Microsoft’s Phil Spencer, head of games, said at the Game Developers Conference that the company continues to invest in a cross-platform ecosystem that allows people to play games across the Windows 10 PC, Xbox console, and Microsoft mobile devices.
That means that Microsoft will launch new tools for each of its major programs — such as its Xbox Live online service and ID@Xbox program for independent developers — so that developers can create games that will run across Microsoft’s family of devices. That includes Windows 10, Windows phone, and Xbox consoles.
Spencer said the company got a great reaction to its augmented reality glasses when it was announced at the Windows 10 unveiling. He said Microsoft’s game studios are making holographic 3D games for HoloLens, and would share details later about those titles.
“None of this matters if we don’t have great games,” Spencer said.
Spencer announced that Microsoft Xbox Live software development kit for Windows 10 is available to developers now.
Microsoft is now readying Xbox Live so that it can run across both Windows 10 and Microsoft’s game consoles, so player recommendations, history, and achievements can follow them across multiple platforms.
Spencer made the announcement at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.
“My hope is we will have a Windows release that is the best we’ve ever had for gamers,” Spencer said about Windows 10.
He said Microsoft wants to enable one identity, one universal app, one store, and one game that runs across all Windows devices. (The one store part will likely make Valve, owner of the Steam digital distribution store, nervous). He noted the Windows Store reaches 240 countries. It’s an application in Windows that will evolve faster than Windows itself does, he said.
“The core product of what you are building will extend across the whole Windows 10 community including Xbox,” he said. “Our investment in Windows Store has never been higher than it is now. You will be able to develop and distribute your game across the entire ecosystem using that one store.”
He noted how Minecraft, which Microsoft bought with its $2.5 billion purchase of Mojang last year, enables players to create their own games with the larger game. Microsoft will continue to work on tools that make that easier to do.
Microsoft is offering sessions at the GDC to train developers on how to make games for Windows 10. Spencer said Microsoft is enabling cross-platform play, but that means playing on Windows PCs or Microsoft consoles or Microsoft mobile devices. You can’t play cross-platform on Sony or Nintendo devices.
Spencer said that Epic Games is creating a version of Unreal Tournament that will run across Windows 10’s ecosystem. Microsoft also said its upcoming Fable Legends game will run on Windows 10 and Xbox One.
Microsoft will release a wireless adapter for Windows that allows you to use Xbox One controllers and other peripheral devices that work with Windows 10 devices too.