Microsoft’s Frank O’Connor is setting hearts of PC gamers a flutter with comments he made in an appearance this week. According to O’Conner, it’s entirely possible that we could see a Halo 5 release for Windows PC users.
O’Connor appeared this week on the Twitch channel for GamesRadar. Twitch is a livestreaming service and social network, but a recording of the entire broadcast is available now. Halo 5: Guardians is the massively important first-person shooter that’s coming to the Xbox One next week. The game is exclusive to the Xbox One; Xbox 360 users won’t even get a stripped down version. Microsoft is hoping that the release boosts sales of the Xbox One and subscriptions to its Xbox Live gaming service.
“There is plenty of chance that Halo 5 could appear on the PC. Nothing to announce at this point,” O’Connor says. Frank O’Connor is the franchise director for Halo. Before working at 343 Industries, he worked for video game developer Bungie. He goes on to clarify why he’s not ruling out the possibility of Halo 5: Guardians landing on Windows PCs.
“You know, we developed the game on an Intel platform,” he says. O’Connor is referencing the Intel processor that’s built into every Xbox One console. The Xbox 360 used a different kind of architecture that made bringing the games over to PCs a bit of a struggle. That’s why we never saw the kind of overlap with gaming on Windows and the Xbox 360. The Xbox One is basically a very powerful Windows PC. This means that, in theory, 343 Industries could bring Halo 5: Guardians to the PC and not have to do an incredible amount of work to make the game playable. In fact, the company has already confirmed it’s bringing Gears of War Ultimate Edition to PCs.
In fact, at this point it’s hard to imagine that Microsoft wouldn’t bring Halo 5: Guardians to Windows PCs. It’s done a lot of the ground work to get there already. The company spent the entire year building out its PC gaming infrastructure and connecting it to Xbox Live in meaningful ways. This week, the company released the Xbox Wireless Adapter for Windows. This adapter allows players to connect up to 8 Xbox One Wireless Controllers to their PC for play.
Earlier in the year it revealed the Xbox app for Windows 10. This app makes all the community features available to Xbox One users available on Windows PCs. For example, users can manage their friends and start voice chat parties with other Xbox One and Windows PC users too. Sometime this year Microsoft has plans to let Xbox One and Windows 10 users play games alongside each other over Xbox Live. Fable Legends and Gigantic are both free games that’ll offer the option. Microsoft has only said that those games are coming this year. It hasn’t revealed an exact release day.
O’Connor’s comments come on the heels of a sea change within the company itself. Yesterday the company began reporting earnings for all consumer devices in a single division. It also announced that it would focus on how many subscribers it adds to Xbox Live instead of focusing on how many physical Xbox One consoles it sells. It’s a huge departure for the gaming industry in general. If Microsoft is focusing on Xbox Live subscribers than it means it’s focusing less on Xbox One hardware and more on gaming as a service.
Halo 5: Guardians launches on the Xbox One on October 27th. Clearly, Microsoft’s intentions aren’t to reveal a PC version of Halo 5 this holiday season. It’s still hoping to see a huge console bump for Xbox One sales while the PS4 has its weakest exclusive line-up all year.