One of the interesting things about the Xbox app on Windows 10 is that it targets a console service towards PC gamers. Microsoft used the app to try to bring console and PC closer together with streaming and other features. This was achieved largely through Xbox Live. The problem is, PC games do not necessarily want to be tied to what is essentially a console service.
Gamers well know the pitch battle between some console and PC players. The latter are not tied to the Xbox ecosystem and are using Windows 10 as their PC gaming platform. For those gamers, using the Xbox app and Xbox Live is not something they want.
“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 referenced Microsoft's collaboration with Discord. The two companies partnered in April to improve communication tools for games. Spencer argues this 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.”
The executive says Microsoft will slow down changes on the Xbox app, but admits “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.”
Microsoft also announced today the official Plex app for Xbox One has been updated. The app is a media consumption service that gives Xbox One users tools to watch their digital library on their console and record live TV. The changes made to the app are:
- Restored ability to delete Watch Later/Recommended items
- Fixed Browse by Folder showing unwatched flags on folders
- Fixed cursor getting lost when navigating up to menu on Live TV Watch Now
- Fixed metadata being displayed behind episode thumbnail in some cases
- Fixed audio & subtitle preference changes not being reflected immediately on the preplay page
- Removed Discover and Watch Now buttons from Live TV Browse All