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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Dec 19, 2006, 16:20
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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.


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