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Microsoft PC Games (Games)

Valve Says Choice to Make DX10 Vista-Only Hurt PC Gaming 463

Posted by Zonk
from the they're-in-a-place-to-know dept.
Erris writes "Valve's President Gabe Newell is calling Microsoft's choice to make DirectX 10 Vista-only a 'terrible mistake' that has harmed gaming. His company's latest hardware study shows the strategy has not moved gamers onto Vista. The result is that almost no one is using the newest version of DirectX, and companies are shying away from creating new input devices that support it. Nine months after release, after Christmas, after graduation, and with school mostly back in session, still only 8% of gamers are using it." Update: 08/27 21:09 GMT by Z : An AC points out that these numbers may be framed poorly given uptake numbers for XP's release.
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Valve Says Choice to Make DX10 Vista-Only Hurt PC Gaming

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 27, 2007 @04:11PM (#20375627)
    This exact same journal entry [slashdot.org] was penned by twitter [slashdot.org], who had it rejected from the Firehose probably because of his negative moderation and the fact that editors are starting to wise up to him.

    The original journal entry already had comments that poke holes in twitter's claim about those numbers, which is probably why it became inconvenient and forced him to switch to his sockpuppet [slashdot.org] account instead.

    Ironically, the same story in Heise.de has a link to another one [heise.de] about a gaming convention in Leipzig drawing all-time record attendance. I suppose it's possible that DX10/Vista will hurt the gaming industry, but with the game release cycle being 12-16 months, I'd say that will be apparent later on.

    Here [steampowered.com] is a direct link to the original Valve survey, which amusingly enough shows Vista as having an even larger market share among Valve gamers as it has overall (8% vs 5-6%). That means Vista's market share among gamers has been increasing at a rate of about 1% per month since it was released, which is even higher than XP's uptake vs. Windows 98/ME. I can't even begin to imagine what the relevance of Christmas and back to school as claimed by twitter is for gamers who probably switch OSes only when they switch their $3,000 boxes anyway, but I'd say that 8% share is actually not bad in that segment. That share will probably start growing more exponentially as time goes by.

    Welcome to the Trolled By Twitter Club, Zonk.

    • This exact same journal entry was penned by twitter, who had it rejected from the Firehose probably because of his negative moderation and the fact that editors are starting to wise up to him.
      Betcha this was posted by twitter on his AC alt.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Gryll (23531) *
      I would bet that Microsoft was not narrowly looking at the next 12 months when they made the decision to require Vista for DX10. This is more like a 2-3 year strategy to force people away from XP and perhaps even Wine/Cedega. DX10 itself wasn't even targeted for todays graphics cards.

      That said, I don't think it's healthy for the industry and I dread the day I break down and install Vista to get the most out of Starcraft2.
      • Play it on a Mac. There should be nothing stopping them from using D10-level effects in OGL.
      • This is more like a 2-3 year strategy to force people away from XP and perhaps even Wine/Cedega.

        That would be a bit odd, considering Wine is likely to implement DX10 sometime in the future (probably within 2-3 years). Once that happens, DX10 may be able to be implemented in XP via OpenGL.

        The Windows version allows Wine developers to test out the completeness of Wine DLLs by replacing those on Windows. At least for now, this is mainly for developers. However, in the future once we finish our DirectX 10 implementation, we may be able to implement Direct3D 10 in Windows XP the same way it runs in Wine: by translating DirectX calls to OpenGL ones.

        [from http://wiki.winehq.org/FAQ%5D [winehq.org]

    • by pantherace (165052) on Monday August 27, 2007 @04:39PM (#20375997)

      However, even while Vista has about 8%, Vista + DX 10 is 2.3% of users. That's about half as many as are using DX 7. About 15% use DX 8, and the rest are DX9 types.

      In terms of being able to sell one's product to the most people, it then makes more sense to make sure DX 7 runs it well, than it does for DX10. Unless you want to jack the price up, to compensate. Let's see, to make a new game for just DirectX 10, that would be about... 2000$ for the same revenue stream, based on steam's percentage.

      The other thing people forget, is how Microsoft's tools are no longer targetted at the PC, instead they are targeted at the Xbox. This has had rather (IMO) disastrous consequences for one game I play, Supreme Commander. GPG was being partly funded by Microsoft (or would have been, my memory is foggy), and it was intended to be the first DX10 game and use Microsoft's networking, etc.

      This is great and all, but the way Microsoft and GPG used it, it has to be peer to peer. And each computer runs the sim. Which would be fine, if it weren't one of the most taxing games on a cpu currently existing. This would be fine in a homogeneous environment, such as the Xbox. However, PCs aren't. So if one person has a crappy computer, it will slow EVERYONE down.

      Microsoft stands to make more money from Xbox, so they are either intentionally, or unintentionally, doing things which are killing the PC games market.

