Forgive us, as we’re a bit late to the party on this one, but Windows Central reported a few weeks back that Microsoft will be holding a Windows 10 & Xbox Gaming Press Event on February 25th. Intended to introduce members of the gaming press to Microsoft’s 2016 lineup of titles on the PC and Xbox One, the San Francisco gathering will feature an appearance from the head of Microsoft’s Xbox division, Phil Spencer.
Sim Racing fans should be eagerly anticipating this press event, as Microsoft has already announced plans for a “cross-buy system” that allows gamers to buy a title for the Xbox One, and receive a free digital copy of the game on PC. While only a handful of titles have been named by Microsoft to take advantage of this experiment – Killer Instinct and Quantum Break to name a few examples – other websites hint at the fact that the cross-buy feature will eventually expand to most, if not all of Microsoft’s library.
And that library of games includes the critically acclaimed Forza Motorsport line of titles – an Xbox exclusive since the inception of the series in 2005. While PC sim racers used to scoff at the simcade franchise created by Turn 10 Studios – deeming the popular title for “console kiddies” and “drifters” – the lack of innovation in the genre of sim racing as of late has left the door wide open for Forza to become a welcome addition alongside eternal science projects such as Assetto Corsa and rFactor 2. Focusing on a large roster of cars, tracks, game modes, and customization options, the sheer number of things to do within the world of both Forza Motorsport and Forza Horizon often make up for the simplistic physics compared to hardcore PC racing simulators.
A Forza release on PC would also spawn a massive third party modding scene. Already there are groups of modders ripping car models from Forza Motorsport 4 for use in PC racing sims such as rFactor or Assetto Corsa, and Forza Motorsport 4 enjoys it’s own underground modding scene, which sees dedicated Forza players tampering with files to allow for performance modifications not possible in the original game. Bringing Forza to the world of PC sim racing would encourage experienced sim racers to bust open the several configuration files and see what they could find – effectively leading to tire model enhancements and other physics adjustments that would turn Forza into a title comparable with the established flock of isiMotor releases. Both Shift 2: Unleashed and WRC 3 have benefited from the tinkering of sim racers searching for a better experience, and there’s every reason to believe this will indeed happen should Forza see a PC release.
If February 25th brings us the announcement of an upcoming Forza release for Windows 10, you have every reason to get excited.