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Gaming On Windows 7

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the extreme-minesweeper dept.

PC Games (Games) 554

Jason Wilson writes "Windows 7 comes out Oct. 22, and many gamers are wondering whether it will be a boon for gaming, as Microsoft promised Vista would, or a disappointment (like Vista was at its launch). Former ExtremeTech editor Jason Cross, who's covered games and tech for 13 years, discusses the pluses and minuses of Windows 7 for gamers — how it differs from Vista, if it'll run older games, and the benefits of 64-bit computing. 'Windows 7 basically takes the Vista codebase and rewrites, refines, optimizes, and overhauls most of the internal stuff without making dramatic changes to the driver stacks that Vista did over WinXP. The changes to the fundamental driver models are small and mostly serve to improve performance. Plus, the hardware makers — especially the graphics guys — are on top of the changes this time around. Nvidia and ATI have been shipping quite good Win7 graphics drivers for months now.'"

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Everything works for me (4, Informative)

Tukz (664339) | more than 5 years ago | (#28804759)

I have Windows 7 RC installed, and I was very surprised to see every game I had installed, still worked flawlessly.
Even Starcraft, which is very aged game, worked just fine.

At the same time, I have only found 1 application that didn't work, and I couldn't get to work even with XP compat, admin rights or any other tweak.
So that's quite good imo.

Re:Everything works for me (4, Interesting)

Tukz (664339) | more than 5 years ago | (#28804777)

Why the hell is that modded as "Troll"?!

Re:Everything works for me (5, Funny)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 5 years ago | (#28804799)

Don't you know, Troll actually means "I disagree". Although in this case it likely means "lalala I can't hear you"

Re:Everything works for me (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28804813)

You give positive remarks about a Microsoft operating system on Slashdot despite the fact that GNU/Linux is superior in every possible way, even to all other Unix based systems. Therefore you must be a paid M$ Astroturfer sent here to deceive others. There was a time when posts like this might have gone unnoticed, but thanks to Roy Schestowitz [boycottnovell.com] we now know better.

Re:Everything works for me (1, Informative)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#28804951)

despite the fact that GNU/Linux is superior in every possible way,

Ever tried setting up two screens on Linux? It's a major PITA, and you get to choose between Xinerama and 3D acceleration (of course there's no hint about this tiny little fact until you check the X logs).

On Vista it takes at most 10 mouse clicks and 30 seconds, and everything works perfectly.

Re:Everything works for me (5, Informative)

teridon (139550) | more than 5 years ago | (#28804991)

In the special case where you:
    - have an Nvidia card
    - don't mind using Nvidia's closed-source drivers

Then setting up dual, hardware-accelerated screens on Linux is also trivially easy -- just run nvidia-settings.

Re:Everything works for me (4, Informative)

pato101 (851725) | more than 5 years ago | (#28805185)

Also, you can add a gnome-panel and drag it to second screen (press ALT and drag and drop it), and then place a window list applet to it: from that moment, each panel shows only the windows residing at that monitor.
Compiz also is pretty well aware of the screens, so you can do scale ("exposé") to only one of the monitors if you wish.

Re:Everything works for me (3, Informative)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#28805023)

Oh bullcrap. just use xrandr.

Plug in extra screen, run xrandr to list displays and modes. Then run it again to switch on the new monitor at a chosen resolution and relative position.

If you've got nvidia then the nvidia-settings applet will do the same (and don't tell me that's "hard", you do the same in windows for nVidia and ATI)

I'm sure there are windowed versions, but this works perfectly for me.

Re:Everything works for me (1)

pato101 (851725) | more than 5 years ago | (#28805205)

I'm sure there are windowed versions, but this works perfectly for me.

gnome-display-properties

Re:Everything works for me (2, Informative)

Clairvoyant (137586) | more than 5 years ago | (#28805097)

Sure, then you end up with two monitors that can't really work together and are not customizable.

The issues you're referring to are all driver related. The fact that both nvidia and ATI have already been releasing win7 drivers for months while still screwing around on Linux should make it all clear; It's about the drivers and the hardware guys just don't care about Linux enough yet. That's not the fault of the OS; it's the hardware a$$es not opening up their drivers.

As for Linux vs Windows for multimonitor: Until about a year ago this was definately a problem on Linux as the drivers did not support it well enough. It works quite well actially. Also, setting up multi monitor does not cover "use a machine with 2 monitors". The actual usage, once it has been set up, is the most important part (which you're ignoring). Windows is not prepared for a multidesktop/multiscreen setup. It never has been. Linux on the other hand is quite different. Nearly all desktop managers support multi monitors properly. Ever tried multi monitor setup and opening up new windows? Windows pop up in the middle of the two screens sometimes, which is bloody irritating. The fixed task bar can not properly be split up between the two monitors and one who would want only programs on that perticular monitor to be in the taskbar on the monitor are completely screwed.

Re:Everything works for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28805251)

Until about a year ago this was definately a problem on Linux as the drivers did not support it well enough. It works quite well actially

Accurate spell-checking, on the other hand, remains a challenge.

