Games have always been a part of the PC software landscape. And in the era of the PC compatible and the Macintosh, computer game publishers have not been required to pay anyone royalties to publish PC games, as they would have to do to publish a console based game. So Windows PC games sold by 3rd parties do not directly make any money for Microsoft. With that in mind, and the shrinking market share of computer games versus console games, it is no surprise that through XNA Game Studio, Microsoft would make it relatively easy to port PC games to the Xbox 360.
So far this makes perfect sense, or so I thought until I got today’s Xbox.com newsletter. In that newsletter there was an ad for the Xbox 360 Wireless Gaming Receiver which for less than $20 allows wireless Xbox 360 controllers to be used with a Windows PC. Suddenly it made sense to me why, at present, XNA Game Studio only supports Xbox 360 controllers. It would appear that Microsoft is still very interested in bringing Xbox 360 games to the PC, even though they won’t get any royalties for those games, as far as I know. If it is true that an Xbox 360 game developer can port games to the PC for some royalty-free additional sales without a lot of work, that can only make the 360 a more attractive platform. And depending on the game, it might even sell a few more copies of Windows.