Nothing in the world is scarier for a small percentage of people in the world than looking into a fun house mirror. The disorder is called Spectrophobia, and it’s a real condition with a recommended treatment and all that jazz. People that suffer from Spectrophobia aren’t worried about seeing their own reflection. Instead they worry about getting pulled into a mirror or seeing something disturbing inside one. I share their fears, but I’m specifically talking in reference to today’s news on Quantum Break.
Microsoft, eager to unite its platforms and brands, made it clear last year that it was on its way back to PC gaming. Instead of another bastard child operating system, the company sent it’s A-Team to battle Steam and bring in new converts. Xbox is on Windows, in a big and serious way.
The Xbox Team took big strides today. It revealed that Quantum Break isn’t an Xbox One exclusive. That Quantum Break for Xbox One will be joined by a second version that wasn’t previously announced: Quantum Break for Windows 10. In every way that counts, both versions of the game will be identical. It’s still the story of Jack Joyce developing time manipulation powers and a faceless corporation going after him for reasons we haven’t seen yet.
Microsoft plans to give Quantum Break for Windows 10 to all those that pre-order Quantum Break for Xbox One, at no additional cost. Game saves will move between the two platforms seamlessly, all futuristic-like.
Somehow, this manages to be a huge issue for some people. Trav, meet the monster in the mirror.
You know, enthusiasm is a great thing. Validating the purchases that you’ve made – especially for something that costs as much as a console – is understandable on some level. But I need for people so vehemently opposed to Microsoft creating an Xbox ecosystem on PC to listen to reason. Your need to validate your own purchases should never override common sense and what’s great for everyone else involved.
Saying that Microsoft has somehow did you wrong, that they’ve somehow ruined Xbox One by making Quantum Break available on PCs is wrong-headed. It’s wrong headed because it doesn’t make sense. For starters, you’re getting a free game with the purchase you already planned to make – no questions asked.
Second, Xbox Exclusive still means the same thing that it always has. Quantum Break is still an Xbox exclusive. It’s not coming to PlayStation or the Nintendo Wii U. You won’t be able to play this game on Steam. It’ll only be available directly through the Windows Store, running Windows 10, and Windows 10 is an Xbox platform. I have an Xbox app with party chat, game streaming, controller compatibility and good looks to prove it.
Third, cancelling your pre-order because other people who use Xbox Live in a way different from what you do have access to it is about the most entitled thing you’ll probably manage to think of all year. The “they should have told us” line is crazy. How dare they not inform you of their intention to give you something for free? How dare they not give you time to pick up a new graphics card and buy on PC instead? Oh, you don’t play games on PCs? So, how about that?
Central to all this is the distinction between form factors that I think some people fail to understand.
Central to all this is the distinction between form factors that I think some people fail to understand. Xbox One is about bringing gaming to the masses in an easy to understand, integrated and intuitive way. Xbox on Windows is aimed at two other audiences. There’s the audience that’s so casual they’ll never buy an Xbox One console at $349. They’ll stick to the phone games with Xbox Live Achievements like Minecraft. There’s also the audience so technically sophisticated, anti-console and into PC gaming that they can’t possibly realize just how bad for perception it is to keep calling themselves the PC Master Race, even if it is an inside joke. Xbox on Windows is for these people. They were never going to buy an Xbox, but I bet more than a few of them wouldn’t mind trying out some Xbox games on that PC that they love so much.
In some ways we are all the same. Truly, flip sides of the same coin. I use an Xbox One and have never spent my money on any other living room console. I also understand that there’s a whole world of new Xbox gamers all out there waiting to be found.
I’m worried by what I’ll see when I look into the mirror sometimes. Will I see other Xbox fans all behind me, universally congratulating Phil Spencer and his team for delivering the biggest thing to happen to PC gaming in sometime? Will I see passionate men and women welcoming new users to the Xbox community?
Or will I see smart, passionate people diss a transformative development in the life of Xbox to have something to get indignant about?
I’m not sure anymore. Stop being a fanboy. Start being a gamer.