Killer Instinct, Gears of War Ultimate show Microsoft new focus on PC Gaming
Some will say that the gaming scene is already alive and well on PC. They would be right, Valve with Steam have had free reign over the PC market for a long time. When physical sales of PC games fell off a cliff, Valve saw an opportunity and made the most of it: Make it easy and cheap to buy games digitally and the reasons for piracy are greatly reduced. Add in to this a great community element, meta games such as achievements and frequent deep reductions (side note: I have many unplyed games that just had to be bought during a Steam sale because it would be silly not to buy them at that price).
Microsoft tried and failed before to recapture some of this market with Games for Windows live, a bolt-on service for Windows Vista and later to try and add some of the features of Xbox gaming on top of regular games. It failed. Horribly.
Not to be deterred, Microsoft is back for more and under the direction of Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, the software giant is looking to make Xbox an integral part of the new OS, Windows 10. No longer a bolt-on, Xbox is built into the Operating System, DirectX 12 will make it easier for developers to optimise their games and Microsoft are bringing some of their top games to the platform to boot.
At the E3 2015 PC Gaming Show Microsoft announced that Killer Instinct, the classic fighting game rebooted for the Xbox One launch will be coming over to Windows 10 for a scrap. Details of the price or availability are scarce at the moment, but it is expected that it will follow the same model as the Xbox One title - free to play with a rotating free character, or you can buy individual fighters or Seasons of Killer instinct (Season 2 has just finished).
Coming along for the ride will be the newly announced Gears of War Ultimate Edition, a HD remake of the Xbox 360 classic (and also one of the launch Games for Windows Live titles, but perhaps Microsoft don't want us to remember that).
Gears of War Ultimate will aim to show off what a Windows 10 powerhouse PC can do, over and above even Microsoft's own console. Sporting 4K resolution support and a higher refresh rate than it's 1080p / 60 fames per second cousin on Xbox.
We're still awaiting details of when these games will be available on PC. Gears of War Ultimate launches on Xbox on 25. August 2015.