The Windows Store: Microsoft's Strategy To Attract PC Gamers

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DrakeFS

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What about SLI support, or VSync options, or no modding.
MS stated they are working on the V-Sync options and that SLI was up to the game dev to implement it (supposedly nothing is disabling\blocking SLI from Microsoft's side). I have not seen anything from MS addressing the modding concern.
 

poochiepiano

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I wouldn't mind using Windows store for games. It doesn't matter to me if my library is split up among clients. Might help influence Steam to get back in the game instead of offering "huge" sales where 85% of the games are bad, 14% are old, but good, and the other 1% are new, with modest discounts like 10%. I mean, I still think the sales are good, but not quite like the steam sales I remember.
 

amk-aka-Phantom

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Even though the Windows Store is up and running, it’s still lacks a few features that PC gamers are accustomed to in various clients such as Steam and GOG. So far, the biggest complaints were regarding the Windows Store overlay and the need for mod support.
This is garbage. Tom's, please elaborate on this, it's not a minor concern. I know from news on other sites that it's not just a "few missing features": gamers are locked out of changing critical settings, for example V-Sync or forcing fullscreen mode instead of borderless windowed. You can't use any overlays, you don't have access to the game's executable (so you can't add it to Steam or use a Steam controller with it), mouse macros don't work. Also, the games are only usable under Windows 10, and the refund policy is pretty much non-existent. Steam needs a kick in its collective behind for sure (they still don't have high DPI support, and even their site still uses Flash for some things that don't need it), but this is just laughable. This is worse than UPlay. This is the accursed GFWL back in new form, and we as PC gamers need to collectively ignore it and spread the word so that our less knowledgeable friends do too. Don't give MS your money for this junk!
 

clonazepam

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Preach it amk-aka-Phantom. I'm a DualShock 4 controller user, so their xbox app and microsoft store is completely useless to me.

Their introduction of xinput was all fine and dandy when they had the install base advantage. Now that's not the case, and they also have the inferior software and inferior hardware, as well as being out sold nearly 2 to 1.

I just assumed it would be bad, but if what you say is accurate, that's absolutely horrible.

My computer is an extension of my own brain, and I would like to have as much control (choice) as possible as to how I conduct my thinking. I don't want to be coerced into thinking a certain way. I don't want to be told my way of thinking is wrong and unacceptable. I may want to think faster (or slower) than others, and the extension of my own brain should be able to accommodate that level of choice.
 

realnoize

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I don't know what's happening at Microsoft. I mean, really, surely, someone at Microsoft knows about Steam and the fact that it has MILLIONS of active users. So Valve, for all the wrongs they can do, must at least do some things right, right? It looks like the Microsoft people behind this are completely ignorant about what PC gamers want, or even who they are and the reasons why they prefer gaming on PCs rather than on consoles.
PC is about CHOICE. It's about OPTIONS. It's about CUSTOMIZATION. Let the user choose what he likes best. What works best for him and his hardware.
Universal apps/games with no adjustable settings are fine for phones and tablets. Or consoles. Not for PC.
"Yeah, but what about those 'casual' players on PC that don't want to deal with all of this?" some might say... Well, those people surely aren't going to buy Gears of War. They're playing Solitaire, Wordament or other mobile-type games. And most of those gamers who don't want to set anything up before playing are ALREADY playing on consoles.

I don't understand who Microsoft is targeting with this.
 

porksmuggler

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GFWL 2.0, The Walled Garden Returns. Can't blame them for trying, nice puff piece by the way, like the softball "Needs More Work" section.
 

Gam3r01

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There comes a point in nearly everything when you are too far along to try and change anything.
Steam has already flooded the market and secured its place at the top. MS may have had the right idea many years ago, but this seems like a futile effort.
 

epobirs

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Try to explain to the customers targeted by the Windows Store why V-sync, SLI, and modding is an issue. You'll get a blank stare and perhaps hear, "I just want to play." These people are not going to care about the glories of gaming on a high-spec rig. They'll play 60fps at 4K when it works on their $800 AIO from Best Buy and only if it happens by default.

All those things you may think should matter are just noise to them. Trying to make them care is like trying to insist that somebody who wanted the slightly peppier model of car needs to subscribe to Street Racer magazine to achieve fulfillment. Microsoft knows there are tens of millions of people who are not going to buy a game console but will buy games if they don't have to blatantly advertise the activity to casual observers in their home. Yes, after all these years there are still plenty of people who regard overt indications of gaming as a mark of immaturity. Those people have money to spend.
 

Noah_11

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I think people are missing the point in Microsoft's strategy. They're not trying to compete with steam. They are trying to bring Xbox gamers to the PC. Why? So they can sell them on windows software and services. This is good for PC gaming.
 

