The Future of Xbox Looks a Lot Like Steam

Steve Anderson : End Game
Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
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The Future of Xbox Looks a Lot Like Steam

It's been wondered on more than one occasion: with Microsoft pushing so hard to basically make the Xbox line a kind of gaming computer, then why in the world can't we play PC games on the Xbox? We're starting to see the reverse come to pass, but why not the way that gives us access to a staggering quantity of games that can be played via wireless controller? New reports suggest we may be heading in that direction.

Recently, Microsoft made a big step, bringing in digital purchase refunds. A "self-service refund system," which is actually a console first at last report. It's set to work in similar fashion to Steam, giving shoppers the ability to get a refund for a game purchase, assuming the game wasn't played for more than two hours total.

I personally had a shot with something like this; I got an option to try out the game "Vermintide" for a two hour period as a free trial. Following my bitter discovery that it was less a first-person based RPG and more a Left 4 Dead knockoff, I happily deleted the mass from my Xbox One.

It's an excellent move, and one that might really underscore Microsoft's potential for a digital-only system. One of the biggest disadvantages was the loss of rented games, the ability to try a game before we buy it. With this system, we can do exactly that, on a digital basis.

It doesn't fix all the problems, of course, like the huge price discrepancy between used games and digital games. It does, however, make a great leap forward.

Now, if Microsoft can alter pricing models and maybe open up the PC gaming community to Xbox players, well, that might make Microsoft king of the block going forward. Only time will tell just how well this works or how far it goes, but it's a safe bet that this will ultimately be well-received.

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