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Microsoft Reboots Two Classic PC Games

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the what's-old-is-new dept.

Classic Games (Games) 275

An anonymous reader writes "Ever since it launched the Xbox, Microsoft has had a fickle relationship with Windows as a gaming platform. On one hand PC gaming is a major driver of hardware and operating system sales, but on the other hand the PC is inherently less secure than the Xbox console, with piracy much more likely to impact sales of a PC title than a console one. Games for Windows Live has been an attempt to bring some of the success of Xbox Live to the PC, and while many games have shipped with support for Games for Windows Live, it hasn't exactly been a favorite of PC gamers. After all these half-hearted efforts, the last thing anyone expected was for Microsoft to announce new PC-only reboots of two classic game franchises, Flight Simulator and Age of Empires. But yesterday it did just that, announcing a massively multiplayer version of Age of Empires and a new Flight Simulator called Flight. The big question is whether Microsoft can make Games For Windows Live relevant in a market where Steam has taken hold, or if it's too late."

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What about Hearts, Freecell and Minesweeper? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33299088)

I'd like to see them reboot that, it's been the same game now for what? 15 years? Time to start anew

Re:What about Hearts, Freecell and Minesweeper? (4, Informative)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299140)

Actually Minesweeper has been part of Windows since it was released in 1990's "Microsoft Entertainment Pack" and Hearts was included in 1992's Windows for Workgroups 3.1 as a demonstration of the "for Workgroups" part of the name.

So that's 20 years for Minesweeper and 18 years for Hearts. I don't know when Freecell was first released. It was part of win32s, but I can't find out when the first version of that thing shipped.

Re:What about Hearts, Freecell and Minesweeper? (2, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299320)

So that's 20 years for Minesweeper and 18 years for Hearts. I don't know when Freecell was first released. It was part of win32s, but I can't find out when the first version of that thing shipped.

A little bit of digging shows it was later included in the Entertainment Pack 2 which was released in 1991 according to Microsoft's support lifecycle pages. It could not have been earlier than 1990 since that's when Windows 3.0 came out so 19-20 years old. Since it missed EP1, probably 19. And I can't really believe I bothered to go looking.

Re:What about Hearts, Freecell and Minesweeper? (1)

kevinmenzel (1403457) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299360)

Only not actually 20 years for any of them, as they all got remade for Vista, and thus the versions now in Windows are entirely different than those launched 20 years ago, or 19 years ago, and have been for quite some time. Those of you still on XP can, I think, even find places to download the new versions which have been stripped of compatibility checks. The new apps use WPF to achieve a certain level of resolution independence as well, so they look quite nice on larger screens...

Re:What about Hearts, Freecell and Minesweeper? (4, Funny)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299438)

And I can't really believe I bothered to go looking.

I win.

GFWL, no thanks (4, Informative)

cbope (130292) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299112)

As long as it's attached to GFWL, no thanks. GFWL is such a piece of shit I will not have anything to do with games that require it. If you want me to buy your game, do not tie it to GFWL. It is unstable and a huge pain in the ass to deal with. MS should fire the management that came up with it; it does not in any way help Windows as a game platform.

Re:GFWL, no thanks (4, Informative)

EvilIdler (21087) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299186)

To pile up on the hatred: Live accounts will also occasionally expire. Accounts tied to purchases. Fuck MS.

Re:GFWL, no thanks (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33299262)

Try using your Xbox gamer tag account then

Re:GFWL, no thanks (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33299476)

Console Wenie some of us use a REAL gaming system to play games. Not some box with A B X Y and a toggle.

Re:GFWL, no thanks (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33299836)

I think they fixed that years ago, it was due to the passport account expiring due to over a year of inactivity or similar.

Re:GFWL, no thanks (4, Interesting)

Xian97 (714198) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299194)

The only game I have tried through Games for Windows Live is Warhammer 40K Dawn of War II and it has yet to ever be able to connect - it always returns error 0x81051911. The troubleshooting steps Microsoft has you go through include everything from port forwarding a half dozen ports to resetting your TCP/IP stack, yet I can play any other online game with no issues, including connecting to X-Box Live on my sons console. GFWL is a POS and I won't buy any other game that requires it.

Re:GFWL, no thanks (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299504)

The only game I have tried through Games for Windows Live is Warhammer 40K Dawn of War II and it has yet to ever be able to connect - it always returns error 0x81051911. The troubleshooting steps Microsoft has you go through include everything from port forwarding a half dozen ports to resetting your TCP/IP stack.