      • by gregorio (520049)

        However, even while Vista has about 8%, Vista + DX 10 is 2.3% of users. That's about half as many as are using DX 7. About 15% use DX 8, and the rest are DX9 types.

        Having Vista is already enough. If your game needs DX 10, just bundle it with the installer and it will install fine on Vista.

        Vista is the only important factor in this issue, as DX 10 is a Vista-only product. That means that if Vista lacks users, DX 10 becomes uninteresting to use and bundle. If Vista has plenty of them, then you can use and

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by dreamchaser (49529)
          I think he was talking about gamers who had Vista (which ships with DX 10 code wise) AND DX 10 capable hardware. An awful lot of people have not upgraded from DX9 gen cards yet, partially because of really bad driver support on Vista in the initial months after it's release.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by LinuxGeek (6139) *
          Vista already ships with DX10, that 2.3% indicates the steam users that have both vista and DX10 capable hardware. Just having DX10 installed is not the same thing...
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by rtechie (244489)

        Vista + DX 10 is 2.3% of users

        Considering that there are only about FOUR DX10 games currently available, this is hardly suprising. The primary argumemnt against DX10 is that it doesn't add enough features, not compatibility or uptake problems. Developers don't want to learn new tools if there isn't a significant improvement (this is really what Valve is bitching about, they didn't get the changes they wanted). I suspect another issue is the perception that Vista is buggy (relatively speaking, it is) and many people are waiting for the

      • With a thorn like this in Microsoft's side, there is certainly a part of me that hopes that we will begin to see more OpenGL games released versus DirectX.

        Don't get me wrong, DirectX is a nice graphics library, but the seriousness of the vendor lock-in is just staggering -- and scenarios like this are a perfect example of a game development company's worst fears.

        This situation was created because not enough effort was put into OpenGL when it needed it the most to make it a truly cutting-edge standard. The blame for that particularly lies with Microsoft and their aggressive campaign for Direct3D (and DirectX). As a result, OpenGL languished for several years, with only incremental feature updates (to version 1.5, which IIRC wasn't even a real release, but more of a vendor patchset for 1.4). In the meantime, DirectX leapfrogged its way to version 9 with a ridiculous amount of features being added.

        OpenGL 2.1 finally came out last August (http://www.opengl.org/documentation/current_versi on/ [opengl.org]) to very little fanfare. About the only companies it really mattered to were the Xbox competitors, namely, Sony and Nintendo. The PC gaming industry as a whole didn't care, because they had a solution that was "good enough" -- DirectX 9.

        Now, OpenGL 3.0 is "on track" to be finalized at the end of this month. Whether that will happen is anyone's guess, but it looks like the DX10 situation has finally lit a fire under their collective asses. Who knows, we may even see an OpenGL 3.0 specification by September, but I'm not really holding my breath.
        http://www.opengl.org/cgi-bin/ubb/ultimatebb.cgi?u bb=get_topic;f=3;t=015351;p=0 [opengl.org]

        Of course, even though there's a brand spanking OpenGL almost ready to again kick Direct3D's ass performance wise, Microsoft has already taken steps to ensure that won't happen. OpenGL 1.4 (yes, 1.4!) is implemented in Vista as a translation layer to run Direct3D calls on the hardware. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct3D_vs._OpenGL#P ortability [wikipedia.org] This cripples OpenGL's performance advantage. Of course, if you want to run the newest OpenGL on the newest hardware, as you should, they've put another roadblock in the way with Vista: you have to use the Windows XP drivers, which disable the nice flashy Aero interface. At this point, you're probably thinking, "Wait, wasn't Aero a selling point of Vista?" Well, that certainly makes sense. Only hardcore gamers would want to trade off their interface for OpenGL's performance, but your average casual gamer doesn't care.

        So even if OpenGL 3 is technically superior, publishers probably won't adopt it because of the widespread view that it's slow (thanks to Vista's emulation). iD Software will likely use it as they always have, but it'll become harder to explain to your average user why he needs to install unverified drivers and disable his nice flashy interface just so he can run said game.

        It's almost sickening, really, when you think about the damage DirectX has done.
        • by TrancePhreak (576593) on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @03:28AM (#20381287)
          You got quite a bit wrong there.

          Let's start with the suspense in OpenGL versions. This was caused by a board that was taking too long to arbitrate disputes and pander to everyone. It was full of many companies, all of which who were competing and would stop each other as much as possible. That's why not many OpenGL updates were issued, but plenty of things became vendor specific extensions. Now I've heard that the board has been disolved and a single entity is taking the reigns. This explains why OpenGL has been picking up lately. No disputes, just progress.

          For issue number 2, the Vista / OpenGL myth. You are partly correct, Aero will be disabled. Where you are wrong is that it will be disabled while you are using the OpenGL application. I have already tested this myself and it is no biggie. It is also somewhat expected, as OpenGL and Direct3D would fight for the hardware. They work fairly differently and if the OS cannot keep context you end up with missed renders/glitches/etc.
    • by Knara (9377)

      Juvenile drama from AC's that should get their asses back to Digg, on my /.?

