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Microsoft Entertainment Games

Windows Vista From A Gamer's Perspective 74

mybrainonfire writes "1UP has an article looking at Microsoft Vista and its implications not only as an operating system as a whole, but what it means for gaming, based on a recent visit to Microsoft. 'According to the Microsoft message: Windows games is becoming a big priority. A study done among thousands of users determined that 35% of people use the PC for Web surfing, 18% use it for games and everything else is an also-ran. The next biggest thing, email, is only 9.2%. This gave Microsoft the boot in the proverbial ass to get back to its PC gaming roots.' It's a little rambley, but it's an interesting take on what to expect whenever Microsoft stops delaying things."
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Windows Vista From A Gamer's Perspective

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  • Oh. Come. On. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Otter ( 3800 ) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @03:46PM (#13189076) Journal
    A study done among thousands of users determined that 35% of people use the PC for Web surfing, 18% use it for games and everything else is an also-ran. The next biggest thing, email, is only 9.2%.

    Let's say, for the sake of argument, that 1) this refers to home PCs only and 2) that the question was about the most frequent use (and the numbers therefore add up to 100%). There are enough niche uses, all under 9%, that add up to 38% of people's primary computer use? This makes no sense.

  • "According to the Microsoft message: Windows games is becoming a big priority."

    I guess Grammer Check isn't such a big priority.
  • XboX (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Apreche ( 239272 )
    The XboX killed PC gaming. MS did it to themselves.
    • Re:XboX (Score:2, Insightful)

      by JonN ( 895435 ) *
      No, the X-Box was released so that Microsoft could enter into another market and compete with the PS2, also, the PS2 would have been released regardless on if X-Box would be, so how can you attribute all the blame of the 'Death of PC gaming' onto Microsoft and the X-Box?
    • Huh?

      How did Microsoft kill PC gaming? By playing second fiddle to Playstation 2? Has there been a mass exodus from World of Warcraft to Fusion Frenzy that I somehow missed? Is Microsoft paying game magazines and web sites to obsess over the FPS of the month, instead of game types that are better suited to PCs than consoles?

      • Re:XboX (Score:2, Insightful)

        by guaigean ( 867316 )
        If anything, I think that WoW has shown that the PC gaming industry is alive and well. The real thing that has diminished PC games has been the lack of good games recently as opposed to the slightly older and easily moddables. Games can last quite a while, provided they have a good modding community. There just haven't been that many games out recently that were worth the 50 bucks and have taken advantage of the PC's differences.
    • Nice Try Xbox fanboy.

      ATI and Nvidia killed windows gaming with these nasty unusable drivers and $600 video cards. Followed by new shader libraries every month with blue screens and cheap $2 fans. If I was M$, fix ATI and Nvidia now. Make them go thru a ridiculous certification program.

  • by JonN ( 895435 ) * on Thursday July 28, 2005 @03:59PM (#13189229) Homepage
    According to the Microsoft message: Windows games is becoming a big priority. I mean, Microsoft has the monopoly of games. Nearly every popular game released is for the Windows OS. So with that in mind, how can Microsoft just now be realizing how important the Windows and PC Games connection is?
    • Apparently. And soon, they'll have hardware leverage too - by getting the 360 gamepad as the new game hardware, they're trying to further entrench themselves as the only solution for PC gaming. I mean, if someone develops a PC title specifically for the 360 pad, what happens with the port to linux or mac?

      Of course, it might be a wash anyways given past failures of PC game controllers.
      • I play certain games on my PC for a couple reasons the biggest usually is that I find it more immersive (I can sit 1.5 to 2 feet away from my monitor and not my tv) the other biggest reason is that these games are generally easier to play with a keyboard and mouse. 90% of the time the games I want to play are available for both the pc and the xbox.
      • It's pretty obvious to most that the PC gaming market is Microsoft's biggest strength over the other OSes. You can find just about anything else for Mac and Linux without much work. Probably yet another reason Macs are switching to Intel is because the x86 Windows games can be ported over much more easily. This is why Linux distros and developers really need to work on making it much easier for games to be ported to Linux. Unfortunately 9 out 10 games created for PC these days run off Direct X, so getting p
    • Hell, I think that gaming is probably the thing that is most responsible for Microsoft's dominance of the desktop market. The kinds of software that are lacking on non-Windows platforms can be broadly broken into "games" and "niche professional apps." The latter group doesn't directly affect the desktop market much.