That's not troubleshooting. Troubleshooting is when you log exactly what's going on, dig through the logs, work out what the error is and then propose a solution based upon that. Or, if you personally aren't equipped to do that, the system provides some means for you to submit the logs to someone who is.

What you're describing is "Choose a random item from a list of half-a-dozen or so things which seem to make some sort of sense based on the error code, try it, lather rinse and repeat until success. If no success, think about what else might make sense (or - more likely seeing as relatively few people have full source access and even fewer really understand all the things that are likely to be going on - make wild guesses)".

Re:GFWL, no thanks (3, Informative)

fprintf (82740) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299648)

Your technical notion of troubleshooting is entirely much more complicated than the consumer/user version of troubleshooting. What you described as "choose a random item from a list" is exactly what MS and any other consumer company label as troubleshooting. Look in the back of many device manuals and you will see a section labeled "troubleshooting" where it gives a description of the problem and a list of things to do/try.

Re:GFWL, no thanks (1)

imakemusic (1164993) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299682)

Same here though the game was GTA4. Not sure if it was the same error message but I never managed to get it to work.

Re:GFWL, no thanks (4, Interesting)

YojimboJango (978350) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299814)

The only game I have tried through Games for Windows Live is Warhammer 40K Dawn of War II and it has yet to ever be able to connect - it always returns error 0x81051911. The troubleshooting steps Microsoft has you go through include everything from port forwarding a half dozen ports to resetting your TCP/IP stack, yet I can play any other online game with no issues, including connecting to X-Box Live on my sons console. GFWL is a POS and I won't buy any other game that requires it.

Believe it or not I bought Bioshock 2 through steam, and it still required GFWL. I had to go through all that and more just to be able to save my progress in the game. Included in this mess is having to type in a CD Key twice for a digitally downloaded game (once to install the game, and once to tie it to my GFWL account).

Never again. Ever. YMMV, but all two games I've ever purchased that required GFWL have required googling for a solution to their DRM hassles to get the single player up and running. Never ever again.

Re:GFWL, no thanks (5, Insightful)

Spad (470073) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299238)

What's that? You want me to register for a GFWL account and sign in every time I load the game just so I can play in single player? Good luck with that.

Yes, I know, you can create offline accounts, but you still have to create them and sign in just to play single player and yes, I know Blizzard have done the same thing with Starcraft II & Battle.net and they're fuckers for doing it too.

Re:GFWL, no thanks (4, Insightful)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299254)

Don't forget about all Steam games.
Or the recent Bioware games.

Re:GFWL, no thanks (2, Insightful)

CeruleanDragon (101334) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299318)

I don't know what Bioware's up to, but I think Steam is different... since you're buying the game from them and getting it download-only, setting up an account is less invasive, since you had to do it to make the purchase to begin with. GFWL games require you to setup an account and login every time you play for a game you purchased in a box at the store. To that I disagree wholeheartedly. If I buy something at the store it's mine and unless it's something like WoW, I do not want to have to sign up with anything when I get home with it, I just want to jump in and play. If the game offers online gameplay against friends, then the worst I would hope I'd have to do is create a username. That's all.

On the other hand, does GFWL not allow an auto-login feature? When I double click a Steam-based game icon I get a brief, "Logging you in" screen and then on with the game. Unless I'm not online in which case it's not as brief and eventually changes to, "You are offline, loading the game anyway, 'cause we love you like that" screen. Which is ok, as long as it gets into the game.

Re:GFWL, no thanks (3, Informative)

naz404 (1282810) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299470)

The new version of GFWL can run in offline mode which is a welcome change for those with flaky internet connections. That being said, it's still irritating and its only use is to record GFWL achievements in single player games.

Re:GFWL, no thanks (2, Informative)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299550)

I don't know what Bioware's up to, but I think Steam is different... since you're buying the game from them and getting it download-only
IIRC half life 2 (and I think other valve games too) requires you to sign up to steam and activate and your copy through it (and IIRC the activation process involves a forced update to the latest version of the game) even if you bought your game as a boxed copy.

Re:GFWL, no thanks (2, Informative)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299602)

Bioware/EA also offers download only versions of the games. Steam games can also be bough as "normal" retail versions, but still require Steam. When you bought a retail Steam game (like: Just Cause 2, Borderlands, Mafia 2, Half Life 2, etc.) you will have to through the additional hassle to set up an account. For Steam games you also have to log in every time you want to play a game.

