Windows 8 and Gaming

I have been messing about with windows 8 recently. Just to see its compatibility with older games and just the general feel of it.

Windows 8 upon start up presents you with a slide-to-unlock screen akin to the Windows Phone, though entirely pointless if you are not using a touchscreen (though a simple tap of the space bar works just as well, if not faster) you are then presented with an "app" screen. Its not too dissimilar to the windows phone or 360 interface, and feels a little iOS too, though it's debatable as to whether this is a good thing on a desktop/laptop:

As you can see this is your typical workspace, undoubtedly designed for a touchscreen interface. You have apps (which when clicked on/tapped expand into their own fullscreen versions) as you can see, there is an inbuilt twitter/RSS/Weather and the Facebook app "Socialite" doesn't work currently.

Those with keen eyes will also see Final Fantasy VIII! Well I just dug out my old copy of it and installed it to see what it ran like. And it's fine, its no different from windows 7 in fact, upon clicking it you are taken to windows 7 desktop for it to launch. And there in lies my grumbles with Windows 8. It is just a wrapper. the desktop is just Windows 7 and given this is an OS for Laptops and Desktop PCs, the desktop is where you will spend most of your time, with one crippling annoyance; NO START MENU. That's right if you are working on the desktop and you click the "start menu" button in the bottom-left, or press the windows key you are taken to the app menu screen. Which is annoying, say you want to get to 'My Documents' you click start then from the app screen you select Windows Explorer, which takes you back to the Desktop. Don't get me wrong it's seamless, and instantaneous, even on older hardware, but feels long winded.

However I digress a little. Look at me talking about operating systems and such... This is a gaming site, and not only that, the second greatest gaming blog of all time. What will this mean for games? Well in all likely-hood 2-3 days extra development time to create prettier animated icons on the app page which show character stats etc. And well for those of you who are keener eyes, from the pic above you would see "Store" button. The windows 8 store is not open yet, but when it does you can bet most of the Windows Phone games will be there, Plants vs Zombies, Angry birds etc. But what about the 360 ones? Will we see RE4 HD remake? I'm gonna go out on a limb and say, No. These are games designed for the 360 with a controller in mind, I highly doubt they will be converted/ported for PC and PC controls (and I appreciate that RE4 did come out for the PC, this may have been a bad example, but well, fuck you, we are a resident evil site at heart) And similarly, you would think it would work both ways? If you could somehow buy Diablo III through the windows store, would you be able to play it on the 360? Nope. As much as these systems are homogenizing their will be different platforms (for now... Who knows what wonders the new MS console will bring)

Love and Chocobo World,

Richie X

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