Re:Everything works for me (1)

Tom9729 (1134127) | more than 5 years ago | (#28805239)

Last time I checked you only lose 3d acceleration if you want to use multiple unrelated cards to drive multiple monitors (something Windows doesn't even support AFAIK).

Configuring multiple monitors is just a few clicks (or commands) away in Linux as well.

Re:Everything works for me (2, Informative)

nxtw (866177) | more than 5 years ago | (#28805261)

In the case of some Intel GPUs (like the three and a half year old 945GM, which is found in most netbooks today), 3D is limited to a 2048x2048 total framebuffer shared between all monitors - so if your two displays won't fit in a 2048x2048 space, you can't use any 3D acceleration. So if you want to use, say, 1280x800 and 1280x1024, you can't have 3D (or a composited desktop) in Linux. This is apparently a hardware limitation.

The Windows Vista/7 Aero driver has no such limitation, and I don't think the OS X driver does either.

Re:Everything works for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28804795)

Why is this a 'troll'? just because hes not a linux fanboi?

He said he was 'surprised' to find that most games worked.

Re:Everything works for me (1)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 5 years ago | (#28804807)

The only things that didn't work for me are really old DOS games (but I had trouble with them in XP too) and such things as those 4kb landscape thingies that were discussed on Slashdot a few days ago.

So far, I've really had nothing to complain about, the new UI aside. I was pretty pissed that there was no classic theme. Now I've gotten used to it and I must say, although I certainly won't pay what Microsoft is asking, this is the first MS OS that I WOULD pay for if the price was right.

Re:Everything works for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28804851)

The only things that didn't work for me are really old DOS games (but I had trouble with them in XP too) and such things as those 4kb landscape thingies that were discussed on Slashdot a few days ago.

So far, I've really had nothing to complain about, the new UI aside. I was pretty pissed that there was no classic theme. Now I've gotten used to it and I must say, although I certainly won't pay what Microsoft is asking, this is the first MS OS that I WOULD pay for if the price was right.

That honor belongs to windows server 2003 for me. (aka xp64)

Re:Everything works for me (3, Informative)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#28804885)

So far, I've really had nothing to complain about, the new UI aside. I was pretty pissed that there was no classic theme.

I'm still pissed about Vista not having the XP style. That one was much nicer.

Re:Everything works for me (0, Offtopic)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 5 years ago | (#28805077)

I think that all Windows Vista users should get a free upgrade to Windows Vista 7.

Re:Everything works for me (2, Informative)

Haiyadragon (770036) | more than 5 years ago | (#28804995)

Have you tried DOSBox (http://www.dosbox.com/ [dosbox.com] )? It works quite well.

Re:Everything works for me (1)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 5 years ago | (#28805171)

I'm aware of that possibility. I did try to comment on the OS itself, though. It wouldn't be useful to comment on 7's ability to mount ext4 after installing special third-party drivers, after all, so I limited it to its native capabilities.

Re:Everything works for me (1)

yakumo.unr (833476) | more than 5 years ago | (#28805213)

Old dos games should definitely only be tried in something like dosbox, or scummvm (for those old adventure games) even in much earlier OS's.

Re:Everything works for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28804811)

But is it noticeably better/faster? And if not, what's the point to upgrade?

Re:Everything works for me (1)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 5 years ago | (#28804831)

Better sound implementation (less blue screens from bad drivers and better control over sound in each application), DX11, proper 64 bit (games are already hitting the 3.5gig limit and it'll only get worse with id's megatexture tech)

Re:Everything works for me (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28804937)

Unfortunately all of this is practically pointless. I cannot remember when I last had a bluescreen in XP or any reason to wish for a better sound implementation.

As for the new high-end tech:
There might be one or two games that will actually use DX11 or lots of memory ... some time in the future. However generally speaking, games won't use that. Just look at how many games actually use DX10 today. At best there are a few that have a seperate DX10 mode, that's it.

Game developers cannot afford to target such a small market segment; and Win7 + 64bit + >=4GB RAM + DX11 high-end graphics card will be a relatively small segment. Not to mention that almost all games are either developed for older hardware (indie, casual, etc.) to maximise market reach or for consoles with year old hardware, where the PC port is just a by-product.

Re:Everything works for me (1)

polar red (215081) | more than 5 years ago | (#28804949)

XP

HAH! 2000 is still working fine ...

Re:Everything works for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28805255)

My 3.11 for Workgroups still does everything I need

Re:Everything works for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28805069)

I think you would be surprised how big a slice you are actually talking about.
Every x86 processor on the market today is a 64bit processor and this has been the case for a long time now, before long it wont be economical to go for a memory size of less then 4 gb when buying RAM. Given that people playing non-causual games are the ones that upgrade their computers when they get too old, say once every 5 years or so (that's only a decent sized game project or 2 away) this will mean that it is worth targeting large memory systems fairly soon.
Having a 64bit build is also useful for the development of games because you don't have to worry about running out of address space before you have been able to optimise resources.

