Microsoft Vice President John Schappert has penned an open letter to the PC gaming community in which he predicts continued strength and growth for the PC market, and not simply as a result of MMOGs and online transactions.
While some supporters claim reports of a dying PC demographic are grossly exaggerated and fail to take into account revenues generated by MMOG subscriptions, online sales and other non-conventional sources of income, Schappert expresses faith in the PC's ability to remain viable at the retail level as well. In his letter, he refers to Windows-based PCs as the largest gaming platform in the world, and claims the platform will experience both revenue and audience growth in every major region in the world.
"While the challenges we face as an industry are many," he wrote, "PC gaming has never been stronger, and we're confident this trend will continue in the years to come."
"The past year has seen exponential growth in online activity and sales, continued platform and hardware innovation, and continued success with the Games for Windows branding initiative, which adds prominence, a quality and technical bar, and a consistent look and feel to the retail PC gaming experience," he continued, citing games including World In Conflict, Lord of the Rings Online, Sins of a Solar Empire, Age of Conan and Hellgate: London as PC-exclusive success stories.
Schappert reiterated Microsoft's commitment to the PC game market through the XNA Game Studios program, as well as partnerships with hardware and software manufacturers. "The Windows-based PC is the most connected gaming platform on the planet," he wrote. "Microsoft's continued investments will enable game publishers to take advantage of that connectivity while delivering to consumers the kind of gaming experiences they will love."
"These are exciting times," he added. "We're proud of how far we've come and excited for what the future holds."
The full text of Schappert's "state of PC gaming" letter is available at Kotaku.