Xbox app.
In other words, if you own a PC, you basically own a pseudo Xbox One. But if you come to own an Xbox Series X, you'll own a pseudo PC. It's a market Microsoft are taking seriously, and the PC player base are ecstatic that Xbox titles are being published to the platform. After the announcement that Halo: The Master Chief Collection was releasing on Steam, the internet went into meltdown.
Currently, the Xbox brand on a hardware level runs parallel to that of PC, but the Series X might be doing the impossible and making parallel lines cross. Xbox hardware in the past isn't too far removed from a PC anyway, so it's been pretty easy for PC-only developers in the past to jump on the platform. Look at Bethesda Game Studios and The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. Until the birth of the original Xbox, Bethesda were very much only invested in PC.
The Xbox 360 continued the trend of being a breeze to program for, which gave it a huge upper hand in the seventh generation when up against the confusing architecture of the PlayStation 3.