Microsoft is in the midst of promoting their new operating system, Windows 10, freely available as an upgrade to existing Windows 7 and 8 users. It's the new infrastructure that will help connect PC to Windows Phones, Microsoft's latest Surface lines and of course, the Xbox One when the console's New Xbox One Experience update launches later this year. But before that, Microsoft is also promoting their biggest video game release of 2015 in Halo 5: Guardians, the first new core Halo game on the Xbox One and only the Xbox One.
Microsoft has been promising to support PC gaming in a big way for a while now, but outside of their multi-billion dollar purchase of the Minecraft brand, available on every platform imaginable - including most recently with a Windows 10 edition - Microsoft is still failing to bring their biggest game exclusives to their own PC OS. The last few Gears of War, Forza MotorSport and Halo games? None of them are playable on PC. The recently re-released remastered Halo: The Master Chief Collection and Gears of War: Ultimate Edition for Xbox One are both not available on PC either. And the biggest Xbox One exclusive to date, Halo 5: Guardians, releasing next week... also not on PC. How can Microsoft supporting PC gaming by not supporting it with their own biggest games?
There's a chance this may change though, according to Frank O'Connor, the Halo Franchise Development Director for 343 Industries. He says it's easy to bring Halo 5 to PC even though there's nothing to announce yet. While appearing on the GamesRadar Halo 5: Guardians Twitch live stream this week, O'Connor said the following:
“You know, Microsoft has made a huge commitment trying sort of… I think normalize the Windows experience across multiple platforms. You see the elements of Windows 10 are going to appear in Xbox and Cortana and stuff like that. There is plenty of chance that Halo 5 could appear on the PC. Nothing to announce at this point… you know, we developed the game on an Intel platform. It wouldn’t be the hardest thing in the world to move it to PC and take advantage of PC stuff. But nothing I announce today on this chat.”
Seeing as how the Xbox One is far behind its competitor the PlayStation 4 in hardware sales, it would seem insane for Microsoft not take advantage of their other key platform (Windows 10) to sell more copies of their biggest games. Especially now with ex-Halo developer Bungie dominating sales and playtime throughout the year with their new flagship title Destiny, which PlayStation 4 has exclusivity deals for on extra content. Destiny is inexplicably not playable on PC either so 343 Industries and Microsoft are in a position to take advantage of this untapped market and earn some credibility amongst the PC gaming crowd with Halo 5.
Me playing Mission #1 of Halo 5: Guardians
Understandably, Halo 5: Guardians needs to help drive Xbox One sales for this holiday season first and foremost for the developer and publisher, but after, there's no reason not to release it for PC. Xbox One exclusive launch titles Dead Rising 3 and Ryse: Son of Rome came to PC... And with Microsoft partnering with Oculus VR, bundling Xbox One controllers in with the headset when it hits the consumer market, wouldn't that be a neat tech demo if Halo 5: Guardians on PC supported the Oculus Rift? That's how you sell units and earn buzz.
In the meantime, what's the hold up on getting more Gears of War and previous Halo titles on PC, Microsoft?
Halo 5: Guardians releases October 27, 2015 exclusively on Xbox One.