On Games for Windows

Games for Windows Vista how the new brand & OS will change PC gaming on Joystiq offers an updated preview of the new Games for Windows initiative, attempting, with limited success, to sort out what GFW represents besides a marketing slogan. Based on a tour of the program by Marketing Director Kevin Unangst and PR Manager Michael Wolf, they describe interoperability with Xbox 360 games via "Live Anywhere," how PCs will get numerical ratings to gauge how well they can play games, and what qualifies a game for the GFW logo. The conclusion they draw, however, is that it is difficult to draw conclusions about all this:
It's a risk. The Games for Windows strategy is on the verge of being schizophrenic. Can the cumbersome PC gaming experience really be simplified down to a console scheme? There are just too many freedoms and variations that exist in the PC universe to accurately interpret the PC as "the console that everybody already owns." It's not that simple. So is GFW a trick? Is Microsoft trying to lure back some of the consumers that were lost when Xbox was launched (an initiative that cannibalized PC gaming sales by design)?

The answer, like the Games For Windows vision, is not so clear. But there is most certainly the opportunity for Microsoft to create something very special. A cross-platform community where you and I can jump from Xbox to PC to our cell phones seamlessly. Anywhere.
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57 Replies. 3 pages. Viewing page 2.
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37.
 
Re: couldn`t agree more
Dec 19, 2006, 21:36
37.
Re: couldn`t agree more Dec 19, 2006, 21:36
Dec 19, 2006, 21:36
 
"What I said stands as true and inarguable: quality control standards are stricter in the console world. The simple truth is PC developers don't have anyone to answer to as far as the platform goes.
And, like I said before, quality control standards have nothing - NOTHING - to do with measuring the game in terms of "deep", "complicated", or whatever other subjective terms you want to throw in there. Say it with me: NOTHING. "

No, what you said stands as a huge dodge. Now lets all get together and repeat the simple, inescapable truth.... Developers dumb down games for consoles Don't even try to pretend that the average PC audience is identical to the average console audience, or that their expectations are the same. Yeah, there are console players who are also PC gamers. There are a whole lot more who aren't, and thats just the simple fact. And that demographic differs from the pc gamer in attention span, expectations of gameplay, and expectations of depth of game.
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Carpe Papilla

"@Dreagon - Comparing Oblivion to Deer Hunter was just ridiculous and you should be ashamed of yourself... it just made you look like a Class-A cunt." - theyarecomingforyou
36.
 
Re: couldn`t agree more
Dec 19, 2006, 21:15
36.
Re: couldn`t agree more Dec 19, 2006, 21:15
Dec 19, 2006, 21:15
 
I'm inclined to agree with Some Dude here. When was the last time you saw a console game as blatantly buggy and unfinished as some PC games? Gothic 3, X3: Reunion, hell, even Splinter Cell: Double Agent. The PC version didn't even have working unlockables until the second patch. If the GFW program will actually force publishers to polish their PC games, I'm all for it. Unfortunately, I don't think that'll be the case.

Avatar 20715
35.
 
Re: Need more info on this
Dec 19, 2006, 21:13
35.
Re: Need more info on this Dec 19, 2006, 21:13
Dec 19, 2006, 21:13
 
Also i hope you guys realize that we are arguing about something that has not even been released yet. Vista, and how that will handle games. I already suggested this on other forums we should wait until Crysis and Allen Wake gets released for the PC and then compare your precious consoles to the PC. IF there is even such comparison will exist.

Yeah, yeah...graphics does not a make a game. I don't know about the rest of you, but give me solid and fun gameplay with minimal bugs. I understand bugs will never be completely eliminated...that would be impossilbe...imho. But, Vista with DX 10 so I can push more polys, more surfaces, more textures...WHO CARES!!! It sure looks nice, but how does it play?

This comment was edited on Dec 19, 21:13.
Avatar 23550
34.
 
Re: couldn`t agree more
Dec 19, 2006, 21:05
34.
Re: couldn`t agree more Dec 19, 2006, 21:05
Dec 19, 2006, 21:05
 
No, you know what? I take it back. Fuck your dark little world, 'cause here comes some light, Baby:

What I said stands as true and inarguable: quality control standards are stricter in the console world. The simple truth is PC developers don't have anyone to answer to as far as the platform goes.

And, like I said before, quality control standards have nothing - NOTHING - to do with measuring the game in terms of "deep", "complicated", or whatever other subjective terms you want to throw in there. Say it with me: NOTHING.


33.
 
Re: couldn`t agree more
Dec 19, 2006, 20:58
33.
Re: couldn`t agree more Dec 19, 2006, 20:58
Dec 19, 2006, 20:58
 
Console fanboys? Sorry dude, but no. I own an Xbox, can't remember the last time I fired it up though. I just dropped a lot of dough on building a hot new PC and that's where I do all my gaming.

