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|Larry Hryb, Xbox LIVE's Major Nelson||Host||Xbox Live|
|Kevin Unangst||Director of PC Gaming At Microsoft|
|Kevin Unangst on Twitter|
|Gaming on Windows 10 One Year Later|
Kevin Unangst: Exactly right, what you see, and what's so exciting for someone whose been, like myself, a PC gamer, and I also play on console, like most gamers do, play on both. Um, but to see the ... really throughout team Xbox, starting from Phil on down, the passion and the focus on how do we deliver experiences not only great for the console, but uniquely awesome for the PC gamer. Larry Hryb: I want to talk about, um, you know, like what, what ... you sit with Phil and all, so forth, all the time when you guys are talking about gaming and PC gaming. Does .. Xbox really means gaming. It's no longer just the console, it's more than that now, isn't it? Kevin Unangst: Yeah, it's ... Xbox is a much broader definition. For us, it's about gaming and Microsoft's contribution to the gaming ecosystem. And it's a recognition of both the fact that we've got amazing experiences that we've delivered on the console, historically, and great franchises, and we've built this world class gaming network. But it's also an acknowledgment, and you've see over the last year, of how do we do things unique to the PC. How do we brings those awesome assets ... Larry Hryb: Right. Kevin Unangst: ... and those great games, and the fact that we live in both of these worlds and make the PC gaming experience better because of it. Larry Hryb: Yeah, I mean I know there's a great update for the ... for the Xbox app on PC, and there's a lot of really cool features in there. I wanted to see if maybe you could talk through some of those, and tell us what people can expect. Because they probably see this Xbox app and they don't really understand it, but let's kind of go through what it means, and what the features are for the Windows 10 Anniversary update. Kevin Unangst: Yeah, so the Xbox app is part of every copy of Windows 10. And it's designed as really the entry point for you to experience and enhance the games that you already have ... Larry Hryb: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Kevin Unangst: ... with things like, uh, game recording, if you ... we have a great new feature that we introduced in Windows 10 called game DVR. That let's you record any game play that you have on your PC. Larry Hryb: Right. Kevin Unangst: And share it out. Larry Hryb: Now this is without any additional hardware? Kevin Unangst: Right, it's all just built in. Larry Hryb: It's all just built in. Kevin Unangst: And in the anniversary update, we make that even better with support from things like 60 frames per second recordings. You can get the highest fidelity, and we've added the feature where not only can you record from games like World of War Craft, and League of Legends, and the Steam games ... Larry Hryb: All the big games. Kevin Unangst: But you can now share those out to Xbox live, and all your friends who, you know, may be on Xbox live, or just on Windows 10, can see that as well, and get all this great information. Larry Hryb: Yeah, I actually did that last week. I was playing around with a new app, and I saw I was sharing from a ... it was from a Ages of Empires game. I had downloaded this great mod, that basically turns into Game of Thrones. Like Westeros. Kevin Unangst: Awesome. Larry Hryb: So I was playing that, and I shared that out, and people were like, wait minute, what's going on here. And I had to explain, like hey, this is top PC games. You can now share into the ecosystem, like Xbox live ecosystem, so people on console can see ... so if some of your friends, and you start seeing some games popping up there, that's what it's all about. Xbox is gaming across PC and console. Kevin Unangst: Yeah, and that's exactly right. And we looked and said, you know, how can we connect the tens of millions of users who have Xbox live, and the hundreds of millions of gamers on PC who have access to Windows 10 - Larry Hryb: Right. Kevin Unangst: - and the Xbox app, and say how do we make that PC gaming experience better. So the Xbox app has always had things like voice chat built in. Larry Hryb: Right. Kevin Unangst: And it's really cool that you can voice chat - Larry Hryb: High quality