      It's more likely than you think.

    • by seebs (15766)
      I'd say "welcome to the Only Able To Troll Zonk Club, twitter".
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      twitter is gay
    • It's not 8%! (Score:5, Informative)

      by Jartan (219704) on Monday August 27, 2007 @04:52PM (#20376147)
      He is talking about people who can use DX10. Not people who have Vista.

      This is the relevant part of the survey you need to look at:

      DirectX10 Systems (Vista with DirectX10 GPU) - 2.31% of users
      NVIDIA GeForce 8800 18,005 1.65 % ##
      NVIDIA GeForce 8600 3,487 0.32 %
      NVIDIA GeForce 8600M 1,087 0.10 %
      ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT 1,068 0.10 %
      NVIDIA GeForce 8500 990 0.09 %
      NVIDIA GeForce 8400M 461 0.04 %
      ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT 106 0.01 %
      ATI Mobility Radeon HD 2300 30 0.00 %
      Intel Bearlake B Express Chipset 2 0.00 %

      So indeed the author of that Journal was correct: ~2% or 1 in 50 users can't use DX10. In other words the people "poking holes" need to learn to read.

      Just looking at the Nvidia card numbers we can easily see the problem is most likely Vista and not the cards themselves.

      NVIDIA GeForce 8800 49,850 4.56 %
      NVIDIA GeForce 8600 11,330 1.04 %


      Roughly 37k out of 61k Nvidia users on Steam have DX10 cards but can not utilize DX10 because they have not upgraded to Vista. So approximately 60% out of a group of people composed of people who are cutting edge sorts, buyers of new computers, or people who've done a recent computer upgrade have not yet upgraded to Vista.

      None of this is proper statistics of course but as far as this sort of thing goes that's a pretty shocking number. I want to believe gamers are being smart but the realistic side of me though says the most likely reason is simply that Vista has a lot of problems for gamers right now and they are just waiting till driver issues resolve.
      • by Babbster (107076)

        None of this is proper statistics of course but as far as this sort of thing goes that's a pretty shocking number. I want to believe gamers are being smart but the realistic side of me though says the most likely reason is simply that Vista has a lot of problems for gamers right now and they are just waiting till driver issues resolve.

        And I think that you're probably wrong. What I think is that gamers haven't had a reason to upgrade to Vista from XP yet. See, a gamer might buy a DX10 graphic card as an u

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Simulant (528590)

          What I think is that gamers haven't had a reason to upgrade to Vista from XP

          You have a point. I'm a gamer and a Windows Sys Admin. I've installed Vista a bunch of times but always end up annoyed and go back to XP. I just installed it again this weekend, to judge for myself whether or not DX10 made much of a difference in Bioshock (it didn't). I don't like Vista. They made a lot of bad decisions and, straight out of the box anyway (plus latest drivers), it's demonstrably slower and buggier under many circumstances than XP is on the same hardware. So far it offers nothing I wa

      • by David Gerard (12369) <slashdotNO@SPAMdavidgerard.co.uk> on Monday August 27, 2007 @06:50PM (#20377521) Homepage
        At the present rate of Wine D3D development, Wine will support DirectX 10 before there are good drivers for Vista.

        Wine: A better Windows than Vista!

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by PopeRatzo (965947) *
      You guys can get exercised about the fact that this has been discussed here before, but it really is a pretty important issue to consumers.

      Microsoft is desperate to push Vista down the throats of computer users. The big app developers like Adobe are wise to that song and dance, so despite what was probably a concerted effort by Microsoft to get one of the big apps to release a "Vista Only" version, that's not going to happen. So, MS figured that they could go after what is usually a reliably pliant popula
      • by PhoenixOne (674466)

        Nice rant, but I think Microsoft is far from crashing and burning. Even if Vista becomes the new ME, they'll continue to own the lion's share of the marketplace. As bad as Vista may be, it already has a larger market share than Apple and Linux combined [hitslink.com].

        Microsoft can afford to play the "long game" and dump cash into Vista until it either owns the market place or they come up with something else (which still contains the DRM and other trusted computing "feature" Microsoft needs to survive). No, the group tha

  • Was there any other reason NOT to have dx10 support on XP than attempt to boost Vista-sales among gamers? If not, it is even bigger mistake. One should not try to shove new os's down our throat etc.