GFWL does have an auto login feature. GFWL doesn't require logging in or being online, it depends on the games. Most GFWL games I played didn't require being online, or to register you product online. You just had to create a GFWL profile (which was only stored on your system). These games are: Gears of War, Fallout 3, Batman: Arkham Asylum. For Fallout 3 you can also get rid of GFWL completely, can be done by simply installing the patch directly from Bethesda.

But yes, GFWL is quite an POS. It fails to log in often, or takes a long time, sometimes forgets the saved credentials. Installing patches through GFWL are a real PITA. Newer versions of GFWL broke older games, which then needed a patch, a patch you could only install from within the GFWL interface of the running game (chicked-egg, hurray).

Re:GFWL, no thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33299746)

My GFWL does auto-login or at least it did last time I (tried) to play a game associated with GFWL.

I agree that GFWL is a pile of crap. The number of games that use it that then don't work properly on 64 bit versions of Windows because MS can't write software that works with their own operating system is stupid. I've gotten to the point now where I check if a game uses GFWL and if it does I don't buy it.

Steam has always worked for me including working pretty well through wine. Now they've got the Mac version and are porting games over as well I'd say Steam has basically won.

Re:GFWL, no thanks (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299328)

Or the recent Bioware games.

Huh? Both Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age shipped with only a disc check; no online activation at all, let alone each time you want to play. (At least if you bought the DVD version; I don't know how the online versions work.)

Re:GFWL, no thanks (1)

Zarhan (415465) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299358)

Huh? Both Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age shipped with only a disc check; no online activation at all, let alone each time you want to play. (At least if you bought the DVD version; I don't know how the online versions work.)

You still needed to register to get the stuff from Cerberus Network and whatever bonus content you got with Dragon Age.

Re:GFWL, no thanks (2, Insightful)

Spad (470073) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299378)

Registering * Signing In to get Bonus Content is *not* the same a having to do so just to play the game.

Re:GFWL, no thanks (2, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299364)

Huh? Both Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age shipped with only a disc check; no online activation at all,

I believe for Dragon Age you get some additional shit if you bought any of the DLC. Which I didn't, so... Great game, looking forward to DA2 but give the fucking in-game DLC peddlers a dollar sign instead of the usual exclamation mark. I'd ask for an option to completely get rid of them, but I know I won't get it.

Re:GFWL, no thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33299368)

My Steam has auto-sign-in and has never been any hassle at all.

Re:GFWL, no thanks (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299622)

Fallout 3 and Bioshock 2. I bought both on Steam, both use Windows Live, so I have to log into both to play them. Love both games, I freaking hate Windows live. It told me I already had an account on Windows Live, and getting it to work the first time was a bitch. Now it just works, but I don't care for MS tracking my gaming. Gabe and Steam I worry a little less with.

Re:GFWL, no thanks (1)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299696)

I'm not sure what people always have with Steam...I can circumvent Steam and play all games without logging into Steam first, so *real* offline playing here I come. But it's possible that the games itself have further DRM systems which won't allow you that...but that's not the problem of Steam/Valve, that's a problem with the companies which are doing it.

Re:GFWL, no thanks (2, Informative)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299510)

Blizzard at least gives you something in return for it... you can chat with friends playing other games. I don't have Starcraft II at all, but I regularly chat with friends playing that game from WoW.

Re:GFWL, no thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33299604)

Actually, for SC2 you only need to log in once. After that, just hit "Play Offline" and there you go.

Re:GFWL, no thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33299342)

As long as it's attached to GFWL, no thanks. GFWL is such a piece of shit I will not have anything to do with games that require it.

Agreed. The "Games for Windows Live" logo is a no-go for me. Too much unnecessary, unstable crap has to be installed to play these games.

The last game I bought could be "convinced" (i.e. manually extract the GfWL installer and drop one of the DLLs into the game dir) to start without installing it but I'll never go through the trouble to get a game that uses it working again.

Same goes for all those social, added, excuse for online-DRM, infest the OS, keep you from playing by having to fiddle with logins/extra settings/etc. systems (GfWL, Steam and so on). I just want to play a game to relax, not troubleshoot some useless system that adds nothing positive and just causes annoyance and trouble.

Wow i must be tired (3, Informative)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299116)

Am I insane or is the woman superimposed on the right hand side of the [weirdly purely flash] Flight site topless with propellers for nipples?

or both?

Re:Wow i must be tired (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33299150)

The face looks masculine.
Looks like a women wearing a beige bra, with a man's head photoshopped on, and headphones around the neck.

Re:Wow i must be tired (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33299162)

You just made thousands of Flash- and Microsoft-hating nerds knowingly enter a pure-Flash Microsoft site.