      In short, their games monopoly is one of the main reasons why they have an OS monopoly.
    • My thoughts exactly... Games are the ONLY reason I'm still running Windows... and they're just now thinking about making it a priority?

      The day Linux can run all PC games with zero hassle will be a sad day for Microsoft, I would think. That will be the day I download a distro and really start playing with it. All I use my home PC for is games and internet (usually both at the same time). I do work on PCs all day long at my job, when I'm at home I just want to play!
      • I would recommend getting started on learning Linux before then, you will probably curse it and give it up a few times before you are willing to make a complete switch. I want to start my 3rd try but the box I want to switch I am currently doing some DirectX 9.0 development on and can't.
      • Quote: The day Linux can run all PC games with zero hassle will be a sad day for Microsoft.

        Hell, the day Windows can run all games without hassle will be a scary day for the consoles.

        One of the largest barriers to becoming a pc gamer, IMO, is the incompatability issues and learning curve that are often assosciated with running performance critical applications (e.g. games) on a pc.

        I agreed with the OP and just thought I would point out pc/console linux/windows similarity.
  • by bornyesterday ( 888994 ) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @04:10PM (#13189340) Homepage
    WTF? Is that the newest rage amonst bored denizens of rural areas? They weren't happy with just tipping them over, now they're dragging them behind their pickups? That's just cruel!

    ...and it's not 'off-topic' you illiterate punks.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    "This gave Microsoft the boot in the proverbial ass to get back to its PC gaming roots."

    Actually it's "roots" was software for a traffic light. And we can't trust them to get even that right.
  • Perhaps... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Penguin Programmer ( 241752 ) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @04:20PM (#13189439) Homepage
    Perhaps what they've actually realized is that the ONLY advantage Windows has over other OSes (and the only reason why a large portion of the population is sticking with Windows) is the availability of games.

    Since it's the only reason for people to use Windows these days, Microsoft ought to be capitalizing on it.
    • While it may be the reason the average Slashdotter keeps a Windows install around, those are also usually the installs most likely to be pirated, and therefore not profitable to MS. The vast, vast majority of Microsoft's profits and influence is in the enterprise, where businesses pay thousands for company-wide liscences (and won't dare pirate, for fear of software audits). In that respect, games aren't really killer apps.
      • And those pirated installs are the main reason why a whole generation will grow up being familiar with Microsoft's OS. And what kind of system do you think this generation will prefer to deal with when they enter the workforce? And what kind of systems will they recommend to their family/neighbours when grown-up?

        I'd say that the familiarity games cause to a young generation is *highly* profitable on the long term.
  • Controllers (Score:4, Interesting)

    by drxray ( 839725 ) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @04:39PM (#13189651) Homepage
    FTFA: "X360 controllers working on the PC is just frosting."

    I can't see that. This is potentially huge. We can finally get beat-em-ups, platformers and several other genres on PC, where they've been pretty scarce before. If it's taken up by developers it means I won't need a console again, and can go back to just having one box.
    Of course, Microsoft isn't that likely to marginalise the console industry now it's a player in it, so there must be some kind of catch.

    P.S. yes, I already have a USB doodad for using my controllers on my PC. What I don't have is a PC version of Tekken 4 or Super Monkey Ball.
    • Aren't the 360 controllers using some sort of proprietary RF wireless thingamabob?
    • and you're not seeing all those genres in force. This isn't going to marginalize anything, it's just one more controller on the market. You're not seeing Tekken 4 for your PC because it's too small a market, a niche in a niche in a niche (pc gamers who like fighting games who won't buy the console version). If you're an American you're in even worse shape, nobody bothers with niche markets here.
      • I'm not sure it really is a niche I'm in, everyone I know with a console plays PC games as well (though my friends probably aren't very representative), and only a few buy every console. I suspect the number of gamers who like fighters but don't have a PS2 is significant enough to warrant porting it.

        And it's not the plug-and-play nature so much as the fact that developers could depend on a standard PC joypad, where they know there are a set number of buttons and triggers, rumble features and dual analog sti
  • Reality (Score:5, Interesting)

    by xenocide2 ( 231786 ) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @04:39PM (#13189654) Homepage
    Some of the nifty new features of Vista that might not go over so well with gamers:
    1. Restricted user mode. This is already available on XP, Vista just makes the transition easier. The problem is that virtually every game makes this useless. Thanks to the incredible distrust of their market, PC game makers require players to allow their games to run as Admin, and don't apologize when remote exploits in their netcode appear two days after release. So basically, this is worthless.

