Microsoft: No PC Games at E3 Because it’s “A Console Show”

Microsoft’s Phil Spencer says that the company didn’t show off PC games at E3 this year because E3 is “a console show.”

While a few of the games Microsoft showed off at E3 this year might end up on PC, there was almost no direct mention of the platform. When Polygon asked Phil Spencer, the Head of Xbox and Microsoft Studios, about the omission, his response was a bit frustrating.

“It’s a retail show, it’s a console show, so it didn’t really feel like the right place for us to talk about Windows, but Windows and gaming on Windows is critical to Microsoft’s success.”

So where can we expect Microsoft to show off its commitment to PC gaming? Spencer was less sure about that.

“Well, they do these huge world championship events and they fill up arenas. I do think there could be a space there.”

There we go. So we can look forward to seeing Microsoft at a League of Legends, DOTA 2, or Starcraft tournament near you soon.

In truth, there were plenty of PC games at E3 last week, but you wouldn’t think so from Spencer’s quotes. Never mind the enormous booths from dedicated PC companies like Razer, Alienware, and others, E3 is clearly focused on consoles. Unfortunately, this sort of attitude towards PC gaming is something that’s becoming the norm from Microsoft. Heck, it’s been the norm for a while now.

Whether it’s Games for Windows Live’s annoying DRM, or the fact that it took the company that makes Windows eight months to release Windows drivers for the Xbox One controller that they also produce, Microsoft’s attitude towards PC gamers over the past few years has been one of begrudging acknowledgement, and little else. It didn’t help that perception when former Valve Director of Business Development left his position as head of Microsoft’s PC Gaming and Entertainment Strategy after only six months.

Spencer’s comments make it abundantly clear that despite the huge number of gamers that play on PC (Steam hit 7.1 million concurrent users last December), Microsoft isn’t all that into reaching out to that market. They may throw a bone our way from time to time with an updated version of a classic game, but despite calling it “critical to Microsoft’s success,” their focus is clearly on the Xbox, and not the PC.

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10 Comments on Microsoft: No PC Games at E3 Because it’s “A Console Show”

Matt

On June 16, 2014 at 9:07 am

“gaming on Windows”

the only reason I use the damn thing is because I can’t configure *nix for optimum gaming performance.

AxΣtwin

On June 16, 2014 at 10:30 am

Last I checked, E3 stood for Electronic Entertainment Expo. Since when do PC’s not fall into that category?

Adam

On June 16, 2014 at 10:44 am

We need Gears of War PC that will sort out windows gaming

Ron Whitaker

On June 16, 2014 at 11:08 am

@Adam – We had Gears of War PC. No one wants that mess to happen again.

RT

On June 16, 2014 at 1:46 pm

Well you too then.

R.J.

On June 16, 2014 at 3:01 pm

I have to echo Axetwin’s sentiment. I’m pretty sure that E3 is supposed to be about games and devices that happen to let us play them. Then again, we’re dealing with MS, which spent last year’s E3 telling people without a fast internet connection to stick with the 360 and that they basically weren’t welcome as potential customers for the Xbone. So, I don’t know how well MS actually understands its customers

Phoenixeeeeeee

On June 16, 2014 at 3:29 pm

It’s pretty obvious why they do this… Money! Microsoft gets a good chunk of XBOX hardware sales, and I’m guessing at least a small chunk out of 3rd party software/game sales. Now with PCs theres dozens of different brands of PC and with so many options and different companies that cuts down on whatever Microsoft’s cut is going to be (if any) and sure to make/play a PC game you need Windows so there’s that, but outside of that there’s not much money to be made on 3rd party PC games

So lets say Microsoft does have a PC/XBOX game that they made and want to show it off… Why would they show off the PC version with superior graphics, performance, and controls? If they do that someone is more likely to buy it on PC, thus they don’t get an XBOX or don’t play the XBOX they do have, don’t buy xbox games, don’t get that XBOX Live GOLD account, don’t buy movies/games/etc. on the XBOX marketplace and thus Microsoft doesn’t make nearly as much money.

rickshaw

On June 16, 2014 at 8:06 pm

Its gaming there should be no bars..

Tadeusz

On June 17, 2014 at 11:38 am

“Gaming on PC” will be soon “Gaming on SteamOS/Linux” :}

mark

On June 25, 2014 at 11:01 pm

Is it me or do all Microsoft execs look like suits that look uncomfortable casually dressed. They all look phony.