Data shows Windows 8 hasn't stimulated PC gaming as anticipated

By on December 6, 2012, 7:30 AM

Microsoft and a number of partners had high hopes for Windows 8. The recently-released operating system was expected to be the savior for desktop computer, among other things. It’s still too early to determine if those lofty expectations will be realized but one thing is apparently evident already: Windows 8 is not a hit with gamers.

New data from NPD Group shows that PC game sales are down a full 21 percent in the month following Windows 8’s release when compared to the same time period in 2011. Stephen Baker from NPD said Windows 8 hasn’t made the market any worse but it certainly hasn’t helped to stimulate sales either.

NPD isn’t the only one to produce early data on Windows 8’s impact on gaming. Valve offers gamers the opportunity to take a voluntary survey each month to evaluate the hardware that people are using to run the client and games.

Valve’s latest monthly Steam survey shows that only 0.44 percent of client users have upgraded to the new OS. Based on 54 million active Steam users, that boils down to just 237,600 players that are now running Windows 8. It’s worth pointing out that this isn’t likely an accurate representation but it is pretty telling about the state of Windows 8 gamers, or lack of.

A number of game developers have spoken out against the operating system since it was first announced due to the fact that Microsoft is trying to make it a closed platform. Case in point – if a developer wants to create and submit a game for inclusion in the Windows 8 Store, they have to follow certain guidelines and store rules to do so.

Of course, publishers can still create and sell games outside of the Windows 8 Store but it would be a lot easier to provide digital downloads inside the Windows 8 ecosystem.




User Comments: 45

Got something to say? Post a comment
1 person liked this | Ranger1st Ranger1st said:

M$ creates an environment where the PC is suboptimal for gaming.. pushing more publishers to a ' console only ' dev. tree.. conveniently, this is also where M$ can control content even more and make more profit.. reduce the development tree on DX API's and generally stop innovation that made that made gaming what it is.

ReederOnTheRun ReederOnTheRun said:

I don't think there is really a reason for hardcore gamers to upgrade. Windows 8 is faster and better in general, but it was never really focused on games. Although I've upgraded and never had a problem using it with BF3 and Steam games (I never took that survey though), I know some people online have been reporting problems with Windows 8 playing some games. I'm just a casual gamer and that almost scared me away, good luck convincing a heavy gamer.

3 people like this | fimbles fimbles said:

I do not understand why on earth windows 8 would increase gaming sales?

Besides of course the "app" gaming side of things. But why on earth would I spend hundreds of pounds on a pc to run angry birds?

Sorry microsoft, but I am not an apple user, glee themed adverts, app stores, and shiny pastel boxes dont do anything for me. Give me a Os with tangible performance benefits and concentrate less on "coolness" and I will buy it.

ddg4005 ddg4005 said:

I can't install Descent 3 and Sinistar Unleashed, which installed flawlessly in Windows 7, on my Windows 8 boxes. That said, so far it's worked out for the games that I'm currently playing (Mass Effect series, Halo, etc).

1 person liked this | Guest said:

I think its pretty clear to anyone with half-a-brain that Windows 8 is a flop. The nerds who don't mind beta-testing operating systems and people who couldn't name their operating system to save their life are the people acting as guinea pigs for Windows 9.

I am very hopeful that Windows 9 will be the final product that Microsoft wanted to deliver. But out of necessity had to get Windows 8 out the door and into the wild as their first step.

I am skipping Windows 8 and looking forward to Windows 9. But make no mistake about it. If Windows 9 isn't what it should be, I have no problem in skipping it as well. Windows 7 Ultimate is taking care of me just fine.

On a side note, the TechSpot captcha system is getting more retarded with every new post I make.

Jbucko said:

I do not understand why on earth windows 8 would increase gaming sales?

Besides of course the "app" gaming side of things. But why on earth would I spend hundreds of pounds on a pc to run angry birds?

Sorry microsoft, but I am not an apple user, glee themed adverts, app stores, and shiny pastel boxes dont do anything for me. Give me a Os with tangible performance benefits and concentrate less on "coolness" and I will buy it.

