The Windows 10 / Xbox One tag-team targets PS4's dominance

Is Microsoft creating the Voltron of gaming?

Xbox One and PC

At the weekend our Mr. Cobbett wrote a piece about why Windows 10 isn't the saviour of PC gaming it's cracked up to be. And fine words they are too, but I would contend however the PC has never really been in need of saving.

The install base is huge, it has more platform exclusive titles than both Xbox One and PS4 put together and is capable of more exciting feats of gaming than any console ever made. And hell, it invented backwards compatibility.

Windows 10 then could end up being the saviour of the Xbox One. The Lord knows it needs help.

That's my cat. I call him "The Lord". I am kind to him.

Sony's PlayStation 4 is currently outselling the Xbox One by almost two-to-one, on a global level, making its market dominance huge. There are regional differences around the world, but in Europe it's even worse with an almost three-to-one advantage to Sony.

Xbox sure is crying out for help then.

Xbox One

Luckily Microsoft's got another huge platform (kind of) at its disposal - the Windows ecosystem on the PC. It's like when two 'faces' go against each other in a wrastling wring and one brings a hefty, less-popular tank character in as backup.

With the launch of Windows 10 the PS4 could be facing up to a two-on-one handicap match right now.

Now I'm not going to claim Microsoft owns PC gaming, in fact it has historic precedent of trying to crush it. Whether by intention or ignorance I'm still not entirely sure. No, Steam pretty much rules PC gaming as a platform with its own dominance of that particular market.

But almost all gaming PCs, and most Steam installations, run on Microsoft's operating system, and by tying the new OS, Windows 10, more and more into its console the Xbox One has at least a slightly better chance of clawing back some of the console gaming market back from the PS4.

But how?

The sheer weight of numbers behind this joint platform offering has is enough to give Microsoft a lot more clout when it comes to securing exclusives.

The situation surround The Rise of the Tomb Raider is testament to that.

Rise of the Tomb Raider

The latest Lara adventure is going to be hitting the Xbox One this holiday season as a platform exclusive with the PC version following not far behind at the start of 2016. The PS4 version then is being withheld from the Sony console until the end of next year.

Fable Legends is another Microsoft exclusive title, one that will arrive on both Windows 10 PCs as well as the Xbox One.

And it's not just the fact that both platforms will get their own version, they're designed to be almost entirely seamless offering cross-platform gaming between them too.

"We think enabling people to play multiplayer games on Windows 10, across Xbox One and Windows 10, will unlock the potential of Xbox Live and grow social network that's there today," said Mr. Xbox, Phil Spencer earlier this year.

Cross the streams

You've also got the fact with Windows 10 you have the perfect mobile screen for your Xbox One. Streaming games from the console to a Windows 10 machine, whether desktop, tablet or laptop, could make for a much more enticing prospect than switching on that dusty ol' PS Vita.

Streaming

Suddenly that weakheart £300 laptop can be a gaming machine when you want to step away from your TV to get a bit of Halo 5 action in bed, or if someone else in the family is hogging all the lounge-based screen time.

And once Microsoft pulls its fingers out and offers us streaming the other way, from gaming PC to Xbox One, we'll have the perfect living room PC in that chunky ol' console and access to some of the PS4 titles which have been kept away from the Xbox One.

No Man's Sky and Street Fighter 5, I'm looking your way...

Sony may well be sitting pretty right now, but it needs to not be resting on its laurels when the PC/Xbox tag-team comes a-calling, brother. Its joint feature set is going to take some beating and without too many exclusives to call its own right now the PS4 might have to up its own game.

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