After two underwhelming years spent trying to be just as essential to PC gaming as Xbox Live is to console, Grand Theft Auto IV might just take Games for Windows and kiss away all its tears of frustration. Or, if Microsoft drops the ball, it could be another nail in the coffin of PC gaming, writes Wired. That might piss off PC gamers who are just fine with Steam and are tired of hearing more talk about how their way of life is going extinct. But Microsoft's exclusive control of GTA:IV for the PC does have implications for PC gaming at large.
Microsoft has exclusive control over Grand Theft Auto IV for the PC, and while some PC gamers might be indignant that it leaves out the better-performing, more accepted Steam -- especially for taking advantage of its enhanced multiplayer -- the lure of a powerhouse title coupled with real improvements to Games for Windows could do much more to bring new PC gamers into the fold. That's a big if.
Already Microsoft has dropped its fee for the service, and will be adding an improved interface and a standalone client. Support for Xbox 360 controllers could also narrow the precision and performance gap among controllers in cross-platform gaming. And simplifying system requirements with this Windows Experience Rating could help, although that sounds like it's still dependent on broad Vista adoption, a problem the writer says got in the way of Games for Windows success early on.
Grand Theft Auto IV Could Save Games for Windows [blog.wired.com]