Intersesting, if your looking for performance then you should prob go with a UNIX or LINUX based system.

1 person liked this | psycros psycros said:

I think its pretty clear to anyone with half-a-brain that Windows 8 is a flop. The nerds who don't mind beta-testing operating systems and people who couldn't name their operating system to save their life are the people acting as guinea pigs for Windows 9.

I am very hopeful that Windows 9 will be the final product that Microsoft wanted to deliver. But out of necessity had to get Windows 8 out the door and into the wild as their first step.

I am skipping Windows 8 and looking forward to Windows 9. But make no mistake about it. If Windows 9 isn't what it should be, I have no problem in skipping it as well. Windows 7 Ultimate is taking care of me just fine.

On a side note, the TechSpot captcha system is getting more retarded with every new post I make.

If only that were the case. Windows 8 is <b>exactly</b> what Microsoft intended it to be: a Frankenfail combo of a dumbed-down Windows 7 desktop with a layer of artsy foo-foo rubbish slathered on top. It puts (bad) form so far above function that its being universally rejected. The real tragedy is that under the hood Windows 8 delivers some reasonable gains performance gains in a few areas. Microsoft should have been building on its strengths instead of trying to out-hipster Apple. That's a fight they can never win.

Guest said:

The Direct X 11 on Windows 7 and Direct X 11.1 on Windows 8 with no plans to bring the to Windows 7 isn't going to help.

Since Microsoft never allowed DX 10 to XP, or Direct X 11 on Vista, we still get Direct X 9 games (mind you GuildWars 2 and Skyim are graphically amazing).

Guest said:

This is Extremely false info, it should be writters falt because they're stopping everyone from buying windows 8.

1 person liked this | MrBungle said:

The Direct X 11 on Windows 7 and Direct X 11.1 on Windows 8 with no plans to bring the to Windows 7 isn't going to help.

Since Microsoft never allowed DX 10 to XP, or Direct X 11 on Vista, we still get Direct X 9 games (mind you GuildWars 2 and Skyim are graphically amazing).

DX11 is on Vista. The driver model changed with windows vista so there were some actual reason why DX10 was not on XP... Would it have been technologically impossible, no, but it is not something that would have been install-and-go.

The reason we get DX9 games is because of the consoles. The target system is an eXcrementBox not your PC and since its running a GPU based on the GeForce 7800 (a DX9 card) thats what you get... the stagnation in PC games can be directly pinned on the consoles and nothing will change until they get updated.

NTAPRO NTAPRO said:

I didn't know it was expected to lol. I thought people were saying they would stick with older platforms since many games still use dx9 and such

tehbanz tehbanz said:

On a side note, the TechSpot captcha system is getting more retarded with every new post I make.

Make an account.

Side note: Windows 8 = No Bueno

2 people like this | Guest said:

I bet, Start button, menu will put back in Windows 9 and Ballmer will left Microsoft.

fimbles fimbles said:

Intersesting, if your looking for performance then you should prob go with a UNIX or LINUX based system.

I would, but I have heard its pretty hard to run games on a linux based system?

1 person liked this | Guest said:

Reason people dont switch do win8 is articles like this.

there is no real reason NOT to upgrade, besides some bad feeling from all the downhype of some press. no start button? please.... just win-d. the new UI is just an overlay screen, geez....

2 people like this | MrBungle said:

Reason people dont switch do win8 is articles like this.

there is no real reason NOT to upgrade, besides some bad feeling from all the downhype of some press. no start button? please.... just win-d. the new UI is just an overlay screen, geez....

No the reason people do not switch to Win 8 is because they don't want to use their computer's like a cell phone. The new UI is inferior for multitasking, the constant moving around of settings is iritating, and the few advantages there are over Win 7 are so profoundly outweighed by the negatives that they would have to PAY ME to use that pile of garbage.