Truly well played!

Re:Wow i must be tired (1, Insightful)

CeruleanDragon (101334) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299334)

You just made thousands of Flash- and Microsoft-hating nerds knowingly enter a pure-Flash Microsoft site.

Truly well played!

Could've been worse/better, could've been made requiring Silverlight to load the pic. :)

Re:Wow i must be tired (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299196)

When I load up the page on a 1280x1024 monitor, I have to scroll to the right to see that. Maybe that was snuck in as a joke during testing because it was "off screen" during QA.

Re:Wow i must be tired (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33299240)

Doubtful. Not many people use screen resolutions that low or in 5:4 aspect ratio any more.

Re:Wow i must be tired (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33299284)

Not many people use screen resolutions that low

You'd be surprised.

Re:Wow i must be tired (3, Insightful)

Spad (470073) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299392)

Half the people I know still use 1024 on 19"+ monitors because otherwise "the screen is too small" for them to read.

Re:Wow i must be tired (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299750)

Half the people I know still use 1024 on 19"+ monitors because otherwise "the screen is too small" for them to read.

Have they tried increasing the system DPI (Control Panel > Display > Settings > Advanced > General > Display > DPI setting)?

Re:Wow i must be tired (1)

u17 (1730558) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299492)

The resolution might seem low to you, but in fact if you look at the number of pixels, it's not worse than other commonly used resolutions. For example, 1280x1024 is 1.31e6 pixels, while 1600x900, a 16:9 resolution, is 1.44e6 pixels, only a 10% improvement, where just by looking at 1600/1280 you'd expect it to be 25%. If the current trend continues, soon we will have 2048x1 resolutions with an amazing cinematic aspect ratio and the fewest possible pixels.

Re:Wow i must be tired (1)

coastwalker (307620) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299626)

These wide screen monitors might be great for games like flight or for viewing wide screen movies but they sure as hell suck for large spreadsheets and documents. I think that they are part of a plot to destroy western civilization. Its almost impossible to get a monitor more than 1200 pixels high these days.

Twice 960x1200 (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299742)

These wide screen monitors might be great for games like flight or for viewing wide screen movies but they sure as hell suck for large spreadsheets and documents.

Then put two 960x1200 pixel windows side-by-side on your 1920x1200 pixel monitor. Windows 7 has Snap for this, and even Windows XP lets the user click one window's taskbar button, Ctrl+right click another, and Tile Vertically.

I think that they are part of a plot to destroy western civilization. Its almost impossible to get a monitor more than 1200 pixels high these days.

This was as true in the days of 1600x1200 as it is now.

Re:Wow i must be tired (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33299226)

See, I had to keep looking as soon as I loaded the page.

With much scrutinizing, I find that she's likely wearing a tight, flesh toned, short sleeved shirt and the shirt's arm holes aren't visible in the shot. You can see on the bottom that she's wearing a shirt because you can see the shirt's bottom hole...thing? flapping up a bit.

As for the nipples, it was just an unfortunate (or well planned) placement of clouds.

Re:Wow i must be tired (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299244)

topless with propellers for nipples?

You've been reading too much Slashdot. Now go and play outside, it's a lovely day.

Re:Wow i must be tired (1)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299274)

she's wearing a shirt, it looks like propellers because she's semi-transparent

Re:Wow i must be tired (1)

stimpleton (732392) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299348)

I think she walked into a propeller, its taken a chunk out of her chest and reduced her top to tatters. Seriously, I sent a minute squinting trying to make it out, as logic tells me it cant surely be the case. So I'll give MS the benefit of the doubt and say its the effect of the semi transparency.

Re:Wow i must be tired (1)

mestar (121800) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299448)

I cannot answer your question confidently, further study will be needed.

Re:Wow i must be tired (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299540)

Pasties, under a semi-transparent shirt.

Re:Wow i must be tired (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33299560)

Am I insance or is the guy on the right hand side of the Age of Empires site topless. Anyone else seeing a common theme here?

Re:Wow i must be tired (2, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299620)

Am I insane or is the woman superimposed on the right hand side of the [weirdly purely flash] Flight site topless with propellers for nipples?

That's nothing. Stare at the picture of clouds opposite the weird lady with propeller-nipples. Keep staring.

After a while, you can clearly see a naked man bending over with his junk hanging out the back.

Uh, nevermind.

