Microsoft Forcing PC Games For Windows

Aron Schatz
December 19, 2006

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With the advent of Vista bringing more and more restrictions to the PC world, Microsoft is using this golden business opportunity to screw customers even more and force PC game companies to make "Games For Windows" that will (of course) only play on Windows Vista, I'm sure. They are forcing branding and marketing for packaging as well. This is another example of why Mac and Linux should step up and start really pushing for the gaming market! A stable and free operating system to play games would be great on the Linux side.


Games for Windows is still very much a vision. The first priority, a retail initiative, is currently underway. By employing marketing strategies used by console makers, namely platform-branding, Microsoft hopes that PC gaming (under the 'Games for Windows' banner) will become less intimidating to mainstream consumers -- no longer will the PC games isle be a cluttered mess of disparate titles. Computer Gaming World was also renamed as Games For Windows to help drive Microsoft's new brand. Aside from retail consolidation, this branding will ensure certain requirements are met by games' publishers. To earn the GFW brand, a title must comply with certain Microsoft-tested specifications, including widescreen support, compatibility with the Xbox 360 controller, parental control features, and simple installation. GFW games will also begin to carry a system rating, based on a 5-point scale. Vista will assess the value of your PC's gaming abilities and assign a rating (or "WinSAT"), say 4.5. You can then weigh that rating against a game's recommended rating (example: 5.0) and its required rating (example: 3.5) before purchasing. Update: The scale will begin at five points, but is designed to grow as newer technologies enter the market.


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