DX11 isn't just Windows 7 It will also work on vista. Another feature of DX11 is that you will be able to run DX11 applications using DX9 hardware, features that aren't supported by the hardware will be emulated. Any company worth its salt will just exclude those features from the particular LOD that is intended for DX9 class hardware if performance is too low.

Also, to the parent, megatextureing actually reduces memory usage because it is effectively virtual memory for textures. It only has in memory the bare minimum that is required to render the current screen. It will load only the pieces out of a "MegaTexture" tat are need and that means that it actually uses up less memory than if the scene was textured using the traditional method.

Re:Everything works for me (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28805091)

I cannot remember when I last had a bluescreen in XP or any reason to wish for a better sound implementation.

the sound implementation in Windows Vista and Windows 7 have one thing going for them over XP and older: You can now set and mix volumes at an application level. That gives you the option to quiet down or even silence a particularly annoying program altogether so irrelevant notification beeps won't interfere with a game you're playing or movie that you're watching. It can be surpisingly useful at times.

Re:Everything works for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28804835)

I don't know, if your car runs just fine, why buy a new one? (It's not /. without a car analogy of some kind)

It feels like it runs smoother, but I really can't say for sure without installing an identical system and compare it with XP.
Some things feels faster in Windows 7, but that COULD be because it's a fresh install, whereof my XP was a few years old.

So I can't give you a complete answer as to why you should upgrade. So don't, untill you feel you have to. If ever.

Re:Everything works for me (2, Informative)

smash (1351) | more than 5 years ago | (#28804907)

It is noticeably faster than Vista. Its SMP support and responsiveness (as opposed to throughput, which I have not measured or compared) vs even XP is markedly improved.

If you have a single core box with less than 2gb, XP is probably as fast or faster.

If you have multiple cores, plentty of RAM (its CHEAP now, so if not why not), 7 will be quicker. Especially if you have a half recent 3d card, in which case much of the GUI is offloaded to it and its video memory...

Moving forward, the benefits of 7 over XP (or vista) will only become more apparent.

Re:Everything works for me (1)

robthebloke (1308483) | more than 5 years ago | (#28805135)

Installed windows 7 on a 7 year old dual HT xeon with 1Gb ram, and it's absolutely fine (The machine is very old and uses RDRAM - that stuff's £180 per gig! So no, memory is not cheap!).

Re:Everything works for me (1)

Antidamage (1506489) | more than 5 years ago | (#28805039)

Games are definitely better performing under Windows 7. I'm unsure what the problem was in Vista, but I'm glad it has been fixed.

Re:Everything works for me (1)

robthebloke (1308483) | more than 5 years ago | (#28805107)

It's faster than Vista to be sure. I got given a 7 year old Dual Xeon workstation (with all manner of esoteric hardware), and could only find XP drivers for anything. I partitioned up the drives, and installed XP/Vista/7 side by side to see which would be the best option. I was surprised to see that vista and 7 installed fine (Albeit after a lot of fighting with BIOS settings to get the raid controllers to register, but then there are 3 of them in the machine! ).

Anyhow, since I had all 3 os's cleanly installed, i ran a few benchmarks to see how it would perform. Well, the results told me something I already knew: vista's crap. Across the board it's noticeably slower than the XP/7, in some cases up to 30% slower. XP and 7 perform similarly, however 7 is a far nicer user experience (though it does take a week or two to get used to it).

If you have to use windows, then windows 7 is definitely the version to go for.... (and yes it works on crap hardware).

Re:Everything works for me (1)

robthebloke (1308483) | more than 5 years ago | (#28805109)

* I should mention that all of the windows XP drivers installed and worked fine under windows7, much to my amazement....

Re:Everything works for me (1, Redundant)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 5 years ago | (#28804837)

Creative cards working yet? I'd heard vista lacked any decent hardware sound support, effectivelly rendering headphone gaming with X-fi cards impossible.

Also I don't buy their statistics. According to the latest steam hardware survey data released (June 2007) 60% of all surveyed systems were using winXP still, even a year after win7's launch unless it manages to actually outperform XP I don't see that changing anytime soon.

Re:Everything works for me (2, Informative)

smash (1351) | more than 5 years ago | (#28804919)

I've been running Vista 64 on an X-fi since 2007. I have zero issues. Ditto since I've upgraded to the RC.

Re:Everything works for me (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 5 years ago | (#28804973)

Steam reported my Windows 7 Beta system as Windows XP for a long time.

Re:Everything works for me (1)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 5 years ago | (#28805195)

I wonder if anyone at MS has considered altering XP just enough to make it DX10/11 compatible and 64bit and then calling it a new operating system.

Re:Everything works for me (1, Insightful)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#28804847)

Even Starcraft, which is very aged game, worked just fine.

The latest patch is dated Jan 22, 2009. I don't think that makes it "aged".

Re:Everything works for me (1)

smash (1351) | more than 5 years ago | (#28804893)

Same here. Well, with a small caveat. A couple of games that worked on vista do not work on 7 RC. namely (from my collection) : Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines, and Neverwinter Nights 2.

