Windows 8: The end of Windows based gaming?

PC Gaming Death


Total votes: 97

PC and consoles used to be the main (if not the only) contenders in the battle for gamers’ hearts and wallets. Despite the abbreviated name however, when people said PC gamers, they really meant Windows gamers, as that's what 99 per cent of people were using. However, it seems that the future of this Microsoft paradise is clouded by recent news about Windows 8 as well as fan reactions.

Even Vista didn't drum up this much hate from consumers. While it was slow and had issues with drivers, memory protection and DRM, you never had Gabe Newell coming out and saying it was a “catastrophe,” or Notch saying that he would rather Minecraft was never made compatible with it. Of course one of these men wasn't the household name he is today when Vista was released, but the point is, as much as people hated Vista, they really hate Windows 8.

But why? We talked about this a little bit the other day [link to news article] where one of our kind readers laid out in detail some of the problems with the system. While they aren't quite as bad as some people have made out, they do still represent a worrying trend that could lead to the end of Windows as the world's dominant PC gaming OS.

The issue at the heart of the Windows 8 debocle is that it's moving into a more closed system. With the Windows Store, like Apple's App Store or Valve's Steam, Microsoft has to approve content before it's given the go ahead to be available to the public. If you get the thumbs up, your game will be available not only on Windows 8, but Windows Phones and Windows RT Tablets.

This isn't just for games either, but all forms of software. If you want your calculator app, your football scores, your news reader program on Windows 8's Metro tile interface, then it has to go through the Windows Store.

Worrying some people is the fact that Microsoft has already blocked some titles from being added to its store. Skyrim has been blocked because of its adult content. That is likely to change as certificate ratings are raised on the store, but for now, mature content is hard to find.

Fortunately as it stands with Windows 8, those that want to bypass the store do have a workaround: they can just install it on the desktop, which acts like a refined Windows 7 but without the start bar. In that part of the OS, you can install whatever you like, but it misses out on resizing and live tiles.

It also misses out on perhaps the biggest advantage with this system, the added sales and publicity from being on the big cross platform marketplace for the OS – though developers do need to pay Microsoft a 30 per cent cut of whatever sells through the store.

So as it stands, Windows 8 doesn't make it impossible to game, it just means that if you want a guarantee that all your games will work, you need to accept that you might need to forgo some of the main Metro features.

So If Windows 8 itself doesn't kill PC gaming, why is everyone kicking up so much of a fuss? It's because of what the move to a more closed system means; what it represents. PC gaming has always been an open platform for development. Mods could be freely installed – something that the Windows Store doesn't support at all – hardware could be changed, overclocking could be done. Having a gaming PC represented doing things your own way, while having the ease of use that came with a polished package.

With Windows 8 Microsoft is moving in a much more restricted direction. The worry is that Windows 8 might be just a transitional operating system. It might be the first in a line of steps that end up with an app store and not much else. Will that kill PC gaming for good?

Fortunately it doesn't look that way. Can anyone think of a platform with a reputation for being more open than the PC? While it might not quite have the user friendliness of its corporate rivals, Linux is growing into a gaming OS in its own right. A few years ago you'd have been lucky to find any big name developers producing compatible content. Now all you need to do is check out Steam's ongoing Linux Beta, or every single Humble Bundle to see that people are beginning to consider Linux as a viable platform.

That means the chicken and egg scenario has already played out. Whether the games or the gamers came first to Linux doesn't matter, what does is that it holds the potential to become the gaming system of the future.

For now Windows 7 will suffice and Windows 8 will probably be ok. The future however depends on Microsoft. If it takes more notes out of Apple's playbook and closes itself off like the Xbox to protect its interests, instead of allowing people to use their hardware like they want to, it could find itself with a large audience migrating to greener Linux pastures.

So guys where do you stand? While Windows 8 might not be the greatest thing for gaming, it's hardly the roadblock that some people proclaimed it to be. It's a bit faster than Windows 7 too and has some new features for compatible software.

Are you going to buy Windows 8? Do you see yourself switching to Linux in future? Let us know below.

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Re: hi

the guy who said no one is forced into it is a little wrong its called end of life support its happened to evey version of windows normaly they give us 2 years after the new of is out to get use to it but if u try to download any addons for win 7 im not talking about drivers or patches, u cant they have taken them away and replaced it with a sorry we are moving to win 8

Wait so in your words we NEED

Wait so in your words we NEED their worthless live support for our OS to work? i wonder why XP still works fine then... Just course Microsoft stops making things for the OS dosnt mean all the hardware developers do... couldnt care less if Microsoft removed support havnt had any use for their support as of yet and you do know that Microsoft also bends after peer pressure right? :)

I can only say one thing. No

I can only say one thing. No one is forcing anyone to buy Windows 8, personally i'll be sticking with Windows 7 till they make a Windows 9 seeing as every other Windows they have made was utter crap. in other words... Windows 7 good... Windows 8 utter crap.. Windows 9 good.

people who use the "every

people who use the "every other release" excuse are idiots. It's a god **** coincidence. It doesn't mean 8 is bad. It's not bad, it's really powerful for desktop applications and ******* stunning on metro. pull your head out of your *** and give it a try.

Can't really blame people...

