There is a certain, likely small, vocal subset of Xbox One fans who are upset that Quantum Break is coming to the PC, and will be available day and date with the Xbox One release. As we reported earlier, you'll even get a free copy of the game for your Windows 10 PC if you preorder the Xbox One version ... which seems like a pretty cool thing to us?
Phil Spencer, Microsoft's head of Xbox, summed up this rather surprising turn of events in his incredulous reaction to one angry fan.
@The_CrapGamer You cancelled a pre-order for a game you want to play because someone else get's to play the game on Windows?— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) February 11, 2016
The anger seems to be directed at the idea that platform exclusives should stay exclusive, even at the expense of the PC community. There is also the idea that PC gamers are somehow paying less for the experience, since you don't have to pay for online play on that platform.
"The problem is we pay for Xbox live while those on PC will get our games looking better while paying less and not paying for Live," another angry fan told me via Twitter.
These arguments are, and I'm going to be nice here, complete bunk.
PC players aren't paying less for anything
The 500 GB Xbox One Quantum Break bundle retails for $350, and that gets you the system, a single controller, a copy of Quantum Break on the Xbox One as well as PC, and the free copy of Alan Wake, its expansions and American Nightmare. That's a pretty great deal if you're interested in Quantum Break.
Yes, you have to pay yearly for Xbox Live, which usually runs around $50 per year if you don't snap up a code on sale, but you're also getting monthly "free" games included in the price. So it's 100 percent an additional charge you have to consider when picking up a console, but I'd argue the cost is worth it.
There are many advantages to being a PC gamer, on the other hand. Your games will look better if you have high-end hardware. Games are often less expensive or, in this case, free with the purchase of the game on another platform. You're not paying a service charge to play online. But the cost of entry is significantly higher: The recommended specs on the PC version of Quantum Break indicates a video card that retails for over $600. That's just one component.
So no, PC gamers aren't paying less. They are paying much more for that graphical fidelity. Gaming PCs also lack the simplicity of consoles, which means there is often a very real cost paid in the time setting them up and keeping them running. Some people love that, others not so much. But it's a factor. The idea that PC gamers are paying less for more features however? Incorrect. They often get more, but they're paying more for it.
There's nothing wrong with playing games on a console or on a PC. There's nothing wrong with Microsoft rewarding owners of the Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs by including both versions of the game for one price, but it's a move that seems to have annoyed the fans that should be appreciative that more people will get to play a game that, in my opinion, looks pretty good.
Try to figure out why you're angry PC fans may play a game you're excited about
"If this is true, what's the point of Xbox?" another fan wrote via Twitter. The point is Microsoft is offering you a multi-featured console that plays games very well and handles a variety of other media functions for a low price. Lower than a similar gaming PC. Microsoft also owns the Windows operating system, and has long expressed interest in rewarding players in both ecosystems. This is a good thing for Windows 10 and Xbox One players, and it does nothing to negate the value of your Xbox One purchase.
The reality is that graphical fidelity of consoles, on a per-dollar basis, smashes PC gaming. That's the point of consoles. Developers also have the ability to create games for a locked specification, so they can optimize console games in a way that's much more difficult, if not impossible, on the PC.
This isn't a betrayal, this is Microsoft playing to its own strengths in the market in a way Sony can't easily match. Don't be surprised if this happens more in the future, and examine your own feelings to try to figure out why you're angry that PC fans may get a chance to also play a game you're excited about.
There is much handwringing and worry about the "death" of the Xbox One exclusive, but why are people upset that Microsoft is bringing more of its own games to its own platforms? They're battling Sony, not the PC, and if Microsoft is ever able to offer a gaming PC that offers the ease of use, features and games of a Xbox One for the same price?
Well, I mean I'd buy one and that would be cool. But I digress.
Microsoft is not punishing you for buying Xbox One by giving you a copy of the game on PC. It shouldn't take an editorial to point out how ridiculous that sounds.