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 20, 2006, 03:00
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Re: No subject Dec 20, 2006, 03:00
Dec 20, 2006, 03:00
 
PC games haven't gotten any worse, console games have simply gotten better.

Have to disagree with you there. Let's look at several PC-centric genres that have suffered as of late:

1) Adventure: When was the last time a good adventure game came out? Remember back in the good ol' days, when you had Day of the Tentacle, Leisure Suit Larry, Monkey Island, Grim Fandango, etc? The most recent LSL game was a dumbed down collection of minigames. Clever puzzles? Funny dialogue? Nowhere to be seen. Dreamfall? Horribly stilted combat, shallow stealth segments and puzzles are nowhere to be found.

2) Space sims: What happened after Freespace 2? Freelancer was decent but what else? Space Interceptor? Darkstar One? X3? Now the only developers still making space sims come from third-world countries (same applies to adventure games) and these games pale in comparison to the games of old.

3) Tactical shooters: Look at R6 and GR. Once upon a time, they were realistic games where you actually had to use tactics. Now? Now they are just regular shooters where you have regenerating health and over-the-shoulder aiming.

4) Mech sims: Um, yeah. The only mech games still coming out are from third-world countries and they mostly suck.

5) Vehicular combat: Where the hell is my Interstate 77? Hell, where's my Carmageddon 4? Let's see, what was the last vehicular combat game for the PC... ah yes, Hard Truck: Apocalypse and its expansion pack. Terrible game, btw.

6) PC franchises in general: Deus Ex, Tribes, Thief, Commandos... the list goes on and on. In attempt to broaden their appeal and develop them for both both consoles and PCs, the aforementioned classic PC franchises have suffered.

As you can see, several once prolific PC genres have all but disappeared due to publishers abandoning PC gaming enthusiasts and focusing instead on more mainstream genres. Classic PC franchises lie in ruin, current PC franchises are quickly becoming consolized and cross-platform development ensures that the PC version of any game is basically a port.

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