The current state of PC gaming couldn’t be weirder, with Epic Games paying to keep games off Steam left and right… and Microsoft being the good guy. Yeah, you read that last part right, Microsoft seems to have finally understood the way PC gamers think, and today they have announced the next steps on their plan to earn everybody’s good graces back, which include a fully featured version of Xbox Game Pass (I know part of Game Pass was on PC, but only a few select titles were in it, so this will be a quite different experience), and the promise that future Xbox Game Studios titles will not be Microsoft Store exclusives, as they’ll be released on Steam as well (with the company also exploring additional competing storefronts).
This new approach isn’t completely new, as the company announced back in March that Halo: The Master Chief Collection would come to both Steam and the Microsoft Store, but it’s nice to know that it wasn’t a one-time thing. According to Phil Spencer’s announcement on Xbox Wire, Gears of War 5 and the Definitive Editions of the three mainline Age of Empires games will be the first to appear on Steam. The much-maligned UWP (Universal Windows Platform) seems to be on the way out as well, as Microsoft intends to allow Win32 games on their store, something that wasn’t on the cards at all before today.
Going back to the Game Pass news, the head of Xbox also reassured PC gamers that all of Microsoft’s first party output will be out for Game Pass on release day, just as it works on console. Over a hundred titles should be available on this all-new PC version of Game Pass, with Bethesda, Deep Silver, Devolver Digital, Paradox Interactive, SEGA and other unannounced publishers onboard from day one.
We’ll have more news on this matter during E3, as Mr. Spencer promised to reveal more details during the Xbox E3 2019 Briefing on Sunday, June 9th.