If you go back over the years, look at Win 98 First edition, not great. Win 98 2nd Edition was awesome! Then along came Windows ME...a disaster. Windows XP was great (after first service pack) and then Vista was a flop. Win 7 is still great (I've just bought a new laptop a couple months ago) and now out comes Windows 8, what is the perception going to be? I bought the $15 upgrade which Microsoft is still offering till Jan 2013 (for pc's bought after June 2012) . Installed it in VirtualBox, played with it a little bit. Not impressed by the "Metro" interface and installed the "Start Menu button" back in, but have been working on Win 7 ever since. Haven't bothered upgrading my system yet. Will give it some time and let people play with it first before I'll think about changing. I love touch screens (I have an Android based Samsung Galaxy SII cellphone) but I DO NOT want to be touching my pc/laptop screen and leaving dirty fingerprints all over. I edit a lot of photos and that would drive me insane!! Bad enough trying to get bits of dust or dirty marks off the actual pictures now you want to make it worse Microsoft?! Anyway, hopefully they won't completely close out everyone and wake up and smell the anger brewing!

It may be good for what you

It may be good for what you use it for.. for gaming it isnt plain and simple.. restrictions prevents you from greatness.. Windows 8 for Work yeah sure.... but seeing as most companies have only just converted to Windows 7 then i doubt it there as well...

Metro UI is a little annoying

Metro UI is a little annoying, but all in all I've seen decent performance increases between windows 8 and windows 7 on the same hardware config. As someone who works in the tech industry I was super skeptical about windows 8, but since I got a free copy on launch, I decided to upgrade. Can always go back if needed. But surprisingly I've grown to like it. Its not as bad as most people think and there is a lot of hate going out towards it from people that didn't spend more than 20 minutes using it and actually learning and understanding how to use it. And most of all if the metro UI is what really bothers you, there are SEVERAL start menu replacement apps, as well as a registry edit that can be done.


Every successor OS eats even more resources, so I won't be changing. Devs probaby will stay in win7 too for a long time. I don't like this microsoft strategy of filtering everything through app store.

8 is actually less resource

8 is actually less resource intensive than 7. Aero is gone, so you get that back. Don't hold your breath. Microsoft is NOT going back. they spent a lot of time and money on this new OS, they wont abandon it. It might get changed but it's not going away.

Thank you

I had posted in the previous article this one was talking about, where the serious sam developer was bashing Windows 8 but, based on the content of the article, I felt he had little exposure to it. So I gave some findings my consulting company came across as a bit of a rebuttle, and it received some decent feedback. I am most likely wrong, but if the reader you refer to in your article here was me, I sincerely appreciate that and am quite flattered that some of my info helped procure an article.

this article is retarded its

this article is retarded its still windows and it still has direct x. direct x is what makes gaming on windows possible with so many different hardware profiles and computers and its not like windows 8 makes games slower or perform with lower frame rates the video card drivers and direct x are in control of that. and your wrong you can make any program that is installed on windows 8 show up in the metro ui all you have to do is right click it in your all apps catagory and click pin to start its that simple also windows 8 has a desktop mode that you add icons to and use. you can still use steam on windows 8 to to download and play games all the microsoft store does is add another location to download games from and most of them are simple games that hard core gamers wouldnt touch.

What I don't get

To answer the main topics question, I doubt I'll be switching to Windows 8 any time soon, because there's no real reason to do so. Maybe its a stupid question but without the START button how do you access all your installed programs and games? Assuming that not all programs/games create shortcuts on the desktop.

You just drag your mouse to

You just drag your mouse to the upper right corner a menu will pop out, then press explore. There you have everything installed on your pc, just like before. People are making more than it really is, all windows 7 funcionallities work as they did on windows 8. The only thing added its the store...on X86 X64 platforms its still the same windows withh added features.

I really don't understand

I really don't understand this. From what I gather is that the windows store is just a store available only to the windows platform. It isn't the only way to get software but an option. So if Microsoft has their own store then they deserve to control what goes in it. This won't prevent you from installing other applications from another source. So you still get Steam. You will still have origin. You will still have all the programs you have now.

win 8

Yes you are totally correct. The metro UI covers the windows that we know. I have my version of windows 8 running almost like win 7. I don't understand where everyone is getting that this could be the end of Windows based gaming. Skyrim installs just like it did. With Steam or using a disk. MS app store may not allow the game but who cares.... Do people really want everything through the store?


Absolutely Correct. The only reason it would have to go thru the windows Store is IF YOU WANT IT TO HAVE A TILE ON METRO UI. Thats It. I have the same games even Dos box running on windows 8 Pro. I still play Duke3D, Wolfenstien(original), X-com (originals), Eve Online, Star Trek Online, and many others ALL NOT ran into the Windows Store. Windows 8 is NOT the end of gaming, It's business as usual For Developers. The Only new business is if they want it in Windows App Store and again the only reason to do that is if you want a shiny little Tile on the metro screen (which I rarely to the point of almost never ******* Use to be honest).

^ this. And if you want a non

^ this. And if you want a non-metro app to be on the tile screen, you can add it by pinning it like you do with the start bar in windows 7, it's not rocket science or threatening people's precious 'open' (that word has lost all meaning, thank Google for that) - all this doom-saying is complete, ridiculous hyperbole spread by software distribution companies that are scared of Microsoft stealing a share of their profits. Of course, if the fat divine Valve man says something drives of clueless nerds will blindly follow in droves.

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