voice chat. It's unbelievable. Kevin Unangst: Yeah, the same one that we built for the console, but even better for PC, right? Larry Hryb: Right. Kevin Unangst: So now you can be playing on the console, I can be playing on my Windows 10 PC. I'm playing some PC game from 10 years ago, and I can still have a chat with you. Larry Hryb: Yeah, I actually did that with Phil. He was playing Civilization Revolution on his PC, and I fired up a party, and was like Phil let's go, we need to play some Overwatch on console, and he came right over. Kevin Unangst: Exactly. And that voice chat is free too, which is even better. If you're a PC gamer, that's ... Larry Hryb: It's built in, yeah. Kevin Unangst: Launch the Xbox app, it's built in. Larry Hryb: Yeah, that's really great. The other thing that's really coming is this ... we talked a little bit about this at e-3, is as a result of this, and I want people to think of it this way ... think of it as all these streams of work coming together, and one of the streams of work that is coming together is around Play Anywhere. And that feeds into this big, beautiful pool of gaming. Right? Kevin Unangst: Yeah, so when you look at ... you know, when we bring our biggest franchises, like this is going to be the biggest year for Xbox games, in the broadest definition, right? Larry Hryb: Sure. Kevin Unangst: You got Gears 4 coming, we've Forts of Horizon 3 coming, right? Larry Hryb: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Recore. Kevin Unangst: We got Recore coming. Larry Hryb: Yeah. Kevin Unangst: We've got, you know early next year, we've got Halo Wars 2 coming, right. Larry Hryb: Yeah. Kevin Unangst: So, what a line up. And they're going [simschip 00:06:04] on Windows 10 and Xbox 1. And, because with the Windows 10 anniversary uh update, we're going to have the same store on Xbox 1 and Windows 10. Larry Hryb: Right. Kevin Unangst: It let's us do amazing things, like this program call Xbox Play Anywhere. Larry Hryb: Right. Kevin Unangst: So if you buy the game on one of the platforms, you automatically get it on the other. Larry Hryb: Yeah, I want to point that out. Because we've been talking about 5 Hay, when you buy it on Xbox, you get the Windows 10 version for free. But it works both ways, and that's really critical. Is regardless of what platform you make the initial purchase on, you get the other platform included. Kevin Unangst: Yeah, absolutely. And Play Anywhere also has, in addition to that - Larry Hryb: Yeah. Kevin Unangst: - the value of just buying the game. Larry Hryb: Yeah. Kevin Unangst: Because it uses Xbox live, all you're progress - Larry Hryb: Right. Kevin Unangst: All the, you know, the information about the game is saved in the [crosstalk 00:06:45] Xbox live cloud. Larry Hryb: Your achievements, your cloud. Kevin Unangst: Yeah, your achievements. So even if ... while it's really cool to think about like, I can go back and forth between the console and the PC, it's even also great for just a PC gamer. How many times you as a PC gamer, you're playing a game, you upgrade your PC, and you're like, ah where's my saved games? Larry Hryb: Right. Kevin Unangst: I got to go troll through the file system and figure out where that stuff is. From now on - Larry Hryb: It just happens. Kevin Unangst: Next time you upgrade it just shows up. Larry Hryb: Yeah. Kevin Unangst: It's in the store you downloaded for free - Larry Hryb: Yeah. Kevin Unangst: - because you already own it. There's your saved games. Larry Hryb: Yeah, it's funny, because it's so ... it's so seamless, it's one of those things that you've come to expect. You're going backwards, or you're going back and forth between PC and console, and it just kind of magically happens, that's the beauty of Xbox live. Kevin Unangst: Yeah, and that's our belief right. That we got to unify gamers, that we uniquely with all the assets we have, can do that. And that way, it's completely in your choice. If you just want to stay on PC, we're going to give you reasons to do that. If you're in both worlds, we want to make it super simple. Larry Hryb: Yeah, and we've also, you know ... with this Windows 10 um, anniversary update, which is free, right? If you have Windows 10, you just download this, and this, and nothing's required. It's just ... Kevin Unangst: Yes. If you already have