NWN2 barfs with a DirectX error (some missing string), No idea why VTMB dies (black screen, can only kill with ctrl+alt+del). Apparently the NWN2 problem is fixed in a build more recent than 7100, not sure about vampire.

But on the whole, if it works on Vista (and really, the jump from 98 to XP broke HEAPS more games than the jump from XP to Vista does), it will most likely work just fine on 7.

Re:Everything works for me (1)

JohnBailey (1092697) | more than 5 years ago | (#28805133)

NWN2 barfs with a DirectX error (some missing string), No idea why VTMB dies (black screen, can only kill with ctrl+alt+del). Apparently the NWN2 problem is fixed in a build more recent than 7100, not sure about vampire.

There is a fix on the NWN forums that works. It involves changing a DirectX file for an older version. Seems there is something different that thh RC does that NWN 2 doesn't like. Works fine now though, and the release version will no doubt be updated to use the ordinary DX setup. Obsidian just decided to not to waste time supporting what is essentially a beta OS, and are waiting for the actual release.

Re:Everything works for me (1)

woutersimons_com (1602459) | more than 5 years ago | (#28804921)

On the RC, my games worked just fine. The thing that I found very convenient is that the NVidia drivers are bundled with auto updates. It was very easy and fast to get the graphics card in my laptop to work right. Windows 7 was not very exciting to test, but that, to me, was a good thing. I installed it as a secondary OS and it just worked. It appeared to be a tad faster (although of course there was less clutter than in my original Vista installation) and has a clean look and feel. Also, it is good that installing windows live is optional. I had no use for it.

Re:Everything works for me (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28804935)

Not to sound like there's no pleasing me, but think of all the cruft they had to leave in there to make sure they didn't break old stuff - which was probably coded to depend on bugs and warts in previous versions of Windows.

Sometimes purposefully breaking shit is the only way to make the whole scene move forward. Apple had it when they moved to OSX and happened with Linux at various points (e.g., the libc/glibc wars). Only Microsoft clearly have a lot more to lose by pissing off their user base. (I think the US DOJ even considered an investigation when XP SP2 broke their toys.)

Re:Everything works for me (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 5 years ago | (#28804967)

Indeed, I'm loathed to admit it, but Windows 7 is great for gaming.

Out of the box, my graphics card, sounds card, motherboard controllers, etc were found by the OS, my CPU wasn't... but the "find drivers online" stuff worked. The graphics drivers worked flawlessly without the actual drivers being downloaded from Nvidia, I did grab them though for the control panel.

TF2 runs great, apart from the odd glitch (though I suspect that's an issue with Steam/HL2 rather than 7). Other games run smooth, so it seems like a hit.

Re:Everything works for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28805017)

The only problems I had was with Aion CB. GameGuard sucks as always. I fixed it with some unofficial patch.

Re:Everything works for me (1)

Antidamage (1506489) | more than 5 years ago | (#28805027)

I was surprised to find some old games that absolutely will not run on Vista ran on Windows 7, Etherlords II being my favourite game to come alive again.

Re:Everything works for me (1)

KingOfGod (884633) | more than 5 years ago | (#28805047)

Same here. I dusted off my old gaming computer from 2006 to play games and try out this new-fangled "Windows" thing. All games work perfectly. Currently I have Spore, L4D, GTA: SA, the usual Steam/Valve suspects (hl1 and hl2 engines) and Bioshock.
This is the first Windows I'd rather pay for than pirate.

Re:Everything works for me (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#28805231)

It would be interesting to see how these games run on a bunch of different peoples computers. Just as Linux works great for some people and for others it has a huge array of annoying glitches. I personally never hated Vista that much and it actually ran quite well on a MacBook Pro. Also when Vista was first released we have a lot of what we are having now a bunch of mostly good reviews of the system. Lets wait and see what real life will bring. When it is finally tested in eMachienes and Compaqs and Low end Dells... All those PC that windows beta tester would never run.

Window's ain't done (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28804785)

...until Ubuntu won't run!

Works like a charm... and is available earlier... (2, Informative)

thona (556334) | more than 5 years ago | (#28804797)

First, it is August 6th/7th for some of us. Only people without MSDN etc. wait till October ;) Second, "it just works". Pretty well acutally ;) I like it a lot more than Vista. Using RC1 right now in the important systems already ;)

Performance increase... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28804849)

I installed the Windows 7 RC pretty much straight off, I didn't jump on the Vista bandwagon, I stuck with XP for a few reasons.

1) Cost
2) Gaming Performance
3) I had no need for DX10

Anyways, What I found in 7 was that gaming performance in about 70-80% of my games had improved, even on very early drivers.

Crysis was up by on average 30fps
Source games had an improvement of about 15fps
Unreal Engine games had little improvement, about 2-3fps

So far I'm very impressed with 7.

Re:Performance increase... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28804963)

That could have easily been the fresh-install effect. I did something comparable to a friend's PC: it was running a year old install of Windows. After some minor "throwing out the useless crap" the whole system ran faster. Imagine what a newly installed Windows could have achieved.

Windows gets slower and consumes more memory the longer you run it.