    Don't know what the biggest reason was, but still, seems like stupid thing to do.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 27, 2007 @04:17PM (#20375707)
    their inability to get memory virtualisation working for them caused MS to drop the requirement, and as such there is NOTHING about DX10 that makes it technically undoable on XP.

    yet here we are!
  • Proud of game makers (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jshriverWVU (810740) on Monday August 27, 2007 @04:18PM (#20375723)
    The reasons MS made DX10 Vista only is to force people into upgrading just so they can play Starcraft 2008. The developers are luckily breaking MS's grip but telling them, we're the content providers, the reason people buy your system now do what we need or we won't follow.
    • PLEASE! (Score:2, Redundant)

      by gerf (532474)
      STOP calling it "upgrading."
    • by netsavior (627338)
      I am not in the minority when I say I gladly upgraded to 95 for WC2 and I would "downgrade" err upgrade to Fista for SC2. I am that much of a sad little fanboy.
    • I'd have modded that Blindingly Obvious! But then, nobody else seems to have picked on this point.

      Of course MS is going to use any means possible to push people onto Vista to hike their revenue.

      We all know that gamers are the cuting edge/high paying consumers in desktop computing so from MS perspective this is an easy target.

  • DirectX is one of the few things that Microsoft controls in its entirety. While the hardware and the drivers are (were) outside their control, DX is probably the only thing MS can withhold from users of XP without someone else devising a work-around. Come to it, are there any other "killer features" of vista (even if you assume blu-ray, etc. is mature)?

    Sure, it's bad for games and indeed gamers, needlessly straining the hardware more for one thing, not to mention content-protection, buying vista, etc., but

    • by Macthorpe (960048)
      What I don't understand are his comments about input peripherals.

      I mean, people are perfectly to use the WiiMote as a Bluetooth device on Windows, and Guitar Hero guitars work fine when plugged to a PS2-USB adaptor as an HID-compliant device. There's no limitation inherent in DirectX that stops these devices from working. Anyone remember the P5 Glove?
  • Too bad Valve. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by IPFreely (47576) <mark@mwiley.org> on Monday August 27, 2007 @04:21PM (#20375763) Homepage Journal
    There is a lot more going onin DX10 than games. The whole driver-OS interface was changed. Those changes were necessary to put the 3D hardware into sharable mode.

    Now multiple applications and games can share the 3D hardware. In DX9/WinXP and earlier only one App at a time could use the 3D hardware. It needed to be done, and it could only be done with the cooperation of the OS. This cannot be put back into XP because this sort of control and separation could not be done in XP.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by DDLKermit007 (911046)
      Yeah, because we all want to run 3 games that'll eat up the GPU at the same time. Thats a function that could have EASILY be left out for XP. It doesn't need 3D support for it's GUI.
      • Re:Too bad Valve. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647) on Monday August 27, 2007 @09:49PM (#20379279)

        Yeah, because we all want to run 3 games that'll eat up the GPU at the same time. Thats a function that could have EASILY be left out for XP. It doesn't need 3D support for it's GUI.


        Google Earth, Media Center, WPF apps, and a lot more uses 3D.

        Why the hell shouldn't our GPUs multitask?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by pla (258480)
      This cannot be put back into XP because this sort of control and separation could not be done in XP.

      I call BS.

      At the lowest level, a video driver (for XP or any architecture, really) just translates requests from applications (including the OS itself) into something the video card understands. Whether the video hardware can handle multiple simultaneous renderings or not depends only on the hardware and the API (in this case, Direct X provides the API, as exported by the actual driver).

      For XP to supp
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jartan (219704)

      There is a lot more going onin DX10 than games. The whole driver-OS interface was changed.

      That is a logical fallacy. The driver-OS interface changing does not necessitate the need for an gaming hardware API to be tied to a particular OS.

      The entire purpose of DirectX is to provide an abstraction layer ontop of the drivers in the first place. It's quite true that it might mean writing two versions of DX10 but the API does not depend on the changes Vista implemented.

    • In DX9/WinXP and earlier only one App at a time could use the 3D hardware.

      ...and as a primarily Linux user who really just uses Windows XP for gaming, this affects me precisely how?

      As far as I'm concerned, XP runs some great games - why do I give a stuff how many apps can use the graphics hardware at once?

    • by Idaho (12907)

      The whole driver-OS interface was changed. Those changes were necessary to put the 3D hardware into sharable mode.

      [..] In DX9/WinXP and earlier only one App at a time could use the 3D hardware. [..] This cannot be put back into XP because this sort of control and separation could not be done in XP.

      This must explain why I'm running 2 Eve Online clients (=3D applications) on a single Windows XP system right this second. Before you say running two instances of the same program counts as a single app: it doesn'