A company with plenty of truly innovative ideas (0, Troll)

brasselv (1471265) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299132)

You may have heard rumors that Microsoft has also its hands on another Next Big Thing.
Internal name is said to be Bob 2.0

hmmm, lol? (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299154)

The big question is whether Microsoft can make Games For Windows Live relevant in a market where Steam has taken hold, or if it's too late.

He must have a different definition of "relevant" than mine to make that a "big question".

They Pray We Play (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33299168)

Microsoft are unable or unwilling to compete with better products and lower prices. Tying Windows Live, Games for Windows, and their phone OS to the cloud is just a way of creating a big dongle and upselling opportunities. Oooh, man. It's THE CLOUD, and SOCIAL, and all HANDWAVEY. No, it's just just bald, fat, angry man trying to control and gouge the customer so they can create a big corporate neo-Thatcherite nirvana. If that's the best these tax dodging billionaires can come up with they're not very good are they? I wouldn't play that crap if they paid me.

AOE MMO (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33299172)

Unless it's persistent (which it isn't), how can they claim that it's a "massively multiplayer"? You might as well call any online game a "massive multiplayer" if:

a. It has a game lobby
b. Many people can play online at once.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go play my favorite MMO, Counter-Strike.

Re:AOE MMO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33299188)

and who decided the world needs to be persistent to be "massively multiplayer"? you?

Re:AOE MMO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33299214)

No, that's part of the consistent definition of "massively multiplayer".

Re:AOE MMO (3, Informative)

lowlymarine (1172723) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299224)

Wikipedia, apparently: [wikipedia.org]

A massively multiplayer online game (also called MMO) is a multiplayer video game which is capable of supporting hundreds or thousands of players simultaneously. By necessity, they are played on the Internet, and feature at least one persistent world.

Re:AOE MMO (2, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299298)

I think the confusion lies in the definitions of persistence. One meaning refers to the world's continued operation when the player is absent, as in WoW, which is the sense you use. However it can also refer to the persistence of player actions, such as the way Halo keeps track of the positions of dead enemies and weapon drops indefinitely. WoW is quite clearly not a very persistent game in that sense, otherwise it'd be a ghost town knee-deep in corpses, which explains the AC's confusion.

Re:AOE MMO (1)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299838)

Hmm, since we're quoting Wikipedia, I think it's actually appropriate for once to say "[citation needed]". Ordinarily, on Slashdot, this is a stupid and/or snarky way to say "I disagree", but in this case, I don't necessarily disagree. I'm just not quite sure where or how this supposedly "official" definition of a brand-new term came from. Especially with those {{POV-check}} and {{Refimprove}} tags at the top of the WP article.

Re:AOE MMO (1)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299266)

Counter-strike doesn't have a lobby...

What about Diablo II? Server-side persistent characters, servers can't be hosted by players (at least officially), both PvE and PvP play...

No, the true definition of an MMO is very large numbers of players being in the same game world at once. In a strategy game that could be ownership of small territories on a large world map. In an RPG it means literally many characters in the world.

Re:AOE MMO (1)

Fri13 (963421) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299322)

I think it would be very nice to get change to host a AoE2 game with very very big maps, so that there could be hundreds of players at same time and still have so much space that you could get lost.

The maps should be over 2000x bigger than what there was no possible to have. And then have possibility to make allies and other diplomacy things in-the-fly.

After a few weeks there could be seen a so big armies and kingdoms that the management comes very hard if you have multiple enemies from different directions.

And if servers would run all the time without possibilities to save, you could keep your kingdom up and running as long as someone would be taking care of it as well. That would need you have friends playing as well for who you trust and you could give control. Otherwise your kingdom would just get conquered by enemies and crushed while new players would join to game in middle of it and start own kingdoms.

It would be real capitalised world with trades and wars... Kingdoms would be like companies, what could vanish at any time.

Maybe the real game would be.... who can stay a wake longest!

Re:AOE MMO (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33299634)

From what I've read, your capital city continues to grow while you're offline. Though unlike games like Travian, you can't be attacked, or otherwise penalised, while offline. So yes, it's persistent.

Re:AOE MMO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33299646)

First, Microsoft does not claim it as an MMO, PCAuthority made that claim (not to say you were saying differently, just wanted to clarify).
Second, there are apparently persistent elements, it looks like you'll have something along the lines of a 'hero' that gains experience across battles.

That's something they are good at (4, Funny)

Cigaes (714444) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299178)

At least, reboots are something Microsoft are very good at.

Re:That's something they are good at (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33299218)

Rebooting a dead horse.