Re:Performance increase... (1)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 5 years ago | (#28805081)

Are there any studies about this phenonemon. What causes the slowdown?

Re:Performance increase... (0, Flamebait)

HateBreeder (656491) | more than 5 years ago | (#28805117)

It's called the stupid user effect:

Over time, a stupid user accumulates endless numbers of applications simultaneously running and residing in his system tray - all consuming memory and CPU cycles. Eventually he runs out of resources and things naturally slow down.

Knowledgeable users don't have this problem.

Re:Performance increase... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28805235)

It wasn't related to 'the slowdown effect'. I compared both OSes installed from fresh after a full format.

PC gaming is dead. (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28804863)

Diablo3 and Starcraft2 will probably be the last two major PC game titles. Everyone else has already moved on to consoles, so it really doesn't matter if Windows 7 has better gaming performance unless it can directly play xbox games.

Microsoft worked very hard to kill off the PC as a gaming platform. It was clearly a strategic decision; they wanted people to use the xbox instead of the PC. By now we've lost an entire hardware generation of PC games because DX10 was Vista-only, and the studios knew that very few people would use Vista for gaming, so nearly all switched to console games or went under. I doubt many studios are going to risk releasing a new game for Windows 7, even if it's the bee's knees.

Consoles cost less than PCs. Consoles don't have varying technical specs like PCs. Consoles have DRM and make it easier to sell downloadable content. Etc. Etc.

Re:PC gaming is dead. (2, Interesting)

smash (1351) | more than 5 years ago | (#28804913)

Pfft. Until there's a decent RPG or flight sim, consoles have nothing for me.

Re:PC gaming is dead. (4, Interesting)

kno3 (1327725) | more than 5 years ago | (#28804927)

I don't agree. Demand for PC games is still very high, and although they may not be coming out at the same time, PC versions of games are still coming out in decent numbers. There are also plenty of titles that are released exclusively on PC, like Crysis.

Also most hardcore gamers with the will to get the best out of their system use Vista64. There are just so many advantages, like DX10, proper 64bit support, better multi-core support, etc... I use Vista and have appsolutely no problems with it. You just have to set it up correctly, get rid of the stupid theme and animations, and disable things like the UAC and you have a brilliant OS with basically no drawbacks compared to XP (on a recent computer). And I'm not a M$ lover, I use Ubuntu for a lot of my desktop work.

Also, PCs have DRM too, its bloody irritating!

Re:PC gaming is dead. (1)

VulpesFoxnik (1493687) | more than 5 years ago | (#28805033)

UAC is one of the brilliant features to Vista. You should not disable it.... nor should you be running in administrator mode. You, as a linux user, should know better.

Re:PC gaming is dead. (1)

upuv (1201447) | more than 5 years ago | (#28805041)

UAC only exists because almost everything on a Windows box at some point requires super user powers.

As a UNIX user that is not the case. So yes us UNIX users do know better.

Re:PC gaming is dead. (1)

robthebloke (1308483) | more than 5 years ago | (#28805151)

UAC in vista sucks, and then vista continues to moan at you if you turn it off. I understand the reasoning behind it, however in vista it's just an annoying pita that won't go away. It's so much better in windows 7, with it's nice "how much of a retarded computer user are you" slider, and the simple fact it doesn't bug you for turning it off.

Re:PC gaming is dead. (1)

Spad (470073) | more than 5 years ago | (#28804977)

I guess it'll have to join BSD, mice & keyboards, desktop PCs, email and all the other things that we're always been told are dead & buried; to be inevitably replaced by something newer and shinier.

The 360 is hardly a sales giant - its top selling game is Halo 3 at a mere 8 million copies. The Sims 2 expansion packs sell almost that many on their own. The original SMB has sold over 40 million copies. The PS3's top seller clocks in at less than 3.5 million copies.

Interestingly, of the Top 20 highest selling console games ever, Microsoft don't have a single title for the XBox or 360. Sony only have 3 (Gran Tourismo 3, Gran Tourismo & GTA: San Andreas). Every other game is for a Nintendo console or handheld.

Re:PC gaming is dead. (1)

Spewns (1599743) | more than 5 years ago | (#28804985)

Diablo3 and Starcraft2 will probably be the last two major PC game titles.

...at least until whatever Blizzard decides to release after that, I'd imagine, considering their games are pretty much the cream of the crop. I haven't heard of them moving to consoles. (If I remember right, StarCraft: Ghost [wikipedia.org] was their only pure console attempt at a game, and it turned out to be vaporware.)

Re:PC gaming is dead. (1)

upuv (1201447) | more than 5 years ago | (#28805009)

PC Gaming is dead?

Not bloody likely when it is a billion dollar industry.

Your statement doesn't bare up to the dollar facts.

I'd take .1 % of that business thank you very much.

Re:PC gaming is dead. (1)

robthebloke (1308483) | more than 5 years ago | (#28805157)

Not bloody likely when it is a billion dollar industry.

