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Steam is coming to Xbox! Or at least that is what the headlines are saying, but what’s the real story?

THE CONTEXT

So during GDC(Games Developer Conference) 2024 Phil Spencer did an interview with Polygon where they asked him “if he could envisage a future where the likes of PC gaming platforms such as the Epic Games Store may appear on Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S”. He told them “yes”. From there, it seems the gaming world took this and ran with it. In a nutshell, the conversation was a simple “Could you see this happening?” With him answering “Sure”. This is currently a dream, and should not be taken too seriously just yet.

REASONS NOT TO CARE

The bigger issue is that Xbox is extremely ambitious and they focus heavily on secondary things like a bigger ecosystem. Alongside mergers and acquisitions which, in my opinion, distracts from the main thing, the Xbox console experience. Don’t get me wrong I love the Xbox ecosystem as much as the next person! I mean I can play Game Pass on my PC on my smart TV and even recently on my Quest VR headset, It is awesome, however, this is a console that still uses a controller from 10 years ago. Two things can be true. Xbox can be an innovator in ecosystem experience while acknowledging that they need to put more of that creativity into their hardware. As an Xbox owner, it can be frustrating to want more hardware, such as a portable console to rival the current market(Switch, PS Portal, and Steam Deck) but instead, we get announcements and teasers of 3rd party stores. As an Xbox owner it is frustrating to see only ONE 1st party exclusive(Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 ) has a release date in 2024, but we are instead focusing our attention on rumors and hypotheticals. Again I am not against Steam and Xbox joining forces but as the old saying goes “We have Bigger Fish to Fry”.

As far as opening up the Xbox Console to 3rd party stores. It is far-fetched but would be an excellent addition to the Xbox Ecosystem. I believe the bigger issue at hand is Xbox using acquisitions and Game Pass diversity to mask the lack of true console direction, and identity. With that being said I look forward to the day when I can try Steam on my Xbox! 

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