I'm guessing this is the part where the Win 8 appologists come in and explain how if I just memorize 53 different keyboard short cuts and install 3rd party hacks I can use the system just like Win 7... No thanks how about I just keep using Win 7... With an SSD I don't wait on it to do anything as it is so any performance increase is going to be intangible anyway.

2 people like this | Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Deja Vu. Wasn't there all sorts of whining and shock that Vista and DX10 didn't cause the massive PC gaming revolution that Microsoft was hoping for? Remember the "Games for Windows" initiative's first pushes, and the big kiosks and money MS pushed on that? The fact that Vista was sub-par on release, a general pig on most systems, drivers were buggy, and people were happy with XP pretty much shot down their lofty goals.

Fast forward to 2012... Windows 8 comes out, many dislike the direction MS went with the interface, support and performance on gaming is spotty at best (reportedly horrible in many cases), MS is trying to wall in their garden and make developers jump through more hoops to develop for W8, most people are perfectly happy with Windows 7... And MS are sad pandas because their newest "next big thing" isn't causing a PC gaming revolution? Shocking!

Do any of the higher-ups at Microsoft even bother to pay attention to their own product history and try not to repeat mistakes?

1 person liked this | Digimortal Digimortal said:

2 Points about this article:

- Adoption figures are wrong, check http://store.steampowered.com/hwsurvey you will see W8 accounts for around 5% when combining 64 bit and 32 bit versions.

- PC Game sales will not be influenced by the release of an OS, no matter how good it is. I (and I assume the majority of consumers) will buy games based on cost and quality of a product, not based on what version of an OS I am running. I understand the angle that there were hopes PC hardware sales would increase, but why would that impact PC sales dramatically? Most software can be transferred between PCs meaning there is little reason to buy new software unless it is a serious upgrade of hardware that allows you to play previously unplayable titles.

As it happens, there are naff all games being released this side of Christmas that I want and that I haven't already bought a couple of months ago. There was no massive Skyrim launch like last November only a few mediocre games, most of which didn't meet reviewers expectations.

Most of my budget this last month or two has gone into Kickstarter campaigns to to a lack of inspiring titles being launched this season.

lipe123 said:

How is any of this in MS's hands in the first place?

PC games are all lame ass ports from console versions, its pretty common knowledge that console sales outweigh pc sales by a massive amount. Until game developers stop trying to make fast cash and actually start releasing games for PC thats more interesting than "press A/B/X not to die" nothing will change.

Win 8 wont change anything and neither will 9 or 10, the responsibility of the state of pc games is with the game dev's.

1 person liked this | Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

How is any of this in MS's hands in the first place?

PC games are all lame *** ports from console versions, its pretty common knowledge that console sales outweigh pc sales by a massive amount. Until game developers stop trying to make fast cash and actually start releasing games for PC thats more interesting than "press A/B/X not to die" nothing will change.

Win 8 wont change anything and neither will 9 or 10, the responsibility of the state of pc games is with the game dev's.

While I partially agree with your sentiments... Microsoft has a big hand in what is going on, and has potentially weakened PC gaming in general. You think PC games now are all lame ports from consoles? MS has invested heavily in a tablet-ized, touch-friendly app loving ecosystem, which could basically make the gaming pool even shallower. If the "game app" trend catches on with W8 as well, then MS will see "PC gaming" market share increase, their Windows Store revenues will increase, but our games will become dumbed down versions of what they are now - maybe a step up from the current Android/iOS gaming levels, but probably only roughly on-par with current consoles. This W8 ecosystem will not encourage taking risks, pushing the envelope, and leveraging the PC power for superior PC games... It will likely have the opposite effect, and we'll lose what few superior PC titles we currently get, all replaced with very meh-ish direct console ports. If you want a sign of that prophecy, just look at the push for integrating Xbox Live directly into Windows 8, and the porting going on there... Scary.

Guest said:

"The recently-released operating system was expected to be the savior for desktop computer"

Are they serious?(n)(n)(n)

Digimortal Digimortal said:

Exactly my point, If devs like Rockstar keep poo pooing the platform, nothing will change.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

If you want games for PC, quit buying into consoles.