Windows 10, or you get it ... you know, if you've got it already. Larry Hryb: Right. Kevin Unangst: Or if you get it, it's going to be a free upgrade. Larry Hryb: And I also want to point out, there's a whole bunch of other features that are not gaming related. You can go search the web of the Windows blog, and they'll update you on Inking and Cortona, and all the rest of the stuff. Kevin Unangst: Oh yeah. Larry Hryb: We're just, we're just talking right now about the, the goodness that has come into gaming that you and your team have been working on. The other area, of course, with this is direct x-12. Which has been a big deal for a lot of people. Explain what that is, and since you've been here for a little while, can you kind of ... let's go down memory lane and talk about direct x as a technology. Kevin Unangst: Yeah, so direct x has been the graphics technology, and kind of the gaming graphics technology, uh that's been in Windows forever, right. Larry Hryb: Right. Kevin Unangst: Way back, you know, the earliest was back in Windows 95. Um ... Larry Hryb: In fact, in fact a lot of people will know, or if you don't know, you know, this is where the x in xbox comes from. Right, it comes from direct x. Right? The original name of the project and ... Kevin Unangst: Our heritage, absolutely right. And you know, the purpose of direct x is to make it easier, in our context, game developers to get access to unlock the power of the gaming, no the graphics hardware that's in that system. Right, in your PC. Um, and so direct x-12, really does, in the simplest terms, um unlocks that capability by allowing the processor to, to, the graphics processor. Larry Hryb: The GPU. Kevin Unangst: The GPU, to do more than one thing at one time. It doesn't have to wait for those commands, and it gets full access to that graphics hardware. And so you get ... when great new games take advantage of it, and we've got great games that we've made, games like you know Gear of War ultimate edition. Larry Hryb: Right. Kevin Unangst: That take advantage of it. We've got great games that we see, uh, available on Steam, like Ashes of the Singularity from Star Doc, right. Larry Hryb: Right. Kevin Unangst: These are awesome games that take advantage of it. And what you get is great fidelity. Larry Hryb: Yup. Kevin Unangst: Things like artificial intelligence. Where each of the indi- like in Ashes for example, each of the units have their own AI. Larry Hryb: Right. Kevin Unangst: You could have thousands and thousands of these units that think independently because your computer's processor doesn't have to do that work. Larry Hryb: Yeah, so it's interesting that AI, which a lot of people don't think is a GPU process, is being harness here in, in, in this game. Kevin Unangst: Yeah, and that's ... direct x-12 makes that possible. And so it's just a great tool that we've put in the hands of game developers, and you're that across, even our new titles. The work that the coalition is doing - Larry Hryb: Yeah. Kevin Unangst: - on Gears of Wars forward direct x-12, is going to be amazing. Larry Hryb: I also want to point out that a lot of people, kind of take direct x for granted once in a while. It really is, and I'm not just drinking the Kool-aid here, it really is the most ... the most advanced graphics system on, on, computers right? I mean, none of the other operating systems whether on the Mac, or on Lenox, or on you know, they really don't have anything like this, do they? Kevin Unangst: Yeah, I mean. Yeah, there's similar, and other things ... Larry Hryb: Yeah. Kevin Unangst: Other things that you could try and do, and things like that. But nothing that has, that I think is as powerful. Larry Hryb: Right. Kevin Unangst: Or is certainly as wide. Larry Hryb: And it's flexible. [crosstalk 00:10:26]. Kevin Unangst: And it's flexible absolutely. And, supported by you know, the Invideas, and AMDs of the world - Larry Hryb: Right. Kevin Unangst: - who are just really working with us to make sure that power is available and unleashed to all to those game developers. Larry Hryb: It's really, really great. You know, direct x is one of those unsung heroes of the platform. Another thing that comes along with the Windows 10 anniversary update is native support for Xbox accessories. Now we've had ... we've had support for