news\ Aug 14, 2013 at 4:13 pm

Former Steam boss joins Microsoft with focus on PC gaming, but can Xbox One benefit?


Remember when Microsoft initially unveiled the Xbox One? They had lofty goals of a mostly-digital platform that some believed would offer a Steam-like experience on consoles, rife with discounts comparable to the popular PC digital distributor. Well, Microsoft eventually folded to consumer pressure removing many of the features that could potentially lead to that sort of experience and we are left with a console experience not too dissimilar from what we have now -- except with upgraded graphics and a more advanced Kinect.

Point is, a recent hire might spark that sort of digital evolution once again. As reported by, former Steam boss Jason Holtman has joined Microsoft. While his position has more to do with "making Windows a great platform for gaming and interactive entertainment," Microsoft would be crazy not to leverage his knowledge of digital distribution and can't-resist sales for the Xbox One.

As GamesIndustry notes, Holtman is "credited with steering Steam through the DRM controversies it encountered," a side of the industry Microsoft is all too familiar with. Microsoft was chastised by consumers and media alike when it first announced the Xbox One's "strict" DRM which required users to check-in online daily and severely limited the ability to share, borrow, or trade-in games. Microsoft eventually caved into pressure and removed all of those restrictions, but in doing so also did away with many of the system's digital plans like Family Sharing.

Even if Holtman's primary focus is on PC gaming and revitalizing Games For Windows Live, his expertise could prove valuable in all aspects of Microsoft's gaming space.


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