So no, it's not a console fanboy talking and it's certainly not an excuse. I'm trying to give you the perspective of someone who has made four PC titles and three for consoles. I can see however that you're not interested in anything like facts; you just want to go on living in a dark little world of your own construction. So by all means, go ahead.

This comment was edited on Dec 19, 21:00.
32.
 
Re: couldn`t agree more
Dec 19, 2006, 20:54
32.
Re: couldn`t agree more Dec 19, 2006, 20:54
Dec 19, 2006, 20:54
 
Introducing console-like quality control standards for PC titles has absolutely nothing to do with the perceived complexity of any given game. Nothing at all. Put aside the console phobia for a moment, breathe some fresh air and see this.

This repeated excuse gets older and older and still isn't true. Quality is a lot more than just "control standards". And the quality of PC games have suffered due to the dumbing down necessary to appease the console kiddies. That has just become an inescapable fact and it's kinda pathetic seeing console fanboys scream their denial in the face of that reality.
------
Carpe Papilla

"@Dreagon - Comparing Oblivion to Deer Hunter was just ridiculous and you should be ashamed of yourself... it just made you look like a Class-A cunt." - theyarecomingforyou
31.
 
Re: couldn`t agree more
Dec 19, 2006, 20:27
31.
Re: couldn`t agree more Dec 19, 2006, 20:27
Dec 19, 2006, 20:27
 
Introducing console-like quality control standards for PC titles has absolutely nothing to do with the perceived complexity of any given game. Nothing at all. Put aside the console phobia for a moment, breathe some fresh air and see this.

30.
 
couldn`t agree more
Dec 19, 2006, 20:12
30.
couldn`t agree more Dec 19, 2006, 20:12
Dec 19, 2006, 20:12
 
" They are businesses and as such, they exist to make money. However, what I can blame are the console kiddies themselves for having such low standards. Dumb bastards. If they had simply recognized that Goldeneye and Halo were crap, the whole genre wouldn't have caught on and PCs would still be getting good shooters."

I don`r mind them making dough. But destroying something for a quick buck is moronic. They really should leave PC gaming and consoles as seperate entities. Take Gears of War. Peeps got wowed by the visuals. Oh its awesome. Ahuh. For a whole 8 hours? The 1st thing that came to my mind when watching my 11 year old play it was.... "arcade" as hell!!! I`d wouldn`t buy GoW if that came to me in a PC game box.

Do we really wanna start paying 50 bucks for an 8 hour or less wackoff session? The console kiddies seem fine with that. We rented btw. I always hoped devs would use great visuals to enhance the gameplay. Now we are seeing great visuals camo`ing the fact that there really isn`t much game there at all. Anyone ok with episodic gaming should be shot and pizzed on btw.

And by the time the visuals enhanced drug session wears off the teens/kiddies etc, it is all but too late. Aaaah!

29.
 
Re: As a game developer
Dec 19, 2006, 18:42
29.
Re: As a game developer Dec 19, 2006, 18:42
Dec 19, 2006, 18:42
 
Ah, yes, Live Anywhere hearkens back to the days of TEN and Mplayer (or was that Mplay? Can't remember). I still find it amazing that console players actually pay to play their games online... oh wait, no I don't. Console players also think Halo is the greatest FPS series ever made.

As for GFW, it doesn't mean crap unless MS starts releasing 360 and PC games at the same time. Though, even then, the PC version would be consolized.

To be fair, I can't really blame MS or all these other publishers for catering to the console kiddies. They are businesses and as such, they exist to make money. However, what I can blame are the console kiddies themselves for having such low standards. Dumb bastards. If they had simply recognized that Goldeneye and Halo were crap, the whole genre wouldn't have caught on and PCs would still be getting good shooters.

Avatar 20715
28.
 
already an annoyance - XBox controller
Dec 19, 2006, 18:28
28.
already an annoyance - XBox controller Dec 19, 2006, 18:28
Dec 19, 2006, 18:28
 
I actually like the controller, and think it could be a good peripheral for the PC. That said, there are two huge annoyances right from the start.

First one is that it cost $10 more than the 360 version, and it is exactly the same controller. Only difference is it includes the driver on a cd. WTF?

Second annoyance is the driver sucks. It doesn't split the trigger axes (which the 360 does by default). Also it doesn't really have deadzones, so the control can be very jittery. It is all fixable by installing a home grown driver and patch and config, but it is a big pain to do, and is exactly what a though GFW was not supposed to be about.

27.
 