Re:That's something they are good at (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33299372)

Scary, man. Imagine they would be able to launch the mind reader [uspto.gov] and the BSOD screen would ask you to reboot the subject.

In Soviet Russia, (3, Funny)

smitty97 (995791) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299568)

You reboot Microsoft! Wait, that happens all over the world, not just Russia

Games for Windows (5, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299182)

My understanding, based on an editorial in Edge earlier this year [edge-online.com] , is that GfW just plain flat-out doesn't work. Not in the sense that its limited user base makes for poor multiplayer or that it has insufficient publisher for its downloadable games service, but in the sense that it does not reliably allow you to download games or play online.

Re:Games for Windows (1)

Klinky (636952) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299374)

What else should we expect from the same company that brought us PlaysForSure [wikipedia.org] , which doesn't always "Play For Sure".

Re:Games for Windows (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299526)

What else should we expect from the same company that brought us PlaysForSure [wikipedia.org] , which doesn't always "Play For Sure".

Come on. That name was a blatant attempt to introduce FUD into a marketplace where previously there had been none. In this case, the FUD was "How can I be sure my MP3 player will play tracks I buy?"

Given the number of legitimate online music stores that operated at the time, the correct answer to that would have been "What are you talking about? You can't buy music online anyway!"

Re:Games for Windows (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299740)

It was a typo when they dictated it for marketing. Harold Shaw was the program director. The name was meant to be Plays For Shaw - it works for him, but it might not work for you.

Wasn't flight simulator team laid off? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33299198)

They fired the whole dev team [bbc.co.uk] ... and now they want to keep selling it?

Me don't understand

Re:Wasn't flight simulator team laid off? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33299692)

Of course everybody knows that if you fire one dev team, it becomes impossible to ever hire another.

Whatever... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33299206)

Whatever it is, Flight Simulator and Age Of Empire truely deserve a remake.
An MMO of AoE, though... We will see...

Reboot is such a poor word (3, Insightful)

cronius (813431) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299220)

The term "reboot" is used to describe something "done again", but I think it's a pretty stupid word to use as it's not descriptive at all. Does my OS or hardware somehow radically change whenever I reboot it? Maybe Windows users experience this, I don't know.

When I first heard the term years ago I immediately disliked it. It feels like someone that don't work with computers as a profession thought that it was "cool" or "trendy" to use "pc terms" outside their original context, so "reboot" was the victim of the day.

< /rant >

Re:Reboot is such a poor word (3, Interesting)

srothroc (733160) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299270)

The way I see it is that "reboot" and "restart" are pretty much synonymous, so outside of the computer context, people say that they're "rebooting" a show or series. The difference in that area, for me, is that "restarting" implies that there's some kind of continuity -- for example, the modern Doctor Who show builds off of the old one and shares continuity. A "reboot," on the other hand, is a ground-up revamping. It still probably annoys you though.

Re:Reboot is such a poor word (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33299272)

> Does my OS or hardware somehow radically change whenever I reboot it? Maybe Windows users experience this, I don't know.

OK, so you are not a Windows user. Yay you.

So anyway, when you DO re-boot, is it not because something has changed? Hopefully for the better?

You are so caught up in the physics of re-booting that you ignore the reason people re-boot. Because something has changed. And in the Windows world, this often includes new software, new drivers, new... stuff that is an improvement.

Try not being so anal. You'll stop seeming so clueless that way.

Re:Reboot is such a poor word (1)

cronius (813431) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299632)

You are so caught up in the physics of re-booting that you ignore the reason people re-boot. Because something has changed. And in the Windows world, this often includes new software, new drivers, new... stuff that is an improvement.

Sure, so if the term was used in the meaning of "incremental change" it would be a (slightly) different story, but it's used as if to mean "complete rewrite" which isn't what I expect would happen whenever I reboot my computer.

Re:Reboot is such a poor word (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299376)

The software can radically change with a reboot.

Rebooting a show or series is like pressing the reset button: everything is cleared from the table and begun anew, but still with the same hardware basis. However, what happens in the boot sequence? Which OS do you choose in grub? Is there a live cd in the drive? You might end up somewhere completely different compared with before the reboot, even though the underlying principles are exactly the same. Similarly with shows and series, the subsequent seasons and games = boot sequence.

Re:Reboot is such a poor word (1)

cronius (813431) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299598)

The software can radically change with a reboot.

Rebooting a show or series is like pressing the reset button: everything is cleared from the table and begun anew, but still with the same hardware basis. However, what happens in the boot sequence? Which OS do you choose in grub? Is there a live cd in the drive? You might end up somewhere completely different compared with before the reboot, even though the underlying principles are exactly the same. Similarly with shows and series, the subsequent seasons and games = boot sequence.

