Rumor: Microsoft to relaunch PC gaming with Windows 8

By on December 23, 2010, 9:54 AM
Those who claim PC gaming is dead mainly blame Microsoft. Ever since the company launched the Xbox, it has let the Windows PC gaming platform fall over the wayside. Since the software giant's number one product is Windows, the company's number one gaming platform is still the PC, no matter how much of a success the Xbox platform becomes. Rumors are now suggesting that things will really start to change with Windows 8.

"Windows 8 will represent a real new push into PC gaming," an anonymous source told TechRadar. "Gaming will be a key component for the whole OS."

Of course, we've heard things like this before: PC gaming was supposed to get a boost with the launch of Windows Vista, and there were definitely improvements, but none were particularly noteworthy. Meanwhile, multiple games from Microsoft did not receive PC versions, including Gears of War 2 and every Halo game released after Halo 2.

Two months ago, Microsoft said that it was "doubling down" on PC games. The company launched a browser-based Windows store for PC games called Games for Windows Marketplace, but it hardly made a big splash.

The fact of the matter is that Valve's Steam dominates the PC gaming market already, and it's thus difficult for Microsoft to do anything revolutionary. Including features directly in Windows, while making sure to avoid anti-trust issues, is the only way the software giant could really make a difference. The company of course currently refuses to talk about Windows 8, so as with most rumors, we'll just have to wait and see till the time is right, or till something leaks out.

User Comments: 30

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Guest said:

i sure hope they slim down the operating system so gaming on windows is actually viable again without wasting so much gpu power and ram just on the operating system. eliminating any way DRM can hook into the operating system would also help considerably.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Yeah, I remember how DX10 & Vista were going to be the big gaming OS that MS was thumping their chest about.

And we all know what a piece of crap both DX10 and Vista turned out to be.

Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Well, thats sort of good news coming from MS. But like it's been said, they said this about Vista, and we all know what happened with that.

I could barely open an app on my Vista, without the PC cannibalising the ram, then giving me the "i didn't do anything" look.

yukka, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Dx11 is actually decent but MS have missed the boat here. steam is already a force and I have so many games in my steam account now i dont bother shopping anywhere else unless a game just isnt available.

MS should concentrate on making Windows 8 a good operating system, not increasing bloat and heading back towards Vista days.

Guest said:

The only way I'll believe they care is if they announce halo 2 and gears 2 for pc.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

TomSEA said:

Yeah, I remember how DX10 & Vista were going to be the big gaming OS that MS was thumping their chest about.

And we all know what a piece of crap both DX10 and Vista turned out to be.

Took the words right out of my mouth, Tom... They were so gung-ho on "Games for Windows" and pushing it hard... Kiosks in big box retail stores, deals to guarantee shelf space and displays... And it went exactly nowhere. The few DX10 only games that were released generally bombed miserably, right along with the consumer attitude towards Vista. What a debacle. If anything, it seemed to me that MS's last "push" on PC gaming actually set it back, rather than improving it.

Hope this isn't a harbinger of what Win8 will be. <shudder>

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

This is crap. You can't really blame Microsoft (unless you want to make a misdirected argument against DX10 and Vista, then go ahead) for the lackluster (almost collapsing) PC gaming market, I Blame Developers for either sticking with consoles or making bad ports to PC and stagnating development of the various genres that can be best represented on PCs.

The ONLY reasonable argument I can see regarding Microsoft and PC gaming is not porting a number of successful games that were on XBox360 to PC (such as the aforementioned Gears of Wars series and Halo games after halo 2).

Guest said:

I think they just promote the idea of "PC games to come" to market and sell more of their actual product. People will buy computers ready for gaming along with their software rather than an inexpensive basic model because they are hoping to play new games on it. inb4: "Microsoft doesn't sell hardware!"

Guest said:

Windows 8 is also supposed to be 128 bit correct? That was the rumor going round about how each new OS would boost the bit rate. Supposed Win 9 is also in the works, which is supposed to be 256 bit. Can anyone here confirm this rumor? Oh, BTW, I have always been a long time PC gamer. I've tried consoles, but nothing comes close to flexibility of a PC. Plus, I get a lot of satisfaction of building a gaming system rather than be X-boxed into a console.

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

um, no Guest@12:04 PM. Windows 8 is purported to have 32bit and 64 bit options, and we can only hope that Windows 9 will give up 32bit entirely (aside from the 32bit virtualization via WOW64). Architecture shifts generally do not happen until the previous architecture's upper bound limits are being stressed, which in terms of memory addressability will not be happening for a long long time.

Guest said:

Guest whoever told you that is a ***** and stop listening to them. Once you see what the upper limits of a 64bit OS is you will see it will be with us for many years. There will not be a 128bit OS in this decade and probably the next one also.

Route44 Route44, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

And Windows 8 will be released when? I'm not holding my breat and yes, it is time to move on from 32bit OSs.

And I am in agreement with madboyv1 by the fact that gaming developers have a a large hand in this mess. It isn't all MS's fault but they sure haven't helped any.

techman40 said:

Here is the link to what Guest on December 23, 2010 12:04 PM may have been referring too.


Guest said:

halo 2 is on PC already dude ....

so just try to wait for gear of war 2 on pc , maybe i'm wrong but i dont think so ...

and now people will complaint about consoles getting old and outdated :P

mattfrompa mattfrompa said:

The only things Microsoft should really worry about with PC gaming IMHO is to keep their OS as lean as possible(I and continue improving DX. With services like Steam, gamers have a great way to get a lot of games cheaply. And as it has been said, MS shouldn't be blamed for shitty ports.

