Microsoft has confirmed that any game developed by its own studios going forward will work with its Xbox Play Anywhere program.
"Every new title published from Microsoft Studios will support Xbox Play Anywhere and will be easily accessible in the Windows Store," a post from the company detailing its Windows 10 Anniversary Update plans reads.
What this means is, you can expect the next mainline entry in the Halo series to be on PC as well as the Xbox One. When Microsoft first entered console gaming back in 2001, it launched the original Xbox with Halo: Combat Evolved. Two years later, the game made it to PC and Mac OS X. Similar treatment was meted out for Halo 2, hitting the original Xbox in 2004 but only arriving on PC in 2007.
While the likes of Gears of War and Forza have already made the jump to PC, Halo is perceived as the biggest exclusive and one of the reasons to own Xbox hardware. It's a massive indication that Microsoft is more interested in prioritising games over hardware.
Perhaps, it also falls in line with the thinking at Redmond, if those close to Microsoft are to be believed.
"What if Xbox just becomes software?" asked Windows insider Brad Sams a couple of months back, during a podcast. "If your system [a PC] meets the specs, your PC can be an Xbox. Don't get me wrong Microsoft will still build a dedicated box. But eventually it becomes software."
It also harks back to the words of irate ex-employees last month.
"First-party studios isn't doing so well. Halo 5 is a big miss, versus projections. Minecraft is a big miss, versus projections. Compared to either one of those," sources said to Kotaku UK,"Lionhead is practically a rounding error. But I think if your division is under-performing, you have to go to your boss with something on the altar."Considering how Halo 5's price dropped barely a week post-release it would appear that sales targets were missed on the latest entry in the sci-fi FPS series. However in the case of Minecraft it seems odd. This is because the game is selling around 50,000 units a day.
In the past, Microsoft has been quiet on downloads or any form of metrics related to the Windows Store, preferring to talk up the number of users on Windows 10 and Xbox. This could explain why and furthermore, shed light on this move. Nonetheless, the Windows 10 Anniversary Update is available from August 2 while Xbox Play Anywhere is out on September 13.
Update, July 6, 2016: Microsoft has updated its blog post to specify that the only Xbox One games from the company that you can play on a Windows 10 PC are those shown off at E3 2016.
"Every new title published from Microsoft Studios that we showed onstage at E3 this year will support Xbox Play Anywhere and will be easily accessible in the Windows Store," the post now reads. Perhaps the company isn't ready to give its biggest exclusive a wider audience? Only time will tell.