Gaming

Microsoft’s changing gaming strategy

With the new reboot GRID out I thought it might be time to go back and actually play GRID 2. I originally tried to play this on the backward compatibly option for the Xbox One as it was only ever released on the Xbox 360. Not surprisingly time has not kind and the 720p native resolution made it look pretty average by today’s 4K standards.

Playing GRID 2 on PC is wonderful, and because of this my game time has been more evenly split between PC and the Xbox One X. Playing racing games at 60fps is just such a better proposition, even for arcade racers like the GRID series. Suffice to say despite the lack of cockpit view, GRID 2 is a really decent arcade racer and much more my type of racer than say Dirt Rally or F1.

GRID 2 is still a very respectable racer, even in 2019.

A few months ago I upgraded my PC. At the time it was to assist with providing good VR experiences but one of the other benefits is that I can run a lot of older games in 4K, and in a lot of cases running at 60fps. This got me thinking about Microsoft’s strategy moving forward. It does seem that they are working towards playing on all types of devices, with X-Cloud now being previewed and quite a few games getting shared cloud saves and the Xbox Live platform interchanging between PC and Xbox One.

Recently Microsoft upgraded the Microsoft Gaming Studios title to Xbox Game Studios. I actually think this is a good approach and a good way forward for Microsoft and Xbox. There has been a fair amount of opinion out in the gaming community that not providing Xbox exclusives is going to kill the brand. I simply can’t see this happening with the accessibility approach Microsoft is taking. They truly are trying to become hardware agnostic by providing console, PC and mobile streaming options.

Despite my PC getting a lot more playtime I still prefer the simplicity of the Xbox UI, particularly for multiplayer.

The new Xbox console coming out late next year – Project Scarlett – sounds like it will be a very impressive console. Gamers that already have a powerful PC may not see the need to get one, but I’ll still definitely be buying one, despite my recent PC upgrade.

Why I hear you ask? Because I didn’t spend a huge amount of money on the upgrade and I still agree in principal with Moore’s Law, which is processing power generally doubles every two years. While the leaps and bounds of CPU and GPU power may not technically double in power, it still means Project Scarlett will be a mighty beast. I also happen to love the Xbox dashboard, and even though Microsoft is working hard on providing a friendly UI for the PC, there is still a long way to go.

I’m really excited at what the near future holds for improvements in GPU and CPU, with the much talking about ray tracing. I love the worlds that are created in games, and I will be taking advantage of all the gaming platforms out there to play the games that excite me the most.

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