I guess you could look at it like that: When I reboot a computer you "never know what you're gonna get," but I'm not really buying it. Rebooting isn't viewed as something inconsistent or earth shattering: You expect a consistent result when rebooting a computer. Sure you could boot another OS, but that OS was there all along, it didn't just appear. You could boot a live CD but the old OS would still be there. Rebooting is a pretty safe, normal event that is related to consistent results without anything unexpected happening. "Rewrite" or "remake" or even something computer related like "reinstall" on the other hand is much closer to the meaning that the term "reboot" is being used as here (IMO).

Re:Reboot is such a poor word (1)

Spad (470073) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299398)

Reboot: To start over from scratch. These days it's not entirely accurate what with these new-fangled "hard drive" things, but go back a bit and that's exactly what a reboot did.

Re:Reboot is such a poor word (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299458)

Reboot: To start over from scratch.

Only if you have a computer without persistent storage...

I doubt Microsoft has started over from scratch, but I guess time will tell.

Re:Reboot is such a poor word (1)

cronius (813431) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299532)

Reboot: To start over from scratch. These days it's not entirely accurate what with these new-fangled "hard drive" things, but go back a bit and that's exactly what a reboot did.

This is interesting. I was not aware that it was an old expression (predating PCs, which you're implying). But after checking with the free online dictionary, I'm not sure it is, since it's not mentioned outside of a computer context (correct me if I'm wrong).

The term "booting a computer" comes from the term "pulling yourself up by your bootstraps" meaning that you're helping yourself / being independent (accomplishing some task). A computer booting thus means something in the line that it's starting up and loading the operating system without external aid.

Transferring that meaning to rebooting "some game" meaning anything else than "shutting off the game and starting it again"... just doesn't work for me. I can't see how that is supposed to mean "creating an entirely new game from scratch."

Yeah, still a little rantish I guess..

MS not serious about the PC (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299228)

... they are not committed to the platform since they adopted xbox as their strategy for entering the gaming market. Only in hindsight did they realize the damage they did for the relevancy of their platform as a whole. The nerd in me hopes linux and linux apps finally comes of age and the only reason people will keep windows around is for certain games and more and more real work will be done on linux or within the browser.

Server needs a reboot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33299276)

It appears their AOEO server needs a reboot - Slashdot effect is tuff.

Who would trust Microsoft? (0, Redundant)

Fri13 (963421) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299280)

Who would trust Microsoft that it would not kill the gamestore and shutdown DRM servers (who really believe that there would not be DRM?) after few weeks/months the start?

Microsoft has not almost every done any good services. It is just ironic that Microsoft is very lousy software company but world biggest. But it was good hardware manufacturer, but almost non-existing one.

Look Microsoft game controllers, the joysticks and wheels. They were great! But even then Microsoft did kill their support for next Windows. Now the one of the best flight sticks and gaming wheels are useless as Microsoft did not make drivers for Windows XP! Windows Vista and Windows 7 are at same class... no drivers. You bought devices and soon when Windows 98 and 98SE became obsolete, the devices were obsolete as well.

Thats why at least me and my friends are not trusting anything what Microsoft brings. Not even that XBox 360 is nice console, but very lousy media center.

Age of Empires II was great game, like the first one was as well. Third was just something not so good. And now bringing those with new versions?

Even today AoE2 is game what is very fun in LAN. But... No reboots thanks... (Maybe AoE2 with just new well done graphics but nothing else!).

But Microsoft is just not investing to PC as it was at them Windows 95 and WIndows 98 time. So no thanks!

Yes, It's Too Late !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33299292)

Stayed in bed all morning just to pass the lime
There's something wrong here, there can be no denying
One of us is changing
Or maybe we just stopped crying

And it's too late, MS, it's way too late
Though we really did try to make it
Something inside has dried
And I can't hide and I just can't KY2 it

It used to be so easy fucking with around you
You were light and breezy and I knew just what to do
Now you look so old hat and I feel like a fool

And it's too late, MS, now it's too late
Though we really did try to make it
Something inside has dried
And I can't hide and I just can't KY2 it

There won't be good times again for me and you
And we just can't stay together, don't you feel it, too
Still I'm glad for what we had and how I once loved you

But it's too late, MS, now it's too late
Though we really did try to make it
Something inside has dried and I can't hide
And I just can't KY2 it

Cuz I feel the Earth, move, under my feet, and Apple is fucking me now !!

microsoft ants please? (1)

togermano (772312) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299306)

I wish they would remake microsoft ants..... Loved that game!!!! It was discontinued after microsoft got rid of MSN GAMING ZONE and this also took down the age of empires 1-2 gaming servers. But you can still play all three amazing games thanks to voobly client software. http://www.voobly.com/ [voobly.com]

Games for Windows Live (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299356)

Seeing "Windows Live" on the box has stopped me buying games more than once. Even games I’ve really wanted to play. Eventually, I bought them for the ps3 when the price dropped as I feel less attached to that bit of kit.