With desktop dieing, you will soon only have tablets for computing and consoles for gaming. That is unless you need a server class machine for some special case.

Cota Cota said:

"to be the savior for desktop computer"

DFUQ? wasn't 8 develop for tablets? why would it save desktops? besides Windows 7 WAS the savior of desktops. Also desktops alive != desktop sales, im amazed how stupid people are to compare "alive" whit the number of sales.

2 people like this | Lurker101 said:

I've got three major concerns with this article.

Data shows Windows 8 hasn't stimulated PC gaming as anticipated

Now, who expected Windows 8 to stimulate PC gaming? Not only those who game, but also major games companies have said Windows 8 will be problematic for gaming. Did I miss their comments in amongst the flood of "I hate the Metro UI" posts?

The recently-released operating system was expected to be the savior for desktop computer

Who, if anyone said that Windows 8 was to be the saviour of the desktop? The desktop doesn't need 'saving'. It'll be fine for quite a while, even with the surge in tablet computing. Wasn't Windows 8 supposed to be Microsofts big break into tablet computing and a unifier between systems?

And thirdly, has there really been enough time since its' release to attain any meaningful answers as to the impact of Windows 8, other than it being a rather polarizing issue amongst PC users? Surely, it's better to wait till around February - March time to get some statistics, that way not only have the early adopters settled into Microsofts new bells and whistle OS, but also the vast amount who will have had it pre-loaded onto the laptops and tablets they'll have gotten for Christmas.

1 person liked this | TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

"The recently-released operating system was expected to be the savior for desktop computer..."

How can that be when it's clear that (at least the UI) was specifically designed for portable devices?

And the "savior" for desktop computers? They don't need a savior, they're doing fine. People are buying tablets and notebooks as accessories. Not to replace their desktops.

basilirwin said:

"Microsoft and a number of partners had high hopes for Windows 8. The recently-released operating system was expected to be the savior for desktop computer"

I wonder who thought that and why? W8 was optimized for credit-card sized touch screen devices and deliberately made to NOT work on conventional laptop and desktop PCs, you know, those devices which are used by the information producers to MAKE the information consumed by the information consumers on their cute little pads.

MilwaukeeMike said:

I don't get why we're talking about this either... Gamers aren't switching because Win 7 is fine. And we shouldn't be talking about gamers, we should be talking about users with multiple monitors, which probably includes any serious gamer. Win 8 doesn't work well on multiple monitors.

TS seems to love any negative news about MS even if it's barely news. An operating system isn't the same as a new game or new smartphone. Give it time. It seems a little premature to discuss low sales on ANYTHING on Dec 6th when the world has a lot of Christmas shopping left to do.

Guest said:

Microsoft should stop trying to compete with consoles with a console and instead beat them with a low cost PC type setup.

ReederOnTheRun ReederOnTheRun said:

How is any of this in MS's hands in the first place?

PC games are all lame *** ports from console versions, its pretty common knowledge that console sales outweigh pc sales by a massive amount. Until game developers stop trying to make fast cash and actually start releasing games for PC thats more interesting than "press A/B/X not to die" nothing will change.

Win 8 wont change anything and neither will 9 or 10, the responsibility of the state of pc games is with the game dev's.

Hahahaha no. just no.

MrBungle said:

I don't get why we're talking about this either... Gamers aren't switching because Win 7 is fine. And we shouldn't be talking about gamers, we should be talking about users with multiple monitors, which probably includes any serious gamer. Win 8 doesn't work well on multiple monitors.

Win 8 isn't bad for anyone that uses mulitple monitors... its bad for anyone that likes to run programs in windows... if MS is going to really go hardcore on this metro thing they need to drop the 's' from the OS's name and call it 'Microsoft Window' instead. Its not a new paradigm Its like DOS with a task switcher (start screen).

Guest said:

^"Microsoft should stop trying to compete with consoles and instead beat them with a low cost PC type setup."

