Windows 10: 'The Best Operating System ... For Gamers On PCs'

Yes, of course that's what Phil Spencer, Microsoft's head of Xbox would say in a fluff video promoting the company's latest console and upcoming operating system. The thing is, Windows 10 has to be a better deal for gamers, given the mess that Vista was (despite the inclusion of DirectX 10) and the unpalatable, though improved, experience of Windows 8 / 8.1.

Here are Spencer's words from the above video, and begin around the 1:40 mark:

For the Xbox team, this is the beginning of our discussion with fans about the work that we're doing to bring gaming to the Windows 10 operating system. It's really nice to finally be able to talk about this, we'll continue the conversation throughout the year. We remain omitted to gaming on console, but we know that we have fans and gamers that also play on PC and phone.

It's important that we build out the features that we have, learning from what we've done on console and helping make Windows 10 the best operating system we've ever created for gamers on PCs.

We know that DirectX 12 is coming towards the end of the year and with it, games that take advantage of the improvements it brings — mainly in the area of performance, thanks to refinements in Direct3D 12. Unlike AMD's Mantle, which has dropped off the radar in the last few months, developers will eventually incorporate Microsoft's API in all AAA titles.

It took a while for this shift to occur with Direct3D 11 as users migrated from Windows XP to Vista and 7, but with modern hardware already supporting the API and with less than four per cent of Steam gamers using pre-Vista operating systems, the only real barrier to Direct3D 12 adoption is how fast developers can integrate it into their engines.

The only remaining pickle is DirectX 12 support on pre-Windows 10 systems. Microsoft still hasn't made a statement about this, though AMD certainly muddied the waters. Unless the new OS introduces radical changes in the kernel, display driver model or desktop composition, there shouldn't be any software or technical roadblocks. I should point out that this is just speculation on my part as a games developer.

Overall, however, the news is positive. Microsoft has learnt some valuable lessons not only with its console business, but the ghosts of previous operating systems and APIs. It also helps that there's been consolidation in the technology used to make games — Unreal Engine, Unity and to a lesser degree CryEngine and Frostbite — so that as soon as middleware vendors update their renderers, developers will be able to take advantage of the improvements with little friction.

So, yes, 2015 and beyond should be a nicer landscape for PC gamers, though we'll have to wait and see if Windows 10 is a decent operating system, regardless of what it does for games, otherwise Windows 7 will end up being the new Windows XP, arguably a position it already holds.

Xbox One Closes a Record-Breaking Holiday and Looks Ahead to 2015 [Xbox Wire, via Gamespot]


Comments

    a great way to get people to switch to this, release Halo MCC on PC then make in win10 only, like they did with Halo 2, except win10 wont be crap

      If they do, I hope they don't do what they did with Halo 2 where it could run fine on XP, they just had a code check to say "If not running on Vista, don't start".

      Actually a great way would be to make it worth upgrading to and cheap enough for people to do so. Locking content is one of the dumbest ways since its not incentive its punishing people for not upgrading.

      If enough people I trust tell me Windows 10 is great I'll go for it - If not I'll keep waiting not rewarding Microsoft for taking advantage of me.

      A lot of people I know are waiting for win10, they're keen for an upgrade, but mots hate win8 without ever using it because of the bad press. I think a lot of people will be upgrading anyway.

        i use 8.1, i kinda like it, even use those metro features,

          I don't see why Win 8 gets all the haters.. it's fine. I never use metro though unless I have to, when I do.. it's fine lol. I actually wish they had never put the start menu button back into win 8.1 it just takes up space and doesn't actually do anything other then put you back to the metro tiles (you can probably disable it, I haven't even looked tbh).

          Only problem I have is some older games apparently have issues that cannot be resolved... but I have an old laptop or XP PC if I desperately want those. Desperado's and Max Payne 1 are the two I haven't been able to get going so far.. but that's going to be an issue moving forward with anything... it's not like I can play NES games on my Wii.. (Oh wait I can heh bad example).

          Need an "XP Box" to go alongside Dosbox soon...

            the start menu doesnt do anything? I guess you dont play with any of your settings etc very often? It is so much easier being able to click on it to bring up control panel and other admin tools. I use win 8 and have been since release, however like others i dont touch metro...except to use search.

              He means the start button, in Win 8 the windows icon wasn't there on the task bar, so you instead waved the cursor in the bottom left corner of the screen and just clicked (or hit the windows key). In 8.1 they put the button there so that users of previous versions of Windows wouldn't be confused.
              I think having it there on the task bar is nicer (and I sometimes right click on it to quickly access control panel and such), but Win+X also does a fine job of that as well as Win+R whatever I want.

                Yeah that's what I meant the button. I just find the win button does the same thing so I don't ever touch the icon.. but to each their own. I have all sorts of shortcuts (extra button) on my laptop I probably should use but don't lol, one day I might get around to learning what I can do with them.

                Last edited 19/01/15 11:06 am

              damn i love being able to right click the start button and get control panel, and a few other things

    He just grouped Pc Gamers with Windows Phone Gamers.

      Yeah, If I was trying to convince people Windows 10 was going to be a serious OS I would not have mentioned the word phone at all.

      Being designed around a phone is what ruined Windows 8.

        I wouldn't say ruined, but I was against it until I saw it set up sensibly.

