Remember using your PC for games? Apparently, those days are here again as Microsoft tries to gee up the Windows 7 gaming market
A strange thing has happened in recent years, all the PC's best reasons for gaming slowly ebbed away to the consoles (apart from mouse/keyboard controls and super high resolutions). Consoles were less hassle, easier to develop for and sold in huge numbers and gradually PC titles moved to console only or we were treated with shoddy reverse ports.
As a long-standing PC gamer, it seemed the only thing to do was to surrender and get a console. Hence, the whirry Xbox 360 or PS3 sat under many televisions. In one of its periodic stabs at reversing this flow, largely based on the success of Windows 7 sales, Microsoft is launching a new campaign fronted by the Peter Molyneux's latest opus, Fable III.
Fable III, new role playing game, same old corsetry
Recent pushes to encourage gaming have failed due to lacklustre gaming support in Windows Vista and the less-than-popular Games for Windows Live client plus confusion over hardware requirements and upgrades (which has probably done more than anything to convert gamers to consoles).
Now though, with an improving Games for Windows Live client and a batch of quality titles due for release, now would be as good a time as any to give the PC gaming horse one more flog. Hopefully it will be a proper push of content and events linked to both box and game makers, and not just a weak-wristed marketing campaign.
Microsoft is certainly on the backfoot here, having closed down famed developers Ensemble (Age of Empires) and FASA (MechWarrior) and canning its long-serving Flight Simulator series, it has lost much good will from the gaming community. Steam is a far more relevant app for many and Windows 7 users are no more likely to start gaming, just because a few good games are doing the rounds.
But, as Microsoft puts it; "In terms of revenue, Windows is far and away the largest gaming platform in the world, so it's an incredibly important part of Microsoft's business. From core games like "Fable III" to casual, social and Facebook titles, more gaming happens on Windows than anywhere else. "Fable III" on Windows as well as Xbox 360 this holiday is a great first step, and we'll have more news for you later this summer."
So, can Microsoft invigorate the PC gaming arena once more, or is the last rattle of a once proud empire?