  • by gadlaw (562280) <gilbert@ g a d l aw.com> on Monday August 27, 2007 @04:22PM (#20375787) Homepage Journal
    Vista is what it is, a bloated, DRM filled, resource hog designed to take more of your computer away from you and in exchange it gives you unrecognized drivers, unsupported software and nothing but aggravation. The new spectacular games that were supposed to be there are not there, all we can see are promises and vaporware for sometime in the future but for now all you get is pain and misery. Tell me again why I want that? Tell me Microsoft why DirectX 10 is so much more special? I see the side by side comparisons and I don't see much difference, certainly not worth me busting everything I own now and investing in something with no real tangible difference. I hear the FUD, the hear the huckster Microsoft cheerleaders saying how great it is but this is the internet and the voices of everyone else are heard loud and clear so the lying isn't being believed. 8 Percent using it? Sounds on the high side to me. It's just a matter of how long until Microsoft admits they've created a loser and perhaps we can get to real innovation. I won't hold my breath on that second part though.
    • by dedazo (737510) on Monday August 27, 2007 @04:41PM (#20376017) Journal
      Actually I'd say they are aware of the problems and are trying to fix them [istartedsomething.com]. Whether or not they fix them and whether or not that results in faster adoption remains to be seen.

      huckster Microsoft cheerleaders saying how great it is but this is the internet and the voices of everyone else are heard loud and clear so the lying isn't being believed.

      Alternatively, you can also hear the FUDsters and hysteria-inducing misleading rants about the DRM boogeyman, UAC and just about anything else in Vista. The "poor Google, they are being victimized by Microsoft" crap when Vista search is much better than GDS and all Google had to do was give the user the option to shut down the indexing service. The wailing cries by the AV snake oil vendors. And let's not forget the concerted efforts by the FSF to convince everyone that Vista is "defective by design" and directing their minions to the closest Amazon product page to astroturf and vandalize the hell out of everything. It goes on and on and on.

      I sure as hell haven't seen much more than FUD coming from the groups of people who would be the most affected once Vista gains traction. I don't have a problem with people doing that so much - Microsoft is known for those types of tactic as well. The problem is that the same people doing all this are the ones that have repeatedly claimed they own the moral high ground. The ones that claim Microsoft is not "honest". FUD always works both ways. It erodes your credibility when people realize you've been feeding them soup to undercut your competitors. It happened to Microsoft, and it will happen to them as well.

      • This performance problems shouldn't be there in the first place. There's no reason why playing MP3's and using the Internet should be eating up your CPU cycles. Either it's extremely poor quality software, or there's some shenanigans going on inside Vista. I would imagine it's the latter.
      • sure as hell haven't seen much more than FUD coming from the groups of people who would be the most affected once Vista gains traction. I don't have a problem with people doing that so much - Microsoft is known for those types of tactic as well. The problem is that the same people doing all this are the ones that have repeatedly claimed they own the moral high ground. The ones that claim Microsoft is not "honest". FUD always works both ways. It erodes your credibility when people realize you've been feeding them soup to undercut your competitors.

        That was definitely the most powerful, potent, and insightful point of your post. Now let me leverage it against your main point. There is nothing wrong with having a monopoly... there is lots wrong with ABUSING IT. It's abuse because lots of people HAVE TO agree with Microsoft. It's not a choice. Random people throw FUD at MS and may have some effect. Microsoft shouts? Everyone has to listen, FUD or not, and many are too uneducated to know the difference.

        This is not hypocrisy. FUD is a completely

    • by Erris (531066)

      Vista is what it is, a bloated, DRM filled, resource hog designed to take more of your computer away from you and in exchange it gives you unrecognized drivers, unsupported software and nothing but aggravation. ... It's just a matter of how long until Microsoft admits they've created a loser and perhaps we can get to real innovation.

      Kind of sucks to be a game company at that rate. They get split down the middle. I wonder how their OpenGL and PS toolsets are coming along and if those will provide bette

  • Forced Upgrade (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ryanisflyboy (202507) * on Monday August 27, 2007 @04:26PM (#20375847) Homepage Journal
    Everyone will experience a forced upgrade. It is simply a matter of time. When your non-tech friend buys his next gaming machine it is going to come with Vista because XP won't be an option. I remember a similar reluctance between 3.11 and Win95. Eventually everyone got there - or skipped Win95 and went right to Win98. In another year the landscape will be much different. Microsoft will eventually pull the plug on OEMs who are still selling XP (Dell).

    This is a great time to consider an alternate desktop OS.
    • by pla (258480)
      Eventually everyone got there - or skipped Win95 and went right to Win98.

      Some of us skipped right from DOS 6.2 to NT4. 2K rocked, and XP, meh, I resisted until SP2 but decent enough now.

      And if MS keeps pushing this "Vista or else" crap, I'll "skip" right from XP to Linux.
      • I did the same, DOS 6.2 + Win 3.11 to NT4, NT4 to 2K (which, indeed, rocked). XP had product activation, a worse UI, and remote desktop. Not a compelling upgrade. In 2003, I switched to OS X 10.2. I'm now on OS X 10.4, and haven't looked back. I use a few FreeBSD and OpenBSD machine regularly, but I can't remember the last time I needed to use Windows.
  • by symbolset (646467) on Monday August 27, 2007 @04:31PM (#20375901) Journal

    When game developers chose to standardise their efforts on Windows they bit the hook. Now they are unhappy about being on the line. Too bad.

