Microsoft did a lot right with their E3 2017 conference. They focused on games, and they showed primarily exclusives. This builds up hype for the Xbox One, and the Xbox One X since all the games shown were running on the mid-gen upgrade. However, few titles were actually exclusive only to the Xbox One/X console. Most will also be available on PC, but only if you have a Windows 10 OS. This is bad news for PC gamers.
For the majority of its existence, PC gaming has been far more inclusive than console games. For a time, things were a bit harder, as rarely games that came to console also came to PC. However, PC gamers stayed strong, because they knew that PC gaming was what was right for them. Then Steam came along and changed everything. Though it originally only housed Valve games, Steam eventually took on titles from all developers and publishers. With online purchases, PC game libraries grew at a tremendous rate. So many Steam users have games they've never even played. With a business model this good, it wasn't a surprise when other publishers wanted to try it out themselves.
The biggest contender was EA's Origin. All of their games moved to that online store, leaving Steam userse with a choice. Accept they can't have EA games on their PC, or just download Origin. Though it came with a lot of problems, Origin has persisted, and improved. Other clients like Blizzard's and Ubisoft's have stuck around as well, plus the other multi-publisher platforms. Though they all offered something different, they all had one thing in common: they were free.
This was vital for PC gaming to keep from becoming divided. A player may not like Origin, but they at least didn't have to pay for it if they wanted to play Mass Effect 3 on their PC. Last year, Windows 10 launched, along with its own online store. Though starting with only a few at first, the store had some exclusives. This was an annoyance, but with so few games meeting this exclusivity clause, it wasn't a big deal. Now after this E3, it has become a big deal.
Windows 10 has been adopted by many, but many still hang onto Windows 7 and 8.1, and some even stick with XP or Vista. Windows 10 has a lot of problems, and shady information collecting features turn a lot of people away. The store itself is also unreliable and a mess, making it even less appealing. However, soon there will be a lot of great and interesting games coming to PC, but only if you have Windows 10 OS.
Whether or not you could play a game on your PC was always a matter of hardware. Some older games don't run well on newer OS's, but there are fixes for that. Now we have a new division, and it's an arbitrary one. There is no reason why a Windows 10 exclusive couldn't run on a Windows 7 PC. This frustrating push by Microsoft to get more users on Windows 10 has become more and more annoying. Console players have always been divided by which console they have. Many games go multi-platform, but flagship titles rarely cross borders. PC players have never had this problem. So long as they have the parts, they can play the game. The massive library is one of the main appeals of PC gaming.
Now PC players still have thousands upon thousands of titles on PC to play with, including many upcoming games. This unnecessary division between Windows 10 users and others is bad for the PC gaming community. My only hope is that, like some of the other Windows 10 exclusives, the exclusivity is timed. Or, even better, Microsoft was unclear with their wording, and these games will be playable on any modern PC OS. If not, then players have a few choices. They could get an Xbox One, which is an expensive investment. They could upgrade to Windows 10, and if they already have then decide to use its broken online store. Finally, they could decide that those games just won't be titles they'll play, despite having the hardware to do so.