But really, if you have a well maintained XP or 7 installation you should be able to game just fine.

DokkRokken said:

If MS made efforts to make GFLW a far more streamlined program, then I'd believe them. Right now, it's only serviceable at best. Start small, before promising big things, because PC gamers are a pretty jaded bunch.

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I'm in agreement with Mad, it's the developers that are primarily at fault for abandoning the PC market with poor ports or nothing at all. Microsoft should have kept developers active within the PC market but they entirely shifted focus to the Xbox. If they want to turn PC gaming around they need to focus on development once again, rather then competing with established digital distributors. While it's nice to have another option, gamers already have plenty with services like Steam, Impulse, D2D, GoG etc. We need a lot more than just a revamp of GFWL and increased marketplace presence.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I think some of you guys are missing the point... We're not blaming Microsoft for the deterioration of gaming, we were just pointing out that the LAST time Microsoft jumped on the bandwagon and started tooting the "we're going to revive PC gaming" horn, it was a flop. Their flagship was a bloated and horribly performing OS that did nothing to further the cause. And their attempts to drive everyone onto DX10 (and coincidentally REQUIRE that you buy Vista for gaming) didn't help the situation much.

As others are mentioning, the BEST thing MS can do for PC gaming would be to make a lean and efficient OS that hums away on games.

Guest said:

The only way I can MS "improving" gaming on the PC (other than the obvious 'bring us our console games', 'upgrade our DX' and 'thin down our OS') is if they strike some kind of integration between steam and any other Game service providers, and your MS Live ID.

In fact, I'm going to go ahead and place my bet now. W7 (be is Desk top, Netbook or phone) has been all about integrating all your devices together using my MS Live account. Your Live account is used for your Xbox, Zune, Office, Mesh, IM, and just about anything else MS could think of. My money is on MS working out some way for you to link your steam account with you Live account - thus linking your Xbox live (and all your buddies there) to your Steam. It wouldn't be much, but it would be an improvement.

Of course, if they *really* wanted to take it a step further, they might add some kind of integration between your Xbox and PC - where you can play your Xbox games on your PC and PC games on your Xbox (but this part is unlikely, as it would probably cut slightly into their Xbox sales - even so, there is a deep enough divide between Console and PC gamers, that the lose would be minimal, and they would recoup that lose in game sales). The only thing that makes me think that this might have even the slightest possibility is the fact that Kinect appears to be coming to the PC. that's it though.

Guest said:

Really man? I personally don't see any real reasons to "slim down" Windows as it is. Unless you are running Windows 7 on hardware that should have turned to dust by now, it runs very well. I have a 2 - 3 year old Core 2 Duo, runs the system extremely fast and my 4850 has never had any problems pushing games at 1920 x 1080.

Maybe you need to move on from your Pentium. Either that or you need a new hard drive, many people don't realize how huge of a performance impact a hard drive can have on a computer.

Guest said:

As a Microsoft insider, I can say that MS is losing the grip on all things technical. MonkeyBoy Ballmer needs to go first and some new blood infused. Most of the manager types are well into their forties and cannot think beyond client-server. The MS Research Lab turns out unusable junk and again, mostly into their mid and late thirties. MS is a dinosaur awaiting extinction.

Per Hansson Per Hansson, TS Server Guru, said:

MS made a big mistake in making DirectX10 Vista only

That split the market in half and made life for the game developers much harder

No wonder the developers prefer consoles, like it or not but XP still holds a sizeable chunk of the market over 4 years from Vista's release (So this must be taken into account when developing the games for Windows)

mailpup mailpup said:

And not just games themselves. Drivers for graphics cards must also take into account XP as well. AMD and Nvidia are in the business of selling graphics cards (or at least GPUs) and cannot ignore XP users.

fpsgamerJR62 said:

Game developers prefer consoles. No big surprise there with fixed hardware configs and higher SRPs per title among other factors. If the rumor is true that Microsoft intends to push out a gaming-focused OS, then it will perhaps be a good incentive for developers to focus more on PC-exclusive titles.

Guest said:

Yes, i dont bother Halo series, Mass Effect would compensate that but oh' how much i miss GOWs.... comon MS bring it back to pc.

Guest said:

Take a gander at the armchair industry experts here. If PC gaming is dead, how is Valve making a killing with Steam? This Microsoft vaporware announcement is their way of saying they want a piece of that pie. One of many segments Microsoft has yet to figure out.

CamaroMullet said:

Yeah, I was excited when the push for DX10 and Vista came about. If I remember correctly that was around the same time MS said they were going to phase out support for XP. I thought we were entering a new age of pc gaming. But look at us now, XP users are still clinging to it like white on rice. Developers have to design for those as well. MS should just give up and let valve and others keep doing there thing. A new xbox variation is more likely to come about then Windows 8 being a huge deal for gaming. We'll still have xp, vista and windows 7 users out there for years to come.

Guest said:

I think their were significant improvements for gaming with win7.You have dx11 which was originally supposed to be in vista.I personally am impressed with the features dx11 has brought us.The only thing I am not impressed with is how many resources win7 uses to run,yes it is better than vista was in that dept but the memory and graphic power needed to run the os take away from power that could be used for gaming.What I do think is stupid is that they are allready coming out with another os.Yes they messed up with vista,but what they need to do is work on improving win7,instead of coming out with a new os allready.

Guest said:

Piracy killed PC gaming not MS

example1013 said:

PC gaming killed itself. They found the suicide note, it just hasn't been made public out of respect for the family.

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