Re: As a game developer
Dec 19, 2006, 18:18
27.
Re: As a game developer Dec 19, 2006, 18:18
Dec 19, 2006, 18:18
 

"Oh god no! You mean they might hold you to the same standards you have to comply with when creating a console game? "

Yeah, you know.....dumb it down so every fourteen year old drooler can figure it out. Don't make it too hard for the ADD crowd. And fer gawds sake make sure it has those flashy graphics and twitchy combat thats so leet.
------
Carpe Papilla

"@Dreagon - Comparing Oblivion to Deer Hunter was just ridiculous and you should be ashamed of yourself... it just made you look like a Class-A cunt." - theyarecomingforyou
26.
 
Re: As a game developer
Dec 19, 2006, 17:50
26.
Re: As a game developer Dec 19, 2006, 17:50
Dec 19, 2006, 17:50
 
ROFLMAO Some Dude.

Well said.

Maybe someday we won't hear people whining about how their game won't work because they didn't/can't update their drivers or expect to a play a bleeding edge game on a 16MB crapass built-in videocard...

If it makes developers actually release a game that is closer to bug free than they are now on the PC, I am all for it. We have come to expect at least half a dozen patches on a game before it is truly ready to play. They can't develop for EVERY conceivable combination of hardware so standardization can't hurt at this point.

On side note but close to this topic, do you know what one of the scariest things I have seen recently is? Now consoles are getting patches. Since they have a hard drive now it only make sense right? Well that is not a good sign that developers will NEED to strive for a totally bug free release anymore.

25.
 
Re: As a game developer
Dec 19, 2006, 17:25
25.
Re: As a game developer Dec 19, 2006, 17:25
Dec 19, 2006, 17:25
 
To get GFW certification you have to comply with MS's draconian specs

Oh god no! You mean they might hold you to the same standards you have to comply with when creating a console game?

The very thing that forces console games to present and interact with platform features in a consistent manner, so that a Wii game always works like a Wii game and an Xbox game always works like an Xbox game?

Do you mean to tell me that one day I might not be free to put whatever pile of shit I feel like in a box labelled "PC Version" because I'll actually have to get someone's approval?

Those bastards! Those rotten bastards! How dare they adopt a model that requires a whole new level of quality control for the games you buy.

Seriously dude, how can you think this is a bad idea? You know what kind of hoops you have to go through to get a game approved for a console? Each one has its own Giant Book of Shit You Have to Do. And while it is a sizeable pain in the ass, in the long run it makes for better (read: more reliable) games than the average PC title.

Does it still sound like a bad idea? If you said "yes" then don't ever open your damn mouth about any PC game bug you ever encounter, ever.

This comment was edited on Dec 19, 17:26.
24.
 
As a game developer
Dec 19, 2006, 16:45
24.
As a game developer Dec 19, 2006, 16:45
Dec 19, 2006, 16:45
 
U dont just make a game for the Xbox whenever u want, they have to also WANT ur game too.

anyone recently played Star Trek Legacy for the PC lately? Its rather obviously a bad port of the 360 game, they didnt even bother to remove the console control prompts! (Use left stick, X button-ect) lol not to mention how shitty it plays with acrap control scheme

23.
 
Re: No subject
Dec 19, 2006, 16:20
23.
Re: No subject Dec 19, 2006, 16:20
Dec 19, 2006, 16:20
 
and how long before a PC dev has to pay MS for each sold copy (just like console games)

That's an impossibility.
Not only is it an open platform (for developing on,) but the lawsuits over what defines a game and what defines an application would be insanely costly. You'd have devs start bundling basic word processors with their games to get around it.
Furthermore, why would MS be so stupid? They know damn well that every other platform on the market is open to any development. They know the reason why theirs triumphs is the amount of applications available for it. If they start charging people to develop for it they give incentive for people to develop elsewhere, which gives consumers incentive to investigate other markets.

I think you're missing a couple of important details. What I was saying was, if DX and GFW become so big/important, that in order to create a competetive game you need to use those, then you have to pay MS what they want. Right now DX is free so no problem, GFW is not. Since MS owns both, they have every legal right to introduce fees and royalties to any of those components. Which in the long run can mean the scenario I was describing.

Yes, the windows/pc platform is open, so you can still make apps and games without paying MS royalties, but I was talking about doing comptetitive games (meaning once it's at a point where a consumer wouldn't look on any game not having GFW and DX12 stamped on it).

The DX dependcy is especially critical when it comes to 3D HW, we're already witnessing the trend that the new HW generation will have functionality, only accessible through DX10. If that trend continues, at what point is OpenGL no longer feasible, leaving the developer no choices of API/OS/platform, again if they want to stay competetive. (also even when doing GL games today it's pretty usual to use some of the non-3D parts of DX.)

I'm not saying this necessary will happen, and it's not some anti-MS rant. I'm just being cautious about the whole thing, I don't like the fact that one and the same company (not that it's MS in particular) would be in control of all the crucial components.