That would be an equivalent to a modified Xbox 360 with homebrew enabled. I doubt they would do this.

misor misor said:

I think its pretty clear to anyone with half-a-brain that Windows 8 is a flop. The nerds who don't mind beta-testing operating systems and people who couldn't name their operating system to save their life are the people acting as guinea pigs for Windows 9.

I am very hopeful that Windows 9 will be the final product that Microsoft wanted to deliver. But out of necessity had to get Windows 8 out the door and into the wild as their first step.

I am skipping Windows 8 and looking forward to Windows 9. But make no mistake about it. If Windows 9 isn't what it should be, I have no problem in skipping it as well. Windows 7 Ultimate is taking care of me just fine.

On a side note, the TechSpot captcha system is getting more retarded with every new post I make.

if you have a half-a-brain then you can't certainly know whether a product flops or not.

(I agree that the techspot captcha words are often unreadable; fortunately, techspot registration is easy, as long as you pass the captcha )

1 person liked this | Pan Wah said:

I didn't anticipate Windows 8 stimulating anything, I'm just glad I imaged my drive so I could roll back to Windows 7 easily!

1 person liked this | Guest said:

WHO...?

Who thought that Window8 would stimulate PC gaming? This is NOT news, it is only horribly bad predictions. I have been a PC gamer, since before there were PC's.

My first real "OMG.. I can't put this down game" was Wizardry.. & not once have I ever went out and bought an OS, to play a game. Nor, do I know anyone, or had heard of anyone who has ever done this. Now.. I know people who upgraded from Windows98... to WindowsXP to play games. But that wasn't immediate.

Secondly, kids are dumb today and most cannot even handle an OS install. Microsoft is extremely dumb, if they themselves predicted that Windows8 would do anything for Gamers.

I am a hardcore gamer (30h+ week)... my new rig sitting on the floor has WIndows7 waiting to install. Bcuz Win8 does not serve me.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

I'm waiting for the release of Steam for Linux to stimulate game sales on the Linux platform. I don't think new OS's stimulate game sales, I think new quality games stimulate game sales.

Guest said:

Cough...cough.. BULLSHIT.. cough

it was "impossible" the same as M$ claimed no more than 640K was possible in DOS.. but I did it w/o them. I had mine running with 64MB flat memory model on boot many years before anything M$ did even similar.

It's not impossible.. it's morons in marketing artificially limiting options in an attempt to gouge more $.

Oh and I've been in IT for over 35 years now. Unlike winbloze kiddies hanging on M$ to do everything for them.

fteumer said:

Maybe devs will stop being lazy and learn to OpenGL so we can have some Mac/Linux games coming down the pipe. MS hasn't done jack shit for gamedevs in a while

wiyosaya said:

This is Extremely false info, it should be writters falt because they're stopping everyone from buying windows 8.

Reason people dont switch do win8 is articles like this.

there is no real reason NOT to upgrade, besides some bad feeling from all the downhype of some press. no start button? please.... just win-d. the new UI is just an overlay screen, geez....

Double posts here?

Personally, I don't see that there is any real reason TO upgrade. Aside from some performance improvements, there is nothing really spectacular in 8, and this requires that many will have to learn how to effectively use the new UI schema. Not everyone likes to tinker; some people actually like to get things accomplished when they sit at their computer, and 8 will set things back at least a month in that respect - IMHO.

So its been about a month, now, and from the tone of this article, it sounds as if M$ was expecting that the whole world would switch in that time frame? IMHO, yet another indication of M$ megalomania.

Why would game sales increase just because of a new O$ release? It is already well-know that 8 was not designed with games in mind, and it follows that gamers would shy away from it. 8 was M$ foolish attempt to unify the O$ across platforms and reduce their own costs because if that was successful, it would require that only one code base is maintained.

Finally, the business world will not upgrade. It is not cost effective since the business world just finished upgrading to 7. Without the business world on board, as I see it, 8 is doomed to be the next Me/Vista.

