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Microsoft is ’reworking’ its Xbox app for Windows 10 to focus on PC gamers

Microsoft is ’reworking’ its Xbox app for Windows 10 to focus on PC gamers

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Xbox app Windows 10
Xbox app on Windows 10
Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge

Microsoft’s Xbox app for Windows 10 has attempted to bridge the gap between console and PC with streaming features, Xbox party chat, and game management. While the app is one of the better built-in Windows 10 apps, it hasn’t always been well received by PC gamers who don’t want to be forced into the Xbox Live world.

During a Q&A at E3 this week, Microsoft’s gaming chief, Phil Spencer, gave some interesting insight into the company’s plans for the Xbox app on Windows 10 and PC gaming in general. An audience member asked Spencer about fixing Microsoft’s PC offerings, specifically the game management and Xbox app.

“I’d say our early work in... Xbox Live stuff for Windows was well intentioned, but anybody that’s a PC gamer (I play a lot of PC games myself) saw this kind of imposter console work coming over,” says Spencer. “You’ve probably seen us slow down on some of the progress we’ve made on some of our apps, and some other things because we’re reworking how we’re thinking about the PC audience to try to be more reflective of the PC community that’s out there instead of trying to pull people into the things that come from the console space.”

Spencer also notes that efforts like Discord and Xbox Live integration is an example of “recognizing infrastructure that exists on the PC side, apps that exist, and services that exist and try to be inclusive of the things PC gamers are about.” Microsoft is slowing down on changes to its Xbox app right now, but “the long-term goal is for us to be much more native in the PC gaming environment, as opposed to this thing that feels slightly different than what PC gamers are looking for.”

It’s not clear when changes are due, but Spencer has signaled that Microsoft is well aware of some of the criticisms around the Xbox app and game management through the Microsoft Store. Microsoft is now taking a step back to address them.