Xbox accessories on Windows 10 before, right? Kevin Unangst: Yeah, and ... but what's new in the Windows 10 anniversary update is we've got these awesome new Xbox controllers with bluetooth support built in. Larry Hryb: Right, right. Kevin Unangst: And the Windows 10 anniversary updates adds support for, for those controllers. So, right out of the box you just take your Xbox controller - Larry Hryb: Right. Kevin Unangst: - turn on your bluetooth, sync it up to your machine, you're good to go. Larry Hryb: Yeah, so that's also important to point out is that the newer controllers that we've announced, ones that are coming with Xbox 1s, the customizable ones that Xbox designed labs - Kevin Unangst: Yup. Larry Hryb: - those all have the bluetooth stack in it, and the radio in it, so you'll be able to use those. So go ahead and customize your controller, and roll on back to your PC gaming and you'll be good to go. So, that's a lot of fun there too. The other thing I want to talk about is, you know game streaming continues to get better. And this is the concept of streaming from your console, to your, to your, Windows 10 PC. Kevin Unangst: Yes, we've continued to enhance, on a monthly basis, the Xbox app. The ability, it's pretty awesome. You know, you've got your console in one room of your house, but you play a lot of your games on your PC. Larry Hryb: Yeah. Kevin Unangst: Like oh your buddy sends you a message, and is like oh I want to play some, you know, um Dead Rising or something, right. Larry Hryb: Right, right. Kevin Unangst: You just fire up the Xbox app, you can connect to your Xbox. And literally, with your Xbox controller in your hand, you can play your Xbox one games on your Windows 10 PC, through the Xbox app. Which is awesome. Larry Hryb: It's been, it's been incredible that we've really, in the past you know, we've talked about the top interview, 500 days, you guys have kind of been quite for a while, but now you're coming out with both guns blazing. You got a lot going on. It's really exciting to be in this space. You know, you've worked in the PC space for a long time, and this ... it feels like there's a resurgence isn't there? Kevin Unangst: Oh, yeah. I certainly think the PC has always been this massive platform. We've seen so many amazing innovations, and I think from a resurgence perspective what we're seeing is, you know, our efforts, and our investments, um, at making sure that we make meaningful experiences that matter to PC gamers. That's really where the excitement is coming from, for me personally. Larry Hryb: Yeah. Kevin Unangst: Somebody whose watched so much happen, in the PC gaming space. And to now be part of Microsoft playing a very active role over the last couple of years. And that really delivering on the vision that we've got. Larry Hryb: And I'm going to let people in on a ... I don't want to say a little bit of a secret, but just a little bit of inside baseball ... is, is, like if you look across Microsoft, Phil Spencer, and Avisa V, and also you, you guys own, we on the team Xbox, own gaming for the company. That's it, you know straight and simple. So there's not all these random efforts, it's ... it all happens. The center of gravity around gaming, is under Phil Spencer, and it's all under Xbox. Kevin Unangst: Yeah, absolutely right. And you've got, you know, great leaders like Phil who play on PC, you've got Mikey Bara running the engineering whose a big PC gamer as well. So, what's great, you know is to see that point of view, that DNA, um, you know we're talking to the biggest PC gaming OEMs, and we ... it's just part of everything that we do now. And it's just ... Larry Hryb: What's your rig look like? Kevin Unangst: My rig? Larry Hryb: Yeah, your rig at home. Kevin Unangst: Oh, my. Well, I ... it's loud because I've got a couple of fans in it. You know, I don't want to be biased towards which partner I have equipment from or not. But I'll tell you, it's got an amazing direct x-12 video card, I've got an Xbox bluetooth controller connected. Um, and uh ... Larry Hryb: It's funny, because I've got ... you know I have a new PC that I work with the guys on origin. Kevin Unangst: Yeah. Larry Hryb: And I'll put a link in the notes here, because as you can see, I've got a pretty high end beast. You know, people make from of me, because from my