[citation needed]

Re:PC gaming is dead. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28805207)

Microsoft worked very hard to kill off the PC as a gaming platform

That would be funny because as the gaming industry moves on, more people are questioning the value of a Microsoft operating system at their homes. The next generation will be open to using any operating system and environment satisfying their needs.

Re:PC gaming is dead. (3, Interesting)

asdf7890 (1518587) | more than 5 years ago | (#28805247)

Diablo3 and Starcraft2 will probably be the last two major PC game titles.

I'm guessing the people at Valve and a number other studios that we could mention would disagree with you there.

Microsoft worked very hard to kill off the PC as a gaming platform. It was clearly a strategic decision; they wanted people to use the xbox instead of the PC.

I don't think MS wants to kill of Windows gaming really. Many game makers would like to, because it is easier to manage their rights at the expense of the users on consoles. I'd say MS's position with the xbox family is more making sure they get a share of the console market pie rather than wanting to push people that way themselves.

What is the difference to MS between me having bought bioshock for the PC and Karl having bough it for the xbox? In both cases MS have had money from the user directly (a windows license or the console) and from the game producer (in terms of SDK/support sales and licenses to use relevant logos on packaging), and in both cases none of that income is going to Sony or Nintendo.

Consoles cost less than PCs.

As someone that has always owned a reasonable PC for other reasons that "console are cheaper" has never worked out that way for me. Paying an extra 50 quid for a better graphics card than I'd otherwise have is cheaper than plumping down 200+ for a console and from what I've seen a given PC game is cheaper than the console equivalent more often than the other way around (especially a while after release). OK, so that extra for the graphics card is not a one off as I'll probably upgrade my 18ish month old 3850 at some point in the next year but buying a console isn't a one-of either given how many new controllers and other add-ons I've seen my cousins nag their mum into buying because some games aren't as good (or just plain don't work) with the standard ones.

Consoles don't have varying technical specs like PCs. Consoles have DRM and make it easier to sell downloadable content. Etc. Etc.

Those points I can agree with and they can make console much more attractive to game developers, but in an ideal world these shouldn't be my problem as an end-user. Of course the variation of PC hardware can be an advantage - if you make a game for a fixed spec (i.e. a console) there is a limit to how far you can push things, but in the PC world you can push the boundaries for the benefit of high-sec kit as long as you make sure the game is playable and looks good enough on more common configurations.

In Windows 7... (1)

upto0013 (1144677) | more than 5 years ago | (#28804887)

In Windows 7, games play you.

DX9 vs DX10 / 11 (2, Interesting)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 5 years ago | (#28804891)

Until you have the hardware to run DX10 in full details (i7 CPU) what is the point in having a DX10 OS?

I still have problems with my overclocked dual core at 3.3Ghz to run all the DX9 games at full details at 60FPS.

And XP is usually faster for DX9 games then Vista or Win7 is.

So, until I can get an overclocked i7 at 4.0Ghz I'll stick to DX9 and WinXP. Since why overclock to gain FPS and lose them with Vista / Win7?

This is for games, so please M$ lovers don't bash me. And no I don't play games below 50FPS, this is why GTA 4 is waiting for a new system.

Re:DX9 vs DX10 / 11 (2, Interesting)

smash (1351) | more than 5 years ago | (#28804929)

DX10 isn't the only reason to upgrade. SMP performance and general responsiveness is massively improved in 7 due to a better scheduler.

And XP is usually faster for DX9 games then Vista or Win7 is.

Source? Doesn't match my experience, other people are reporting significant *improvements* in frame-rate when comparing XP and 7.

Re:DX9 vs DX10 / 11 (1)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 5 years ago | (#28805043)

Source: Google XP, Vista, Win7 DX9

Re:DX9 vs DX10 / 11 (1)

Renegrade (698801) | more than 5 years ago | (#28805059)

>DX10 isn't the only reason to upgrade. SMP performance and general responsiveness is massively improved in 7 due to a better scheduler.

Sorry, no.

Win XP(NT 5.1) is better at multithreaded loads than Vista (NT 6). If you check out this thread, you'll notice in the graphs that SupCom is faster on NT 5.1 without MadBoris's optimization tool than NT 6 is WITH it. The tool statically assigns threads to cores, resulting in improvements for both OSes, suggesting that the scheduling in both is poor, with NT 6's being the poorer of the two: http://forums.gaspowered.com/viewtopic.php?p=173631#173631 [gaspowered.com]

Re:DX9 vs DX10 / 11 (1)

Renegrade (698801) | more than 5 years ago | (#28805131)

Also, Microsoft changed the way hardware acceleration works for GDI as well:

http://blogs.msdn.com/greg_schechter/archive/2006/03/10/549310.aspx [msdn.com]

So while NT6/7 may appear faster when you drag a solid-outline window around (Booyeah! It has AmigaDOS 2.0 features (smart windows) in it! those were CUTTING EDGE in 1989!), actual window redraws are slower. Well, on equivalent hardware. Admittedly my T7500 laptop with 2 gigs of RAM and an underclocked 8600GS with XP/NT5.1 is the same speed as my i7 with 12 gigs of RAM and GTS250 running RC1 of NT7, but that's hardly equivalent hardware.