    We warned them. Now if some forward thinking company thought to maintain some cross platform efforts they are ready to seize a significant opportunity. Unreal engine? Id? Is that you?

  • Instancing, geometry shaders and fast critical paths are just some of the developments DX10 has to offer developers with an eye on better games... and we're not seeing any of them on XP. The OpenGL ARB, while faster under the purview of the Khronos group, still lags behind the direct-x pace of adoption.

    Does Microsoft know they are driving developers onto the PS3 by forcing the adoption of OpenGL on XP... ultimately a lead in to OpenGL ES - the standards compliant graphics API of choice for the PS3.

    OpenGL 3
  • Is Microsoft obliged to provide new technology for old versions of Windows, free of cost? Graphics card manufacturers are free to agree on alternative standards, such as OpenGL, to expose new features of their products without forcing an OS upgrade or locking game writers into a particular OS. Last I heard, OpenGL works fine on Vista, XP, Mac and Linux.
    • Is Microsoft obliged to provide new technology for old versions of Windows, free of cost?

      ... and this is why the OS manufacturer shouldn't be the same company that makes the multimedia API's.
    • Microsoft is under no such obligation, but what's troubling is that it's quite likely this backport nonsense, is just that, nonsense, and is more likely simply if(ver=='WinXp') print "You're fucked!";

      The real question is what will Microsoft do when someone does get DX10 running on XP. Are they going to have a temper tantrum, make threats and the like?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jollyreaper (513215)

      Is Microsoft obliged to provide new technology for old versions of Windows, free of cost? Graphics card manufacturers are free to agree on alternative standards, such as OpenGL, to expose new features of their products without forcing an OS upgrade or locking game writers into a particular OS. Last I heard, OpenGL works fine on Vista, XP, Mac and Linux.

      No, but they're smart if they do. DirectX keeps gamers wedded to the Microsoft tit. Let's be honest, the two drivers of PC tech are games and pr0n. When I made my choice between PC and Mac as a kid, I wanted the machine all my friends had and that was so we could share games. Going on a BBS? Hell, an Atari ST could do that with its cheesy 300 baud modem. My best friend had to suffer through that until his dad finally built a 386. But games? PC's were where it was at, at least for the then-current generatio

  • by xigxag (167441) on Monday August 27, 2007 @04:39PM (#20375993)
    It's pretty funny that Microsoft in its stronghold (PC OSes) made the same exact mistake that Sony made in its stronghold (consoles). Sony thought that tying Blu-Ray to its new console would be a win-win for format licensing and for the Playstation sales, but instead, high prices and lack of compelling software have kept people back. Similarly, MS thought that tying DX10 to its PC OS would be a win-win for gaming licensing and Vista sales, but instead, high prices and lack of compelling software have kept people back. As a result, people generally prefer to keep buying last-gen PS2's and Windows XP.
    • Love the sig. I always thought there was only one binary joke ;)
    • by msimm (580077)
      Everyone *will* eventually be using Vista. It's just a adoption thing. This should be expected to be slow, maybe a tad slower because of some of the wild mis-steps MS has made but you can not discount their unique position and monopoly.

      And yes, I know there are 'alternatives'. But Apples market is pretty specific and Linux no matter what anyone says is still quite a ways off (and yes, I use Red Hat in production and now Ubuntu on my secondary workstation at home).

      And FTR after over 8 years of Linux use,
  • by zymano (581466) on Monday August 27, 2007 @04:44PM (#20376059)
    Use opengl.

    These game producers are idiots.

    You got what you wanted when you only support Microsoft.

    They got you by the balls.
  • This is nothing more than a ploy by M$ to force users to buy Vista. I loved Halo and 'Privateer' - both MS games. I was going to Buy Halo 2 until I saw it was Vista only. Did I say, "Man, I gotta upgrade my computer!"? Sure I did. But, if MS thinks for 1 second that I'm investing ~$300 into their Vista OS, they got another thing coming.

    Microsoft's approach to 'Vista only' has only propelled me further from their business. I used to be of the mindset that gaming platforms are so one dimensional and not usef
  • It seems like the article is trying to be negative, but if 8% of gamers are on Vista that's actually amazingly good for Microsoft. Especially since I don't know a single soul who uses it except the QA department at my company. That much market penetration for a product that has been bashed and beaten in the press is amazing.

    It just goes to show how Microsoft can force people to upgrade by pushing Vista through the manufacturers.
  • by happyfrogcow (708359) on Monday August 27, 2007 @05:05PM (#20376295)
    You'll have to excuse me for not being able to test the following. I do all my gaming in Linux (no seriously, I do!)

    We all know that if you play music on Vista, it causes a degradation of network performance. What happens if you have a networked game decoding an MP3? Is this all handled in the game's own system, or does it depend on the OS to do it. Do you get a drop in network performance in the game? That would be incredible...

