PC gaming is considered by some to be the purest form of gaming one can partake in.
It's up for debate, sure, but now MIcrosoft is planning to bridge the gulf between PC gaming and console gaming with its Universal Windows Platform. Making the announcement last week, Phil Spencer, the head of Microsoft's Xbox division confirmed plans to unify the two platforms via Universal Windows Applications.
What's more, Xbox One will now become more backward-compatible with older games. Already, a huge list of Xbox360 games have been made backward-compatible and more are sure to follow. Microsoft's grand plan is to make Universal Windows Platform available on any console, thus making the Xbox One closer to a PC hybrid than a gaming console.
"We believe we will see more hardware innovation in the console space than we’ve ever seen," said Phil Spencer. "We’ll see us come out with new hardware capability during a generation and allow the same games to run backwards and forward compatible because we have UWAs running on top of UWP. It allows us to focus on hardware innovation without invalidating the games that run on that platform."
Cross-platform gaming has been a pipe-dream for many years, with Shadowrun being the only game we can think of that dabbled in the arena. However, if UWP takes off like Microsoft plans, it'll become much more commonplace. What's more, there'll also be an ability to play across platforms. Buy a game on the PC using Windows, you can play that same game on Xbox One.
The big question, of course, is how developers and publishers will take this new system. Already, Microsoft is attempting to put Forza 10 into the UWP and some developers have broadly welcomed their plans. One of the big advantages of PC gaming, as well, has been the highly active modding community in various games.
Skyrim, for example, has had a hugely popular modding community since its release back in 2013. Many other games have benefited from heavy modding by fan-programmers, with some developers even handing over code to fan communities to help with their projects. Whether this openness will translate into UWP remains to be seen.