Granted not many games use GDI...

Re:DX9 vs DX10 / 11 (1)

catxk (1086945) | more than 5 years ago | (#28804933)

Just a heads up: the graphic card might have something to do with performance in 3D games. Just a heads up.

Re:DX9 vs DX10 / 11 (1)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 5 years ago | (#28805029)

Explain this to my CPU when he is at 100%.

Re:DX9 vs DX10 / 11 (4, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 5 years ago | (#28804983)

Uhhhhmmmm, why do you need a super duper CPU to run DX10? That is the job of the GPU. Trying to improve your video with a CPU upgrade is a lost cause. If you're using onboard video that uses shared system memory, you never see video performance.

http://www.microsoft.com/games/en-US/AboutGFW/Pages/DirectX10-a.aspx [microsoft.com]

Simply put, DirectX is a Windows technology that enables higher performance in graphics and sound when you're playing games or watching video on your PC.

At the core of DirectX are its application programming interfaces, or APIs. The APIs act as a kind of bridge for the hardware and the software to "talk" to each other. The DirectX APIs gives multimedia applications access to the advanced features of high-performance hardware such as three-dimensional (3-D) graphics acceleration chips and sound cards. They control low-level functions, including two-dimensional (2-D) graphics acceleration; support for input devices such as joysticks, keyboards, and mice; and control of sound mixing and sound output.

Because of DirectX, what you experience with your computer is better 3-D graphics and immersive music and audio effects.

Re:DX9 vs DX10 / 11 (5, Insightful)

ShooterNeo (555040) | more than 5 years ago | (#28805049)

Actually, the OP is correct. Modern games with a recent graphics card are bottlenecked by the CPU. Specifically, GTA 4 needs a monstrously powerful CPU in order for the engine to draw the city at a decent framerate. This is probably a result of poor programming by the folks that ported the game, but in any case you need a beefy CPU to enjoy GTA4.

Re:DX9 vs DX10 / 11 (1)

agrif (960591) | more than 5 years ago | (#28805093)

DX10 added some features, if I recall correctly, that can be implemented on most graphics cards without adding much stress at all to the CPU. Off the top of my head, I can only think of Geometry Shaders, but I'm sure a quick Google search would find some more. These were possible before, but making it part of DX proper made it more accessable to programmers and more likely to be well implemented on the hardware

There are in fact some visual improvements to be had when switching from DX9 to DX10 without increasing CPU load. At least, as long as programmers are on the ball.

Re:DX9 vs DX10 / 11 (2, Informative)

robthebloke (1308483) | more than 5 years ago | (#28805165)

You don't need DX10 hardware to run windows 7, nor do you need DX10 to run aero (will work on DX9 hardware, though I've not tried anything lower than that). Try putting Windows7 on your 3.3Ghz machine, and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised....

Re:DX9 vs DX10 / 11 (1)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 5 years ago | (#28805193)

Win7 is still not out and I don't waste time with beta OS.

I'll try it when SP1 comes out. Hopefully by I'll have a better CPU.

Does it matter, its all DirectX (4, Interesting)

physburn (1095481) | more than 5 years ago | (#28804911)

Don't Windows games almost entirely run upon the DirectX layer, so it doesn't much matter what the window version is under that. Just as long as it stable and Windows 7 promises to be much stabler, at least thats what microsoft say. Knowing microsoft it would probably take until the service release before it actually stable.

---

3D Shooter Games [feeddistiller.com] Feed @ Feed Distiller [feeddistiller.com]

Re:Does it matter, its all DirectX (4, Informative)

smash (1351) | more than 5 years ago | (#28804931)

DX is only part of the platform. DX doesn't cover stuff like file access, memory management, processor scheduling, etc...

Re:Does it matter, its all DirectX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28805021)

By the way, "3D Shooter Games" gives a 404. Just thought you might want to know...

Re:Does it matter, its all DirectX (2, Informative)

SplashMyBandit (1543257) | more than 5 years ago | (#28805189)

DirectX versions don't perfect compatibility so it is not as simple as that. The reason versions of DirectX make incompatible changes due to different uses of the API and also different hardware (DirectX is closer to the hardware than OpenGL). For example, nearly all recent hardware have programmable pixel and vertex shaders and this is reflected in DirectX9, but DirectX 10 has support for geometry shaders. A program written to use these newer features cannot be used on systems running older versions of DirectX, even if the hardware supports it (no real surprise there). Even newer versions of DirectX eventually lose backwards-compatibility as support is dropped for outmoded ways of doing things.

Even OpenGL (which has vastly better forward and backwards compatibility than DirectX) suffers from this to some extent. For example, the ancient indexed colour mode is not supported on some newer implementations - although only many it can still be used but it is just slow (implemented in software). In general, OpenGL programming models have better longevity and stability than DirectX (and possibly the best of any widely used API). The downside to this increased stability/good compatibility between versions is that features are adopted at a slower pace than for DirectX (although OpenGL extensions are developed at a rapid rate).

