Microsoft: ‘We’ve been killing PC gaming’

The firm has outlined to MCV details of an 18-month drive to establish Games For Windows as a platform with the credibility of PlayStation and Xbox, ahead of the launch of the Vista operating system.

“It’s our biggest ever investment in Windows gaming,” said product manager Kelly Stanmore. “The Windows business is down 10 per cent year-on-year and we’ve lost shelves of space. We’re killing off that community without the retail support.”

Microsoft has neglected PC gamers as it pushed forward with Xbox, but the advent of 360 will mark a defining moment for its gaming ambitions.

“We’re putting the ‘game’ back in Windows,” explained group manager Chris Donohue. “We’re over the hump with Xbox 360 so now ready to build Windows as a platform.”

Key to this is a bespoke retail concept, offering Xbox 360 and Games for Windows titles, plus a cross-compatible range of peripherals, integrating the gaming experience.

And the publishing community is also throwing its weight behind the push, with the major publishers even redesigning their PC boxes to flag up Games for Windows in a similar way to console format branding.

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