On the eve of the launch of Microsoft's major exclusive launch, Titanfall, it has occurred to me what a major opportunity Microsoft has missed. This generation, both the PS4 and Xbox One are basically gaming pcs. Microsoft should have had a huge advantage as they power around 90% of desktops. Microsoft could have created a unified gaming platform.
The Xbox would have the reference design. Most people would have gotten it but, other people would have had the option to build their own. It certainly wouldn't have been easy. There are a bunch of hurdles for them to jump through in order to get it to work.
There is the huge issue of drivers. This alone is probably enough to prevent this unification from ever happening. Then there is the performance differences. Console's typically get much better gaming performance out of the same chips. They might have been able to just ignore this one if (this is a big if) the console's performance could remain the same. A custom build would require much beefier hardware than the console. thats just the beginning but, that would have been a huge win for Microsoft.
I realize that would have been extremely difficult to pull off. Microsoft did have another option that would have worked nearly as well, release an Xbox Store on Windows. This would allow game publishers to allow you to purchase a single copy of the a game and play it on the system of your choice.
That would have been great for gamers. The first option would have been amazing but, it won't happen. The second option, sadly, also won't happen. It would be great for gamers but, publishers would never go for it.