IMHO, if you need graphics you should use OpenGL instead of DirectX these days (JoGL under Java is an easy way to use OpenGL). They have approximate feature parity and similar programming models (the types of shaders), but OpenGL has the advantage of working on Windows AND everything else (all those iPhones and Playstations and Macs and Linux and Solaris boxen).

Yes, but is it anywhere near secure? (-1, Troll)

cheros (223479) | more than 5 years ago | (#28804953)

It's going to be pointless to have a blazing system if you end up having it saturated with virus infections in a week - or suffer the slowdown of an anti-virus scanner..

Just wondering..

Re:Yes, but is it anywhere near secure? (1)

Mascot (120795) | more than 5 years ago | (#28805007)

Only a handful of (horrible) anti-virus packages cause any measurable slowdown these days. Not to mention that if you have a somewhat functional brain, you don't really need one.

I can't remember any time my anti-virus has detected something I didn't already know was there and had no intention of doing anything with but delete already. Since AV is free though, I don't see a reason not to run one.

I'll do my own speculations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28804979)

"Or at least, Windows 7 should be roughly comparable upon launch this fall to where Vista is today, not where Vista was during its first year. We won't know for sure until we can test a whole bunch of old games on the actual final code release of Win7."

How can you discuss the plusses and minus based on pure speculation and still expect to produce an informative article? Nothing to see here IMO, I'll do my own speculations.

And if the overal conclusion is that Windows7 is as fast as Vista I'll stick to XP to play games. Or my PS3 which I personally consider a better platform for gaming.

Vista left me with a 3rd degree burn (2, Interesting)

upuv (1201447) | more than 5 years ago | (#28804987)

As an IT prof now for many years I felt it was my obligation to be one of the first on Vista. To stay on top of the current trends.

Well needless to say. Vista was an absolutely miserable failure on every front. It was advertised as being able to run on machines it point blank couldn't. I couldn't run it on top end XP machines because the drivers simply didn't exist. The user experience was an absolute nightmare, I still have nightmares with UAC pop-ups in them. The x64 version was worse than the 32 bit, it should have been better than... Last but not least the Ultimate Edition was the ultimate rip off.

I'm not going through that again. I see lots of hype around Win 7. I saw it with Vista as well. I see a truck load of promises. Saw them back then too. I just can't believe all the hype. What's the phrase. "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." or something to that effect.

For me to use win 7 with in a year of launch will be extremely unlikely. I just can't see a compelling reason why I need too. Even gaming. There will not be a decent game out that will not be compatible with prior OS for well over a year. For me to need to use win 7 in the office is even more unlikely. The odds of me recommending Windows anything for the Enterprise is ZERO.

The burn that VISTA left with me is tragic. I'm sorry MS but there are a lot of people in my shoes that feel the same way.

Re:Vista left me with a 3rd degree burn (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28805053)

Get over yourself? It's an OS, not a relationship!
What's wrong with trying it out, and if you don't like it, installing another? You might like it, you know? You make it sound like there's no turning back.
Installing an OS you don't like and sticking with it, getting nightmares and "3rd degree burns"? Shame on you.

Re:Vista left me with a 3rd degree burn (1)

upuv (1201447) | more than 5 years ago | (#28805061)

metaphor

Re:Vista left me with a 3rd degree burn (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28805079)

Metaphor or no metaphor, it's still pathetic.

Re:Vista left me with a 3rd degree burn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28805183)

As an IT professional it's your job to evaluate this stuff instead of sticking your head in the sand. Your posts in this thread have been somewhat lacking in any factual basis.

Re:Vista left me with a 3rd degree burn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28805199)

Maybe you should be a responsible "IT prof" and upgrade your company's hardware once every 15 years, and you'd have almost no issues with Vista. It's not perfect, but if you aren't trying to run it on a computer from the 80s like you seem to be doing, you'd have far less problems.

Ok, so windows does have its fanbois too (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28805011)

The piece still left me somewhat queasy. Especially the bit that said "if you have hardware older than 4 years, just spend $800 and you're good again" is real slick, of course. Yes, that way windows 7 will have no performance problems, no sweat.

Re:Ok, so windows does have its fanbois too (1, Redundant)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 5 years ago | (#28805089)

Also called astroturfing.

Punkbuster is broken right now (1)

Jay Tarbox (48535) | more than 5 years ago | (#28805111)

So one cannot play BF 2 or 2142 for more than a few seconds before being booted. Hopefully with the RTM out they'll update it now.

Win 7 experiance with games (1)

moodel (614846) | more than 5 years ago | (#28805121)

I've been using Win 7 RC1 for about 2 months and I have a wide variety of games installed. All of them perform better than when I was using them on Vista. I can confirm that all the major MMO's and FPS games from the past 6 yrs work fine without any issues and most if not all of them have performance gains :D

As opposed to last time (1)

Idaho (12907) | more than 5 years ago | (#28805237)

Plus, the hardware makers -- especially the graphics guys -- are on top of the changes this time around.

Translation: as opposed to last time, when our beloved DRM overlords were firmly in control.

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