Microsoft have announced that they are effectively killing off the Xbox platform as we know it and instead will be unifying the platform with PC using Universal Windows Applications (UWAs).
Universal Windows Applications (UWAs) have been one of Microsoft focusses for a while now and it is a development platform that will allow games to run across PC, Xbox, tablets and smartphones.
The main goal will be that all games developed for the PC or console will be fully cross compatible, and that the Xbox console itself will eventually become an upgradable unit. What this could mean is that the Xbox One becomes more like a PC, with Microsoft releasing updated versions at regular intervals with more powerful processors and graphics hardware. In theory, because games will be written as UWAs, older titles will remain compatible with the new machines.
Xbox chief, Phil Spencer promised that UWAs will support multiple different graphics processors and that issues with V-Sync (a setting that matches the game framerate with your monitor’s screen refresh rate) would be resolved.
It is certainly an interesting decision from Microsoft, and as a PC gamer I am happy about it. PC games have often been crippled with poor console ports, and progressions in the quality of graphics is often hindered due to games having to be compatible with hardware that is frequently out of date by launch when it comes to consoles.
There are concerns in my opinion and this is the possible issues with fragmentation, how much use will you get out of your console before it needs to be upgraded, and the cost of upgrades themselves. In the past console manufacturers would often incur a loss on the console, or at the very least make minimal profit. However, with upgradable parts this may not be the case anymore.