Gaming Major Selling Point for Vista

Gaming Major Selling Point for Vista Gaming Major Selling Point for Vista

Kicking off the 2007 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Microsoft unveiled games, technologies and partner support for gaming on its Windows Vista platform.

CES attendees will get hands-on with 15 of the hottest Games for Windows titles, including some of the first games to deliver graphics and gameplay through DirectX 10: Crysis (EA Partners/Crytek) and Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures (Eidos Interactive Ltd./Funcom). Gamers will also experience Shadowrun from Microsoft Game Studios, the first of many titles that will bring the Live gaming and entertainment network on Windows Vista for true cross-platform gameplay.

In addition, during the CES keynote address, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and Entertainment and Devices Division President Robbie Bach demonstrated the ease and simplicity of connecting people who play games on a Windows Vista PC to friends who play on Xbox 360 for a cross-platform game challenge with UNO (Mattel) - one of the many new upcoming casual games optimized specifically for Windows Vista.

Connecting Windows Vista and Xbox 360
Delivering on a vision that Microsoft presented at Electronic Entertainment Expo 2006, Microsoft Game Studios' Shadowrun and Mattel's UNO are part of the first wave of Live titles that bring the benefits of Xbox Live to gamers on Windows Vista, including an active community of nearly 5 million gamers, a single identity for each gamer across Windows and XBOX 360, as well as Achievements, which redefine what it means to conquer a game and share accomplishments with friends. The Live gaming and entertainment network will enable gamers to play and communicate online across both of Microsoft's gaming platforms, bringing more players and their friends together to play and connect in new, exciting ways. In addition , Halo 2 for Windows Vista (Microsoft Game Studios/Bungie Studios) will also support Live, enabling Windows gamers to communicate with Xbox Live gamers and earn Achievements in the famed Halo 2 campaign - a first for any Halo title on any platform.

Optimised Casual Games for Windows Vista

Puzzle-playing, fun-loving casual game players also will benefit from Windows Vista-optimised gameplay, with new titles available on MSN Games ( Bringing realistically detailed graphics and enriched gameplay features to casual players, the downloadable Windows Vista-based titles will launch in conjunction with the new operating system in late January. The feature-length games include updated versions of the popular puzzlers 7 Wonders of the Ancient World (Mumbo Jumbo) and Luxor 2 (Mumbo Jumbo); the all-new action and adventure game Bliss Island (Codemasters); the crystal-collecting, quick-shooting fun of Crystal Quest (Codemasters); Spinword (Slam Games), a brainteaser combining word puzzles and arcade action; the gem-filled matching puzzle Jewel Quest 2 (iWin); and the updated and graphically enhanced action adventure Darwinia (Introversion). In addition, the ever popular Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved (Bizarre Creations) will be making its debut on the PC. Requiring fast thinking and an even faster trigger finger, the PC version of this retro-inspired title will, along with most Windows Vista-optimised titles, support gameplay with both the keyboard and the Xbox 360 Wireless Controller for Windows.

Windows Vista itself caters to the casual game player. Updated versions of Windows-based classics such as Minesweeper, FreeCell and Solitaire, as well as all-new titles such as Chess Titans, Mahjong Titans and the family-friendly adventure game Purble Place, will be included with Windows Vista from the start and will be easy to discover by way of the new Windows Vista Games Explorer.

Games for Windows Portfolio

Taking advantage of the new operating system's technology and more user-friendly gaming features, the diverse Games for Windows portfolio of titles includes something for everyone, from the most hard-core enthusiast to casual players. Games such as Crysis (EA Partners/Crytek) and Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures (Eidos Interactive/Funcom) exploit the DirectX 10 technology in Windows Vista with vivid new levels of graphical detail and depth, while the highly anticipated titles Shadowrun (Microsoft Game Studios/FASA Studio) and Halo 2 (Microsoft Game Studios/Bungie Studios) will be the first to utilise Live services to connect the gaming experience between Windows Vista-based PCs and the 5 million strong Xbox 360 Live community.

The Games for Windows portfolio includes the following titles:
-Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures (Eidos Interactive/Funcom)
-Age of Empires III: The Warchiefs (Microsoft Game Studios/Ensemble Studios)
-Alan Wake (Microsoft Game Studios/Remedy)
-Bioshock (2K Games/Irrational Games)
-Company of Heroes- (THQ Inc./Relic Entertainment)
-Crysis (EA Partners/Crytek)
-Enemy Territory: Quake Wars (Activision/Splash Damage)
-Flight Simulator X (Microsoft Game Studios/ACES Studio)
-Frontlines: Fuels of War (THQ/Kaos Studios)
-Halo 2 (Microsoft Game Studios/Bungie Studios)
-Hellgate: London (EA Partners/NAMCO BANDAI Games/Flagship Studios)
-LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy (LucasArts/TT Games)
-Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar- (Midway/Turbine Inc.)
-Marvel Universe Online (Microsoft Game Studios/Cryptic Studios)
-Rail Simulator (EA Partners/Kuju Entertainment)
-Shadowrun (Microsoft Game Studios/FASA Studio)
-Supreme Commander (THQ/Gas Powered Games)
-Tabula Rasa (NCSoft Corp./ Destination Games)
-World in Conflict (Sierra Entertainment/Massive Entertainment)
-Zoo Tycoon 2: Extinct Animals (Microsoft Game Studios/Blue Fang Games)
-Zoo Tycoon 2: Marine Mania (Microsoft Game Studios/Blue Fang Games)
-Zoo Tycoon 2: Zookeeper Collection (Microsoft Game Studios/Blue Fang Games)

DirectX 10

The DirectX 10 API (application programming interface) in Windows Vista is built from the ground up to provide gamers with a rich and incredibly detailed graphic experience. Consumers can see this technology in action in the Games for Windows booth at CES with the NVIDIA GeForce 8800, the first DirectX 10-enabled discrete video card to hit the market, powering demos of "Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures" (Eidos Interactive/Funcom) and "Crysis" (EA Partners/Crytek). DirectX 10 utilizes the new Windows Vista Display Driver Model and Shader Model 4.0, giving developers the tools to bring game environments to life and maximize the power of the latest video card technology.