I do not want a console like experience for my PC. I view that as many steps and many many years backwards. I hope Windows live for the PC fails! I do not like DRM (of any sort) and do not like being tracked as I play, especially by Microsoft. In reading this site for years I’ve slowly grown the tinfoil hat and get upset at the mention of DRM?!? I maybe way off the mark and the only thing that happens is a bit of first time activation.
However, I don’t trust them not to change terms and I cannot be bothered to read up on it. At its basic level it’s only a game. As a paying customer, I do not like being, or feel like I'm being criminalised. I’ll but it, you leave me alone.

To me, a console experience means I’m sitting on a sofa, rather drunk, playing games that are far too easy; but made impossible by the awful controls. When I want to play something with a bit of meat. I’ll fire up the PC, sit upright and get stuck in.

In summary then, “Windows live” no thanks.

Re:Games for Windows Live (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299528)

It's particularly sad that PC gaming once meant free of hassle, except perhaps for a CD check. Now it means rootkits and spyware. I have to make sure a game is not sold by Blizzard, is not Steam Powered, and is not part of Games for Windows before I know that I can actually just install and play the game that I paid for.

Flight Simulator? But they fired everyone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33299462)

I don't get it. They got rid of Flight Simulator [slashdot.org] only last year. What are they doing?

rename (1)

Tom (822) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299472)

Well, at least when I go by the availability of the website, it should be renamed to Age of Empire offline, because it apparently is.

And I dimly remember that "Flight" (or maybe "Flight!") is already taken as a name for a computer game. Not that anyone at MS would care.

Re:rename (1)

game kid (805301) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299806)

And I dimly remember that "Flight" (or maybe "Flight!") is already taken as a name for a computer game. Not that anyone at MS would care.

Why would they? Is Microsoft Flight taken? If the original dev team sue for being too close to "Microsoft Flight Simulator" they'll just brush 'em off with hand-held fans improvised from leftover product key stickers and maybe call it Windows Flight if they're nervous. A little pair of blue birdies tells me they'll find ways of keeping names without keeping names and whatever does transpire will be an overblown blip on the news radar (as most blips on the news radar are these days).

Damn the trademarks, full marketing machine ahead! OOo la la.

Urban Assualt (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33299496)

Why don't they make UA2? The game was a faliure because it was ahead of its time.

Roland985...

Re:Urban Assualt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33299558)

That is still one of my favorite games of all time. I play it every so often and still love every minute of it. If there was one game I wanted a remake or sequel of, it would be Urabn Assault.

Proof?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33299536)

..."but on the other hand the PC is inherently less secure than the Xbox console, with piracy much more likely to impact sales of a PC title than a console one"

Proof? Or just making blanket statements that you hear other people say?

Their own fault in the first place. (3, Interesting)

ledow (319597) | more than 4 years ago | (#33299552)

I never stopped playing AOE (specifically AOE2:Conquerors). I *DID* stop playing it online because MS just sucked the life out of the multiplayer aspect by locking it to a single vendor for online matchmaking and then destroying that facility when they got bored of AOE.

So, what's here for *me*, someone that wants to play AOE but was forced by Microsoft's enforced-obsolescence to stop playing it online unless I wanted to faff about with third-party software or entering IP addresses? I won't believe it won't happen again, and I don't believe that a new MMO "reboot" will be anywhere near as good as the AOE2:Conq. And are we talking about a monthly subscription model or can I actually *OWN* the game (or at least my copy of it) forever?

In the meantime, playing the classic version over a private VPN it is.

STFV (saw the freaking video) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33299684)

Here's the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I18CRm3FI3k
It sucks. 3D and unrealistic! As in buildings higher at the top (like Settlers) and cartoonish characters and other graphics. Not worth my time.

You know what'd be cool? If M$ released its AOE1 and/or AOE2 graphics (and sounds) so we can make a FreeAOE (like FreeCiv). That'd be supergreat.

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