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Thursday, September 15, 2005

Microsoft Kisses PC Games On Both Cheeks

Read into that what you will.

I know I'm on the slow side with this topic, so most people are probably familiar that Microsoft recently admitted to hurting the PC as a game platform and vowed to set things straight:

“We’re putting the ‘game’ back in Windows,” explained group manager Chris Donohue. “We’re over the hump with Xbox 360 so now ready to build Windows as a platform.”

And what will one of the most technologically capable countries in the world do to help out PC games? Apparently the main thrust is a sticker which announces that this game is indeed for Windows.

That should clear things right up. Because when I go into Best Buy, I'm constantly purchasing Mac games by mistake.

The thing is, what Microsoft really needs to do to help PC games is ditch the XBox. Two things are hurting the PC as a game platform. One is more stringent competition in the market with another console demographic to eat into sales. The other is cross-development initiatives which largely produce console-sized games for a PC market that wants, well, PC games. Perhaps if the 360 had a hard drive, I could see crossdev efforts being more even between the platforms ... but we all know how that went.

Then while browsing in the archives, I noticed this from the wise sage Ryan Gordon:

Gaming is an inevitability. When all the whores have run to the consoles because "it makes financial sense," the void will be immediately filled by independents that now have a worldwide market of powerful computers, a distribution channel on the internet, and no's not like people are going to stop playing games on their computers, regardless of what makes "financial sense" to the game houses.

Then I realize. Let them go. If all the big studios end up either moving towards consoles or simply creating portware for the PC ... let them go. There are plenty of people to take their place, more independents and garage enthusiasts now than in the history of gaming. PC (or Mac or Linux) gaming isn't anywhere, but as high profile games like Doom 3 and Deus Ex 2 get chopped down and subsequently vilified by the PC gaming community, indies who remain a little more oldschool when it comes of PC development will just have that much larger of an audience.

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