1 person liked this | Tygerstrike said:

"Cough...cough.. BULLSHIT.. cough

it was "impossible" the same as M$ claimed no more than 640K was possible in DOS.. but I did it w/o them. I had mine running with 64MB flat memory model on boot many years before anything M$ did even similar.

It's not impossible.. it's morons in marketing artificially limiting options in an attempt to gouge more $.

Oh and I've been in IT for over 35 years now. Unlike winbloze kiddies hanging on M$ to do everything for them."

Really? Your going to claim your some kind of wizkid IT professional because you discovered himem.sys and emm386.exe? If you were half the IT professional you claimed to be, you would know and understand the difference between low-level memory and high-level memory access. There is no way you could have booted a computer with 64MB's of low-access memory... it just wasn't possible. Even UNIX-based systems ran across that limitation, which is what prompted the creation of utility TSR's like himem.sys and emm386.exe... it enabled systems to access the Upper-Memory Block and Extended Memory Registers (himem.sys) as well as Expanded Memory Registers (emm386.exe).

But you, being the IT professional that you are, you know all about that, I'm sure. Where were you in the golden days when computers needed boot disks in order to play certain memory-extensive games like Ultima VII or Aces of the Pacific? You could have made a fortune selling your "technique" that enabled a fresh boot with 64MB's of RAM in a time when your average PC was sporting 4-8MB's of RAM.... 16MB if you were really really high end.

1 person liked this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Yikes, that reminded me of the hair pulling days of managing upper memory allocations. No matter how you managed to configure it there was always at least one program that didn't cooperate. Thus making it easier to (as you mentioned) create a boot disk with upper memory configuration differences and quite possibly booting without the normal memory resident programs.

when your average PC was sporting 4-8MB's of RAM.... 16MB if you were really really high end.
WOW another trip down memory lane, I was flying high when I purchased my first memory upgrade. I believe it was labeled 4MB 72Pin SIMM's which was non-EC if I remember correctly. That give me a grand total of 8MB memory on a 486 SX-50. That was back when Packard Bell was still sold in the states.

Guest said:

Does Microsoft actually believe that most people (families) upgrade their OS every few years..? I go over to people's houses and some still run Windows98, or XP.

Crazy^, I know... & I cringe when I see it, but people just don't buy computers every 2 years, more like every 5 years. And most have ZERO reason for Win8, as most jumped from Win98, WinXP.. to Win7. So for most people to buy Windows8 they will probably have to get a new COmputer, as upgrading does nothing for them... wasted $$.

Secondly, what is killing PC sales, is the price of Monitors. Why buy a $500 computer, when a family size Monitor is $600 ?

veLa veLa said:

Good thing I have a disk with every version of (pre-service pack) Windows 7.

JCitron JCitron said:

2 Points about this article:

- Adoption figures are wrong, check http://store.steampowered.com/hwsurvey you will see W8 accounts for around 5% when combining 64 bit and 32 bit versions.

- PC Game sales will not be influenced by the release of an OS, no matter how good it is. I (and I assume the majority of consumers) will buy games based on cost and quality of a product, not based on what version of an OS I am running. I understand the angle that there were hopes PC hardware sales would increase, but why would that impact PC sales dramatically? Most software can be transferred between PCs meaning there is little reason to buy new software unless it is a serious upgrade of hardware that allows you to play previously unplayable titles.

As it happens, there are naff all games being released this side of Christmas that I want and that I haven't already bought a couple of months ago. There was no massive Skyrim launch like last November only a few mediocre games, most of which didn't meet reviewers expectations.

Most of my budget this last month or two has gone into Kickstarter campaigns to to a lack of inspiring titles being launched this season.

I agree. What good new titles are there? They're all rehashes of the same garbage as far as games go, and they're all very, very expensive.

I was one of the people that upgraded to Win 8, and just as you say here, I migrated my games to the new OS. There was no reason to purchase anything new.

Guest said:

How surprising. How about investing in DirectX. I feel it's great time to revive OpenGL, build OpenCL GPU physics engine and make games that run on Linux ... and Os X ... and every windows in this millenium.

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.