Quantum Break, from the makers of Max Payne and Alan Wake, was recently engulfed in controversy. Being one of the most promising new IP coming from Microsoft this gen, Xbox One fans were eagerly waiting for it to release.
Announced at GamesCom all the way back in 2013, Quantum Break was supposed to come only on Xbox One Gaming Console. Yet only two months before the launch date (15th April), Microsoft dropped a bomb on their fans that a PC version was in work all this time, and will be released simultaneously on both Xbox One and PC.
While the gamers who felt deceived by Microsoft vented out on twitter, the PC Gamers finally had a reason to rejoice. Microsoft had been promising support to PC Gaming for many years now, but fans have questioned their commitment.
Back in 2014, Phil Spencer, the head of Xbox Division put forth the idea to merge Windows 10 and Xbox Gaming experience.
The decision to put Quantum Break on PC is the first major step in merging those ecosystems. Since a higher number of gamers would be able to enjoy this game now, Microsoft can expect more money and more IP recognition.
While this indeed sounds great news for PC gamers, it’s not all good news. Microsoft’s vision to support PC gaming can prove shallow given the news that Quantum Break won’t be coming to STEAM, making it a Windows 10 Store exclusive game.
Meaning, it needs to be bought from Windows Store and must be running on Windows 10. (Game is not supported on Windows 7) This news would not have been alarming if it wasn’t for the number of limitations this store forces on the game.
Games running through Windows 10 Store ecosystem have a Metro App feel, because of being built in UWP (Universal Windows Platform) which imposes many limitations to its games like mentioned below.
8 Things PC gamers should know before buying Quantum Break
1). Unable to choose the Installation Directory
The Store automatically locks it into the C: Drive and most of us because of old habits separate C drive to just OS functions, making it very hard to find space. Even if space is not the issue, not letting you choose which drive to install on and relying on workarounds and hacks to do it is not the pain installing a game should be.
2). Poor Third-Party App Support
Software like Fraps, MSI Afterburner, etc. which are used by gamers to record, check fps, Cpu usage, Temperatures are not supported
3). No Gsync and FreeSync
Unable to disable VSYNC makes this nVidia and AMD technology useless. Enthusiast Gamers who have bought expensive equipment won’t be able to utilize them on this AAA game.
4). No SLI / CrossFire Support
Gamers using these setups should stay away from Games from Windows 10 Store.
5). Slow Windows Store
The launcher is lazy, the downloads are slow, and the progress bar has been broken for a long time. If some minor bug occurred, which makes you unable to update or open Windows Store / Xbox App on Windows, then you can’t even play your games until that issue is resolved. (like the infamous Windows Store 0x80070003 error).
6). No Modding Support
UWP denies you the access to your own Game files and executables making Modding a very difficult to even impossible task. No Graphic Injectors are supported. And with increasingly broken game ports, quick Mod fixes are out of the question.
7). Slow Patches
Patches coming to Windows Store Version of games runs well behind the support for Steam Versions.
8). No Exclusive Full-screen Mode
Games running only on Borderless Fullscreen mode tends to work slower, and few fps drop is expected, which is not a problem with the Exclusive Full-screen mode.
Microsoft is trying to compete with Steam without adding anything substantial, and in-fact is taking away the features which are premium to PC experience.
If Microsoft can fix all of these and at least some of these it would be great to have the game on Windows PC too.
By making their Xbox one Exclusive games come to PC, they have managed to anger some dedicated Xbox fans and dissatisfy PC Gamers simultaneously.
Xbox users believe, Microsoft has withheld the information of Quantum break coming to PC until the last moment and it should have remained an Xbox One only game like promised.
Though this is not the first time an Xbox One Exclusive title has found its way on PC, it is indeed the first time a major system seller AAA game like Quantum Break is being released on both platforms simultaneously.
Games for Windows Live (GFWL) was the previous push by Microsoft to enter the PC Gaming, and many know it had major problems which ultimately resulted in its shutdown.
GFWL had problems even connecting to Microsoft servers, Gamers were left with making new accounts time and time again, GFWL always used to miss their save files progress and the hassle of always typing your username every time on launch even after clicking Remember me, left a bad taste with any gamer who had dared to try it.
Even now, many games that had GFWL built into them are notorious for playing because of its support been withdrawn.
We like to believe that Windows 10 Store might be too big to completely shut down, but with all the limitations it has, and the previous experience of GFWL, it is tough to give Microsoft the benefit of doubt.
Recent rumors indicate even more Xbox exclusive titles will see their way towards PC.
- Recore (which is confirmed to be on PC)
- Gears of War 4
- Forza Games
And seeing the trend, it is not difficult to imagine Halo 6 and Crackdown 3 on PC too. But if Microsoft wants to reconnect to PC gaming, which they had abandoned for some time, they need to make these limitations go away.
What is not making me hopeful is that the Games running through Windows Store, using the UWP (Universal Windows Platform), which treats the game as an app (basically a Metro App) is an integral part of the Windows 10 design and all the restrictions this UWP design has on games might be difficult for Microsoft to fully fix without going back on their prime ideology.
I still look forward to Quantum Break. Remedy Entertainment – the developer of the game, has consistently made nothing but amazing games with inspiring stories. A TV series tied to this game already shows how much confidence Microsoft and Remedy have put behind this game.
Gamers who still want to try Quantum Break on PC can refer to this updated System Spec : (Spec image here)
Guest Contribution By Shubhendu Singh
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