Speaking at the Game Developer Conference (GDC) Microsoft studios head Phil Spencer said Microsoft has a “renewed focus on Windows and PC gaming.” In a response to a question about competing with Valve and their Steam Machines, Spencer stated:
“I think Valve’s an incredible company,” Spencer said. “They’ve been the backbone of PC gaming for the last decade, and as the Windows company, I appreciate what they’ve done. They have, in a lot of ways, focused more on PC gaming than we have.”
“We learn a ton from Sony and Nintendo,” he said, “so more people competing in this space is a good thing.”
“A renewed focus on Windows and PC gaming inside Microsoft is definitely happening,” he continued. “You will see more focus from us — not to go compete with what Valve has done, but because we also understand as the platform holder it’s important for us to invest in the platform in a real way. We’re fundamentally committed to that.”
Spencer also promised to give an update on Games for Windows Live which was killed off last year.
“You will get a clear answer from us very soon,” Spencer said about the future of Games for Windows Live. “We have a longer term plan for multiplayer gaming and marketplace on Windows. We understand what we have today in market … isn’t great. We do understand there’s some continuity of getting from where we are to where we want to be [and] that shutting the lights off [on Games for Windows Live] isn’t exactly the right thing to do.
“We’ve got to make sure we’ve got a thoughtful plan that supports the people that currently have games on Games for Windows Live. It’s a conversation we’re having.”
“But we’re going to invest significantly more in that space, not less,” he said. “It’s just whether what we have today is the core of what we have [in the future] and it’s probably not.
“We’ve got to have this message out in a thoughtful way [within the next few] months and not anything more than that. It’s in the real near term. This is something that we’re working on now… because we want to be clear on it.”
A lot of words from Mr. Spencer but ultimately meaningless. The real question is whether anyone believes any of Spencer’s statements. Microsoft for years have said they are serious about PC gaming but never made a serious effort in it. The company continues to be committed to Xbox and casual gaming on mobile devices.