On January 21st, Microsoft will host a Windows 10 event, and according to Phil Spencer, we’re going to hear about plans for Xbox too. Thanks to a career opportunity ad seeking a Software Engineer we might be able to catch a glimpse on what the house of Xbox One has in store for us:
Do you love Xbox and PC gaming? Do you want to work on something fun? Come join an awesome team and be part of expanding the Xbox experience on Windows. With your help we can build the experience you want as a gamer on Windows and Windows Phone. The Xbox Experiences team is looking for an excellent Software Engineer to join the team responsible for Xbox SmartGlass as we amp up the volume. We are looking for folks with solid skills and the drive to create an unparalleled experience increasing the reach of Xbox.
We are looking for a strong engineer to come make a difference now. This is an opportunity to shape and implement an experience that Xbox users and PC gamers alike will enjoy and use every day. The day-to-day role will include designing and developing new experiences, as well as improving our existing experiences as we listen to our customers and follow the Xbox philosophy of continuous improvement and giving our customers what they want. Our team does a mix of mid-level API work and higher-level application work. Integrating with services is key, so we also have great opportunity to demonstrate cross-org influence as we work with our partners across Xbox and across Microsoft’s Operating Systems Group.
Microsoft already attempted to integrate Xbox and Windows with Games for Windows Live, released back in 2007. The app was interesting, especially due to the ability to unlock Xbox Live achievements on PC games, but was ultimately reviled and hated by many due to its use as a rather cumbersome (and often glitchy) DRM on top of other protection mechanisms. Its lack of popularity caused it to be pretty much abandoned across the board.
Now Microsoft seems to be at it again, even if we don’t know the nature of this new shared experience. Hopefully it’ll include some of the positive aspects of GFWL (I really wouldn’t mind to have the shared achievements again) without all the baggage of awkward elements and glitches.
Of course cross-platform multiplayer would be the real gem, especially since Phil Spencer himself hinted at the possibility in the past. Could it really happen? We’ll probably know on the 21st.