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Friday, July 29, 2005

Microsoft Meltdown 2005

Vista Vista

Microsoft Meltdown 2005

"CGW breaks down the latest (and greatest?) operating system.

Happy Birthday, DirectX:
I had a choice this week: Go to LA and soak in G4's videogame bacchanalia known as G-Phoria or fly to Microsoft's home turf to talk about and celebrate all things "X" on the tenth anniversary of DirectX. Guess which I chose....

[What the heck was I thinking?]

Yes, folks, Microsoft Meltdown - two glorious days discussing Windows "Longhorn," DirectX 10, XNA ... and, for those paying really close attention, how to get the most out of Visual C++ 2005.

The PC's exaggerated "demise"
One thing that has made the PC game market look dead as a doornail has been NPD's grossly inaccurate numbers -- numbers that every half-assed pundit likes to quote. While console game sales continue to grow, PC game sales have appeared flatline, no growth, stuck at around $2.3 Billion per year. Yeah, guys -- AT RETAIL. NPD doesn't take into account online sales, a huge revenue stream! Online kicks in another $2 billion worldwide (projected) by year's end. By end of 2009, projections for online sales alone will be $6.9 billion. "And that's a conservative estimate," added Rich Wickham, Microsoft's Director of Business Development and Strategy.
Microsoft's Lisa Sikora, Product Manager for Windows Gaming, wanted to drive home the fact that while there are vocal minorities of PC-only and console-only gamers, a larger number of people own both, and get their gaming fix wherever they can.

Sikora talked about big plans to get the PC out of the gaming ghetto -- the back, crap racks in retail stores. Basically, there's going to be a big push at retail to create a Windows gaming space, right there next to where you're accustomed to seeing the Xbox/X360, Playstation 2/3, and GameCube displays. While nobody could officially comment, word has it Wal-Mart is one of the retail chains considering rezoning stores to make more room for gaming -- even taking out stuff like other electronics.

But the big news, obviously, is the new OS. "When people want to show off what Vista and DirectX 10 can do, people will be showing off games. That's what [Microsoft's] executives do," says Wickham. Most will have to wait for a big consumer unveiling of the new OS this coming January at CES, yours truly was on-hand to see Windows Vista in action.
According to the Microsoft message: Windows games is becoming a big priority. A study done among thousands of users determined that 35% of people use the PC for Web surfing, 18% use it for games and everything else is an also-ran. The next biggest thing, email, is only 9.2%. This gave Microsoft the boot in the proverbial ass to get back to its PC gaming roots." [more]

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