      He's probably alluding to the fact that the phone, pc and xbox will all share the same kernel or whatever. One big OS for everything.

        Yeah, I understand that is what he is alluding to, it's just... Well Valve treat's you like the gamer you want to be treated. Microsoft.... Sort of think's you want to be part of a family friendly grouped experience half the time. There just needs to be a sign that there is enthusiasm for HC Gamers.

      I don't know about the whole gaming angle, but I like winpho (not much of a 'mobile gamer' tho.. just for phone type/life admin things)

    Just don't try and turn my PC into an xbox and I'll be happy. In fact don't even use the xbox brand on my pc, I don't need that.

      If Windows 10 had the ability to play Xbox One games (assuming xbox controller is plugged in, and the system has a bluray drive) then i might be tempted to return to Windows... and buy xbox one games.

        ^ That will never ever happen ever

          Which is sad isn't it? They could make have a whole new market of people buying Xbox gear to plug into their Pc's. Microsoft could have started Mainstream cross-play.

    Spencer still doesn't get that Windows is obsolete?

      Yes, the most popular operating system is obsolete.

      Can you elaborate on that statement.

      I'm currently running windows on my PC and I certainly don't want to run Linux on it. I'd lose so many programs and functionality. Not to mention needing to do hours or perhaps days worth of research to find replacements for all my software.

      Also none of my games would work which is another major pain in the arse.

    I agree with fvhound and valhalla. PC gaming is not mobile gaming, and if they ever try to group them in more than just "They are both Windows" then they will lose all our respect very quickly.

    And our PCs are not xbox, ever heard of PCMR Microsoft?

    Then stop treating me like a criminal every time I upgrade my PC , forcing me to call my parole officer and beg to be relicensed for the operating system I paid far too much money for to be allowed to run it on my current PC.

    Last edited 18/01/15 9:40 am

      There is rumour that they will have a choice of old licence model or one too like Office now has. So if you upgrade often and have more than one PC (especially in house holds with kids etc) then you can pay a yearly amount to have any combination of machines licenced. For many people this would be way better. Not all though obviously but it is a choice rather than the one way only model.

      Use the phone activation, it skips all that and straight up asks you "Is this still installed on another computer?" if no, it gives you a code, if yes it tells you to ring customer support.

      You're using an OEM/system builder licence right? In which case you've no right to whinge about having to contact Microsoft when you change enough hardware to trigger the reactivation process. Honestly you're lucky MS let's you reactivate multiple times because far as I'm aware it's not part of the EULA.

      I have a full license for Win 7 and have done 3 hardware revisions since getting it and haven't had to call once.

        I only had to call them up after a catastrophic hardware failure where I changed everything but the HDDs. And besides bugging me all the time the only thing they locked me out of was customisation settings so I couldn't change my background.

      I spoke with Microsoft Customer Service, just to ask the question;
      "Do I need to... 'Un-register' The key to my OS before I Format it and re install with a pirated Windows 8, But then use my Key that I paid for"?
      'You shouldn't have to do anything like that, Windows will just install.'

      Just in case I did a bit of Google, and yeah, found steps on how to make an active key in-active.
      The windows dude was really confused as well about my Windows install.

      "Where is the disc you purchased with the software?"
      'I had Windows 7, and paid 40 bucks for the upgrade key to 8, So I downloaded all those files back then, that's why I have a windows 8 install on my usb.'
      "So you do have a windows official install?"
      'No dude...I just told you, I paid for the key, but didn't have an actual disc.'
      "How did you get the install files then"

      >.>

      I wasn't going to argue with him about it though, he might find out I upgraded to windows 8 with a pirated windows 7 xD

        His response still doesn't make sense as you can legit upgrade without ever needing a CD/DVD - I upgraded my originally vista laptop (first to win 7, then win 8) by purchasing an upgrade from the MS website - was emailed a key, then I downloaded the windws 8 installer (on a different PC no less)

    Is:
    Windows Media Player back how it was in Vista/useable?
    MS Paint back how it was in Vista/useable?
    Control Panel back how it was in Vista/useable?

    And I want confirmation that Windows 10 does not contain analytics and other spyware sending info back to Microsoft, in 2015 we have to ask this since the mobile world has become so entirely polluted with analytics (which is piracy by the way - think about it) that now whenever developers make apps, it's less about delivering an app and instead all about stealing information from the phone regarding identity/imei and how the app is used, as well as any other information they don't need but will take anyway.

    I've been running the Windows 10 preview for sometime now and I really like it. I liked Windows 8.1 (wasn't a huge fan of vanilla 8, but it was tolerable).

    Win 10 just feels... polished. It's still got some issues (it is a preview after all), but all in all it runs great, loads apps fast, and games seem to run beautifully.

    No way to benchmark it against 8.1 or 7 unfortunately, but anecdotally, it feels like a big step up (or a step back to 7 depending on how you see it ;))

    been running windows 10 tech preview for the last few months - love it, amazing. i used to run 8 before that and theyve really listened to the users with this one. get on it people.

    Why did they skip 9? What's wrong with 9??

      Rumour is it's to avoid causing conflicts with string comparisons in (primarily) web applications that detect Windows 95 and 98 together with the wildcard "Windows 9*" (or "Win9*"). This was stated at one point by a Microsoft developer but I'm not sure if this is the main reason behind it.

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