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PC will also get original Xbox titles and Game Pass, says Spencer

Xbox boss also clarifies use of 'console launch exclusive' term in E3 announcements

Microsoft may have focused primarily on Xbox One X and titles coming to its family of home consoles, but head of Xbox Phil Spencer is keen to ensure PC users don't get left behind.

In an interview with PC Gamer, he immediately confirmed that he hopes to bring original Xbox games to Windows 10 at some point in future, as well as the Netflix-style Game Pass that launched last month.

Earlier this week, the platform holder announced that backwards compatibility for original Xbox games would be added to Xbox One, following the success of its Xbox 360 range. While the latter has yet to come to PC, Spencer believes it will easier to re-release titles from his team's first console.

"[Emulation] is hard," he told PC Gamer. "[Xbox] 360 specifically is a PowerPC chip, emulated to x86, which is difficult... The original Xbox, OG Xbox, is a little bit easier, because that was an x86 chip it was running on.

"Obviously when we think about UWP and the ability for games to run across console and PC, we're getting closer. I want developers to be able to build portable applications, which is why we've been focusing on UWP for games and even apps that want to run on multiple devices. So I think we've got work to go do there, but I think it's in our future."

He reiterated that he "definitely wants" to bring Game Pass to Windows 10, partly because Xbox doesn't "have the deep catalog of games on PC that we do on console."

"I've had some pushback from the marketing team that, well it wouldn't necessarily be the best feature right now, because we won't have enough games, but I just want to start. So I'm putting a lot of pressure on the team to go get enough content lined up to do something on the PC, and then make sure we have a long-term commitment to build."

Meanwhile, GameSpot also spoke to Spencer about this week's announcements, questioning him on the use of the term 'console launch exclusive' throughout Microsoft's E3 press conference.

Xbox was in danger of wearing out the word 'exclusive' during its showcase earlier this week, with a mix of titles heading only to Xbox One and Windows 10 as well as these console launch exclusives - which most people assume to mean 'timed exclusive', following up past agreements with developers where a title would release on Xbox a few months before PlayStation.

In this case, Spencer says the term is a little more complicated and a little more vague.

"Console launch exclusive means the first console the game will launch on will be Xbox One," he said. "I don't know, honestly, anything about when those games are going to launch on another platform. It's really up to the developer to do the work to make that happen."

He also clarified that the platform holder dropped the term 'timed exclusive' as many of the titles are already available on PC. A prime example is smash hit battle royale shooter PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, which arrived on Steam earlier this year and will be brought to Xbox by the end of the year.

GamesIndustry.biz also managed to secure time with Spencer, in which he told us virtual reality is "years away" from being ready for mainstream gamers. You can read the full interview here, and a complete recap of all of Xbox's E3 announcements here.

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James Batchelor


James Batchelor is Editor-in-Chief at GamesIndustry.biz. He has been a B2B journalist since 2006, and an author since he knew what one was