    2. New shiny interface. The shine lasts for all of about 30 seconds while you're not playing games. After that, every game out there takes the whole screen and re-invents the entire user interface. I'd wager that a number of gamers may simply attempt to turn back the wheels of time, back to the generally familiar win98 style, as they did for XP.

    3. 64bit. I hope the fundamental reason for this change is a long ways off. The largest hurdle is owning a 64 bit processor. Despite AMD having a 64bit line promoted as a gamer's system for some time, Intel's (much larger) side has only just begun. The other big hurdle is device driver support. When switching to 64bit for the performance, you need your drivers to have the extra 32 bits as well. To make matters worse, some games don't work well on a 64bit OS, or sometimes copy protection kicks in when it shouldn't.

    4. DirectX 10. Not sure what extras they plan to add, but it will probably include me buying a new video card. Sucky.

    While one and three are largely the fault of game makers, part of Microsoft's task here is to reign them in, however possible. Aside from increased performance for free, the one thing I think gamers everywhere could appreciate is an enforced security model that finally curbs the tide of spyware and popups. Nothing like missing a sniper shot because some dipshit program would really like to let you know about online degrees from the university of phoenix!
    • Re:Reality (Score:3, Insightful)

      by obeythefist ( 719316 )
      1) I don't see why this won't go over well with gamers. Serious gamers will be running as admin like they always do.

      2) I don't see why this won't go over well with gamers. Contemporary gamers dig eye candy (although they stay for the gameplay/useability).

      3) I don't see why this won't go over well with gamers. Gamers tend to buy things that are percieved to be cutting edge for the sake of it. Also, the vast majority of gamers prefer AMD and therefore will own 64bit on their next upgrade (if they don't ha
    • Point 3: Let's bear in mind Windows Hardware Quality Labs certified drivers, the push Microsoft will go to to make sure that companies supply them good drivers for Longhorn's release (I expect that Vista won't stick when people sue Microsoft for namespace violation), and companies wanting their hardware to work on the new version of such an ubiquitous operating system. This makes me certain that a move to 64-bit in Longhorn won't harm user experience.
    • I hadn't really experienced "security" issues before until I installed SimCity 4.

      While the program installs into your Program Files directory, the saved games are all in My Documents for the user that installs it. There is no way to change this, regardless of your l33t hacking skillz.

      If you want multiple people on your PC to enjoy the game and all share in developing a Region, the only way to do this is to create a "SimCity" user and install the app as that account, and then have people log in as SimCity.

  • One of the better ideas for Vista that's been thrown around a lot is for Windows to unload unneeded parts of the OS when a game runs. And you can even customize what it keeps loaded and unloads, so you can get rid of your anti-virus program while playing CS but keep your firewall running. Certainly took long enough.
  • Faster Alt+Tabbing? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by extropy ( 669666 )
    I've been curious about this.. Will Vista's new 3d accelerated gui allow for faster or even instant alt+tabbing? i was thinking if everything is just texture mapped polygons (at least thats my understanding of the new gui) then the desktop could quickly be brought to the front, instead of taking forever to load up like usual. I know resolution changes are a factor too, but that delay seems relatively negligible.
  • by chrish ( 4714 )
    Pretty sure the games I have will continue to run on XP, and that XP will run just peachy on the x86 Mac I intend to buy in a year or so...

    I was wondering how I could get rid of my XP boxes and still manage to play the games I haven't finished... I'd lost all interest in Longhorn even before Apple announced the move to x86 hardware. I've literally only been using my XP box for gaming since I got an iBook so I could cover Mac OS X in a book.
  • 1. Support xbox 360 controllers on Vista. Full driver support. (er, is the connector USB?)

    2. Improved support for old-ass PC emulation(which is already in some extent in XP). Have a wizard ask you "okay, what year was this game made in?", you pop in 1982 for a year, and for that game, emulate a PC in '82(some quasi-vmware or something). Have support for manual SB sound card specs(remember the fun of that?). Niche support, but now MS can sell their oldest games for years to come!

    3. Server support for xbox 36
    • The 360 controllers are going to be wireless, using bluetooth technology if I'm not mistaken. The PS3 controllers have a USB connector for recharging their batteries, so it's possible that the 360 will have something similar too. As for driver support, I don't think anything they can do will make it seamless. The 360 runs on PowerPC for one, and the OS is a mangled version of the already mangled version of Win2000 that they used for the original X-box OS. I like your idea for older PC support, but it wou
  • The only reason most people I know use Windows is for games. We need a Linux solution.

Vitamin C deficiency is apauling.