GP I'm running, two Invidea titans. And it's a little overkill, but it, but it does work. But yeah, you know, I'll put a link to my thing. But I mean I love, I love seeing what other people are doing out there. There's so much excitement right now around, like Invidea's announcing these crazy cards. I mean, it's funny because now my Titan x's feel old and busted, I got to get the new stuff. Um, but you know, there's so excitement between that and you know, whatever ATI's doing. It's really cool stuff. You, you've probably ... you've seen the future haven't you Kevin? You've looked up the pipeline, you know what's ... both in terms of hardware and software, right? Kevin Unangst: You know, look, if you're a PC gamer, one of the best things about it is that the technology changes so fast, that yeah. PC gamers are a part of the future, whether it's VR, whether it's 4k, right. Whether it's these amazing new games with direct x-12. Um, that, that's what I love about my job is that we get to see that future, and be part of that bleeding edge with all those engineering teams, and the folks at AMD and what they're doing, and Invidea, and Intel with the processor work that they're doing for mulit-core. Like, it just gets better, literally every week. Larry Hryb: And I have to ask you this question. You were talking about builds, do you have water cooling? Kevin Unangst: I do, yeah. Larry Hryb: You do? Okay, because I was ... someone told me a few weeks ago that you did not have a water cooled rig. And I was going to call foul on this. Kevin Unangst: Yeah, well I have the good fortune of you know, having my personal again, and then as part of my job having access to other ones. But yeah, I needed liquid. Larry Hryb: Right. Kevin Unangst: I gotta have some coolant. Larry Hryb: I'm not judging, I just wanted to make sure. Kevin Unangst: Because I'm pushing ... you're pushing a lot of pixels, you know. Larry Hryb: Yeah, exactly. Kevin Unangst: I want to keep that cool. Larry Hryb: As they say, your frame rates are high, and your temperatures are low. I believe that's what, that's the way that goes, isn't it? Kevin Unangst: Yeah, it's the winning combination. Larry Hryb: That's the winning combination. Anyway, well listen Kevin, I love having you on the show. I've had you on a long time ago. Kevin Unangst: Yes. Larry Hryb: Um, but it's so good to have you back and talking about the focus on PC. Windows 10 anniversary update edition available now for free. There's a bunch of cool stuff in it, we just went over, just a ... we scratched just the surface for the gaming side. And there's a whole cool, a bunch of cool features if you have, you know if you've got a tablet, there's cool ink stuff, and there's cortona. Kevin Unangst: Edge gets even better. Larry Hryb: Edge gets ... they finally added extensions, thank god. Um, so I'm really excited about that. But, yeah there's a lot of cool stuff there. You know, can you give us, can you give us a little bit of tease about what we can expect in the future? Kevin Unangst: Well, you know I think the safest way to talk about what's coming in the future is if you look at what we're doing now, we're bringing our games line up, our biggest blockbusters, we're creating awesome programs like Xbox play anywhere. Larry Hryb: Right. Kevin Unangst: When you look at ... you know, we're going to keep doing that, right. This isn't just a, oh, you know, we're going to do it this year, and then we're going to refocus elsewhere. No, no, no, no. Like ... I've seen games under development. Larry Hryb: Yeah. Kevin Unangst: I've talked to some of the Xbox live folks, and see some of the great things that they're building. Larry Hryb: Some features, yeah. Kevin Unangst: To help you find and play with people on our service, across devices. Larry Hryb: Yeah. Kevin Unangst: People that like what you like, that play the way you play. So, features like clubs. Like those are going to be, you know, great. And that's going benefit PC gamers, as well as console gamers. Larry Hryb: Well, so will you come back on the show and talk about, uh, some stuff when you're ready to talk about the future. Kevin Unangst: I would love that Larry. Larry Hryb: All right. Kevin Unangst, you are the senior director for PC gaming here at team Xbox, thanks for your time. And we'll, uh, see you online.