22.
 
Re: Monitors are HDTVs
Dec 19, 2006, 16:19
22.
Re: Monitors are HDTVs Dec 19, 2006, 16:19
Dec 19, 2006, 16:19
 
Microsoft lost gamers to consoles? If they did, it wasn`t cause of ease of play for the conmsoles, but more like there are no decent games for PCs. 7 years ago and back, PC gamers didn`t wait years for a whole 2 games to be released. I have never seen PC gaming so crap as it is atm.

Peeps used to regularly upgrade PCs. Not now. Why bother? Upgrade your whole system for a scant 2 possibly good releases, they will prolly be delayed anyways? lol

I personally think M$ is out to kill PC gaming totally. If not, I hope peeps are gonna like paying 60 bucks a crack for 3 hour episidic gaming. Cause boyos we are headed that route.

21.
 
Monitors are HDTVs
Dec 19, 2006, 16:03
21.
Monitors are HDTVs Dec 19, 2006, 16:03
Dec 19, 2006, 16:03
 
Computer monitors are the HDTVs that everyone already owns, aren't they? I mean you can hook up a 360 to a monitor and use that as an HDTV.

I wish consoles were used like computers. Keyboard + mouse = FPS goodness.

I honestly don't understand why the 360 and the PS3 aren't being used as computers, too. Supposedly both systems are only like $100 away from being fully operational computer systems, if even that. I think I hear both systems have already been hacked for use as computers.

Instead of asking people to buy a $1,000 PC and a $600 console, they should just get people to buy an $800 console (or whatever) that doubles as a PC.

ONE display, ONE computer, ONE set of speakers. That should be all I need for all my TV, movie, and gaming needs.
Adventures of a video game mercenary
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20.
 
Re: No subject
Dec 19, 2006, 15:47
20.
Re: No subject Dec 19, 2006, 15:47
Dec 19, 2006, 15:47
 
and how long before a PC dev has to pay MS for each sold copy (just like console games)

That's an impossibility.
Not only is it an open platform (for developing on,) but the lawsuits over what defines a game and what defines an application would be insanely costly. You'd have devs start bundling basic word processors with their games to get around it.


I think you missed the bit where it said you have to pay Microsoft to get your game listed as an official GFW release. Sure you don't have to but then it won't work with Live Anywhere and wont be included in the GFW sub-system on Vista (which has nice Icons for each game and a rating to show how well it will play on your system and wotnot.) I expect there will be concessions for the XNA mini-games.

I think no good will come from it and it really will be nothing but consolized games (parallel development is going to default to the lowest common denominator). On top of which the intrusiveness and strictures of Vista licensing put me right off it. I've exclusively run legit XP for years now but using my company key so I never had to bother with the activation dance everytime I change something. And I change my main PC a lot. Old ones usually end up at work running Ubuntu (can't trust staff with Windows. hehe.)

Not to mention this could eventually lead to offical GFW PCs certified to work 100% and god help you if you want to build your own system.

-------------------------------------------------
www.digg.com
19.
 
No subject
Dec 19, 2006, 15:43
19.
No subject Dec 19, 2006, 15:43
Dec 19, 2006, 15:43
 
GFW is just a marketing campaign slogan. For anyone who has been a PC gamer for 10 years or more, its clear the current gaming marketplace is almost entirely geared toward console sales. Its sad but that's the way it is -- at least right now.

18.
 
Re: No subject
Dec 19, 2006, 14:54
18.
Re: No subject Dec 19, 2006, 14:54
Dec 19, 2006, 14:54
 
So what we're seeing here may be less of 'win the hearts and minds of gamers' and more of 'win the hearts and minds of game developers'.

As the PS2 proved, win the devs and you win the gamers.

and how long before a PC dev has to pay MS for each sold copy (just like console games)

That's an impossibility.
Not only is it an open platform (for developing on,) but the lawsuits over what defines a game and what defines an application would be insanely costly. You'd have devs start bundling basic word processors with their games to get around it.
Furthermore, why would MS be so stupid? They know damn well that every other platform on the market is open to any development. They know the reason why theirs triumphs is the amount of applications available for it. If they start charging people to develop for it they give incentive for people to develop elsewhere, which gives consumers incentive to investigate other markets.


Some of you are just hugely paranoid without any understanding of business. Microsoft makes more money by being #1 than they ever could taking a cut of the gaming market. GFW is a two-fold strategy:
1) Make certain gaming stays on the Windows platform instead of straying, keeping gamers with Windows. The fear is gamers going to consoles then abandoning Windows as their computer OS.
2) Make gaming easily transferable between the PC and the 360, increasing the releases for both platforms.

Microsoft knows that good business is keeping the dev and the consumer happy. Bad business is pissing one off. Posters here rarely seem to understand that.

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