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      AFAIK, it's not MP3 decoding that causes the network degradation - it's whether the audio driver is used or not.
  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Monday August 27, 2007 @05:12PM (#20376377)
    Most people don't switch to the latest, greatest, whatever it is. The vast majority of people aren't going to have DX10 capable hardware for quite some time. This is how it has always been. Right now, it's rare to find a game that requires anything more than DX8 hardware. That's shader model 1.x. There's even a good number of games that don't support shader model 3.0 (DX 9.0c) and can only use up to 2.0 (DX9).

    There's no reason to believe this won't continue. The only change is in how it is done. Rather than having multiple different render paths you can turn on and off with software options, that maybe people understand and maybe they don't, different render paths will use different DX versions. So if you want a SM 4.0 path, you use DX10, and so on.

    The idea being that in the future, you'll be able to tell what your hardware supports and if you can run a game easily. You have a card that's DirectX 11. A game says "Requires Direct X 10.1, 11, 12, or better." You then know that your card will work fine, and that you probably won't get any eye candy benefit with anything better than a DX12 card.

    Right now it is more confusing since cards only support older feature sets, but can use newer APIs. So say you have a GeForce Ti 4400. That's a DirectX 8 card. However, it can use DirectX 9.0c. But it isn't a 9.0c card, it doesn't support those features, it only supports the 8.0 features. So game makers either have to list cards that work, or refer to feature sets which users probably don't know about.

    This is a much clearer way of doing it.

    So I don't see the big problem here. To use DX10, you must have DX10 hardware which is very rare right now. Most people don't have it, most people don't care, games will continue to target DX9 (or even older). This is going to continue for some time. I bet games will still be targeting DX9 hardware when DX11 is out. I'm sure some of them will support the newer standard for more eye candy, but they won't all mandate it.

    It's moving in a similar direction to OpenGL in that respect. If you look at nVidia cards, only the 5 (FX) series and later support GL 2.0, the earlier ones are 1.5 only. Why? They can't accelerate GL 2.0. Rather than have it implemented in either a semi-working fashion, or a slow software emulation, you just support the maximum level you can. It's going to be the same deal with DirectX. Rather than only supporting part of the latest API, you'll just support the level you are capable of.

    Hopefully it should make it much clearer for all involved.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      > If you look at nVidia cards, only the 5 (FX) series and later support GL 2.0, the earlier ones are 1.5 only. Why? They can't accelerate GL 2.0. Rather than have it implemented in either a semi-working fashion, or a slow software emulation, you just support the maximum level you can.

      That's not really true.

      Actually, you can download the Windows "nvemulate" utility for free and request your NVIDIA OpenGL driver emulate a level of GPU functionality beyond what your actual GPU hardware supports. You pick w
  • OpenGL (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kidcharles (908072) on Monday August 27, 2007 @05:14PM (#20376409)
    This is what happens when you only write games for a proprietary API (and for that matter only a single OS). Newell and other game developers cannot truly be shocked about this problem; anyone with half a brain could have told you something like this was bound to happen when you are so wedded to Microsoft. If games were still developed with OpenGL, this would not be an issue. If games were written for multiple OS's, this would not be an issue.
  • by kendor (525262) <kennethfine@hotmail.com> on Monday August 27, 2007 @05:21PM (#20376481)

    As seems usual many Slashdotters seem to be overreaching, equating their fantasy lives with what's happening in the marketplace, and what most users are experiencing.

    Among machines I use regularly in Seattle and in Southern California I'm now running:

    • Two machines that use XP
    • A TabletPC with XP
    • A Dell XPSII laptop that was running Vista RC1, then Vista RC2, and as of a week ago is running the release version of Vista
    • A smaller Dell laptop that followed a similar upgrade path to the machine above
    • A new Dell 9200 Desktop with a quad-core Q6600 CPU and a DX10-capable GTS8600 video card
    I have used all of these machines to run a wide variety of software:
    • Office
    • the original Unreal Tournament from 1999
    • Homeworld 2
    • Visual Studio 2005
    • Visual Studio 2008
    • Photoshop CS2 suite
    • Sorenson's toolsets
    • Morrowind: Oblivion
    • ...and tons of other stuff
    The problems I have had to date?
    • In Vista RC1 headphone support on my laptops didn't work
    • Some of the more advanced developer tools I've used and plugins for VS.NET have required elevation to install correctly
    That's it, folks. Other than that Vista seems like a pretty decent tool that chugs along and mostly stays out of my way whether I'm using it for new or old software. It has not been the ordeal that some of you wish it was, and if my problems are limited to issues involving beta OS releases and installation issues associated with expert-level tools, I can't imagine Joe Sixpack is tearing his hair out over ubiquitious tools like say, Office.


    Part of being a good advocate for a cause like free software is having the maturity to be intellectually honest. Your hyperventilating every time the name of Microsoft is spoken doesn't make FSF any better or any more appealing. Indeed, people whose living depends on computing may shy away from free software solutions, afraid that they might attract more of your kind to the workplace. Who would want to work with such a negative personality type?

    -KF

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by theantipop (803016)

      As seems usual many Slashdotters seem to be overreaching, equating their fantasy lives with what's happening in the marketplace, and what most users are experiencing.

      ...I can't imagine Joe Sixpack is tearing his hair out over ubiquitious tools like say, Office.

      I understand ranting against those who like to bemoan Vista as the source of all OS evil, but you must have certainly realized you make the same type of argument in the midst of it.

    • Part of being a good advocate for a cause like free software is having the maturity to be intellectually honest.

      With all respect, not one of your machines appears to run any free software - so what right do you have telling free software advocates how they should behave?

      Microsoft has created an OS monoculture and many Open Source OS users *RIGHTFULLY* feel aggrieved that this monoculture has made it uneconomical for software makers to produce games for any OS other than Windows.

      And if Linux users like

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by smallfries (601545)
      So you want to disclaim all the FUD on here by giving us your experience? Are you suggesting that you are a "normal", or perhaps "average" user so that your own anecdotal experience has any value to a wider audience at all?

      Lets see, you regularly use 6 machines! (Check, that's definitely average)
      And one of those machines is a quad-core with a DX10 graphics card (Check, completely average)

      So obviously your experience translates well for everyone. Gosh, we should all stop bitching and listen up. So apart from
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by kindbud (90044)
      Among machines I use regularly in Seattle and in Southern California I'm now running:

      * Two machines that use XP
      * A TabletPC with XP
      * A Dell XPSII laptop that was running Vista RC1, then Vista RC2, and as of a week ago is running the release version of Vista
      * A smaller Dell laptop that followed a similar upgrade path to the machine above
      * A new Dell 9200 Desktop wit
  • by ravyne (858869) on Monday August 27, 2007 @05:32PM (#20376609)
    Its possible that features from DirectX 10 could be implemented on WinXP (indeed, most (all?) Direct3D 10 features are supported on XP through OpenGL extensions if your hardware supports it and you have the right drivers.) but make no mistake that it would *not* be the same Direct3D 10 we know from Windows Vista.

    One of the major goals for D3D 10 (and going forward) was to release OEMs from legacy baggage, a not-insignificant portion of which stems from the Win2k/XP display driver model which is simply not equipped to provide the facilities that both Vista and the graphics cards themselves need. There's also a signifigant "slimming" of the API (removal of the fixed-function pipeline, cap bits, etc.) which, BTW, is the exact same direction that OpenGL is going.

    What really would be the better solution? Creating two distinct next-gen 3D APIs for the XP and Vista lineages? I'm sure the IHVs would love that. Bring the XP D3D10-alike into Vista, continuing the status-quo of legacy-burdened software? Thats very forward-thinking. Hack a version of Vista's D3D 10 onto XP but having wildly different performance characteristics and losing all the benefits that stem from the new driver model? The software devs are just itching for yet another scenario to optimize for, I'm sure.

    Simply put, its possible to support most D3D10 features on XP, but it is *not* possible to create a single next gen Direct3D API that supports both Vista and XP without making severe concessions to performance and/or feature set. Sometimes you just have to cut the cord.
  • by MrSteveSD (801820) on Monday August 27, 2007 @06:17PM (#20377105)
    and shun DirectX since it is controlled by one company which does stupid things like tie it to particular OS versions? Is OpenGL not advanced enough for modern games?
  • by cookd (72933) <douglascook&juno,com> on Monday August 27, 2007 @07:28PM (#20377943) Journal
    DX 10 is not designed to force anybody to do anything. It was a big change in the way DirectX works so it required significant changes in the kernel's video system and significant changes in the structure of video drivers. That kind of thing is really hard to stuff into a service pack.

    I think that in the long term, the change (moving to the Vista video architecture) will be a good thing. The Vista video model seems to address a lot of real issues like sharing the 3D features of the video card (previously not a real possibility). In the short term, the change is a bit painful and offers no real benefit (just nifty eye candy and effects). If I were a game developer, I certainly wouldn't develop any games that only run on DX10.

    I don't think that is entirely unexpected -- most developers still support DX8. However, just like most developers can expect most of their gamers to have DX9 hardware and software, eventually developers will be able to expect gamers to have DX10 hardware and software. Then there will be benefits.

    In the meantime, I can understand some frustration. For example, due to my laptop's lousy video driver, I can't play full-screen video in DX10 (Aero transparency enabled) mode. However, if I switch to the "Basic" mode, suddenly all is well. So this is certainly painful.
  • by guidryp (702488) on Monday August 27, 2007 @07:30PM (#20377993)
    People are forced to go to Vista if they want DX10. Win.
    PC gaming is further messed up and more people go to console (Xbox). Win.

    The downside for Microsoft is what? People pissed with Microsoft tactics? Yeah that would be new...

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