Achoo22

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Microsoft's strategy to attract PC gamers can be stated rather simply: Microsoft is going to coerce developers to abandon current development and deployment strategies in favor of exclusively distributing through their storefront. I am sure they are paying through the nose to get developers on board, too, because any developer that would willingly alienate Steam, Origin, Uplay, DRM-free, Windows 7, and Windows 8 users is stupid. I haven't really played EA games since Origin came out, so eschewing Windows 10 exclusives won't be difficult.
 

bak0n

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If its designed for the console, I personally won't buy it for the PC in almost every case. The interfaces are typically way to clunky for a keyboard and mouse gamer.
 

realnoize

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But then again, those people probably don't have a PC decent enough to play graphically intensive games such as Gears of War or the latest Tomb Raider or the upcoming Forza. This ain't Microsoft's Solitaire. Those people you talk about probably bought their PC at Best Buy and are running on integrated graphics (or maybe a very low-end GPU) and if, like you say, hardware specs are simply noise to them, do you think they'll have a look at these before buying and notice the game won't run on their hardware? No, because hardware specs is "noise" to them.

So again, if Microsoft is targeting these people, I fail to understand to logic behind it. If you already want to play such games on a PC, you bought a "gaming" GPU (or a PC with one inside) and are already using it for that. Games like these need a gaming GPU, and these usually don't come standard with "standard" PCs. And if you spend more on a gaming PC, you probably ALREADY had reasons to do so, and so are already invested in an existing platform (Steam, Origin, Uplay)...

So... what is this market you think Microsoft is aiming at? This feels like Microsoft don't understand PC gaming at all.

And what do you mean by "blatantly advertise the activity"? I have hundreds of games on PC. Looking at it, you wouldn't know. Being a gamer doesn't mean we all like having PCs that look like Xmas trees you know...
 

hellwig

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To attract gamers, you need the games. I'm not going to Origin unless I know it's an EA game and ONLY available on Origin (Mass Effect 3, that's the total summation of games I've bought on Origin). Windows Store might have the benefit of being omni-present, but if they don't have the game I want, I'm not going there. Most people who game know that Steam has the most games.

If I'm not even looking for games, I might happen across one that looks fun in the Windows Store, but I'm not paying more than a few bucks for it. Who's going to find Forza on the Windows Store randomly and want to pay $59.99 for it? Anyone who's willing to pay that much for a game is going to go where they know to buy it, and that's not going to be the Windows Store.
 

ebrain

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And the problem with "growing" is the size of your store in your PC, you can´t change the place where do you want to have another or just move the current Store into a different STORAGE, that blows. The only way you can is messing with the Windows Registry and that didnt work well :(
 

AlistairAB

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Mass Effect 3 was my first digital purchase, and it worked perfectly. On the other hand, it doesn't matter where you buy Mass Effect 2, it is bull of bugs, whether bought on Steam or Origin.

I don't get why Steam is so great (works horribly on my 4k monitor). Steam doesn't have cheaper prices on newer games anyways. People get confused into thinking Steam has cheaper prices, when really it is the developer who sets the price, and any discounts on Steam can be on Origin or Windows Store also.

If Microsoft devotes significant resources to perfecting their online store, I'll gladly support one store instead of being stuck with 4 non competing stores.

If Microsoft does a bad job, I won't use it either.

 

AlistairAB

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Mass Effect 3 was my first digital purchase, and it worked perfectly. On the other hand, it doesn't matter where you buy Mass Effect 2, it is bull of bugs, whether bought on Steam or Origin.

I don't get why Steam is so great (works horribly on my 4k monitor). Steam doesn't have cheaper prices on newer games anyways. People get confused into thinking Steam has cheaper prices, when really it is the developer who sets the price, and any discounts on Steam can be on Origin or Windows Store also.

If Microsoft devotes significant resources to perfecting their online store, I'll gladly support one store instead of being stuck with 4 non competing stores.

If Microsoft does a bad job, I won't use it either.

 

beayn

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Don't forget that Windows 10 Apps are more fragile than a wet cheesie. I'm constantly running SFC, DISM and Powershell GetAppX commands to repair shit on family & friends computers, or creating new user profiles because things are broken too bad, or even formatting when shit gets really bad. Meanwhile, old school Windows apps are working just fine.
 

realnoize

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Yep. Same here.

The whole inner workings of the Windows Store is a joke. First time I got a Windows 8 machine (Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro, some time ago), I had to restore to factory settings about 2 hours after turning it on for the first time, as the Windows store broke beyond repair after one or two trip down its wasteland. It also broke again some two months later, but this time, I was able to fix it with some PowerShell shenanigans.

And I'm not alone in this. I know many people who resorted to restore their PC, or create a new account (if they haven't bought anything valuable on their previous account) as the only issue for them to make it work.

Truth is, the Windows store and its whole system is unstable as hell. Maybe not for everyone, but for many, it is. I never had a serious problem with Steam, maybe some minor annoyances here and there from time to time, but nothing that completely wrecks the whole platform. Origin may have major annoyances (like no true offline mode or no built-in backup functionalities) but at least it is stable. Never had a problem either with Uplay either, even if it's a really bad system, it generally works.

But the Windows store, somehow, seems to bug out from time to time in a manner that truly is spectacular. And for no apparent reason. And usually without an easy fix for common folks.

And Microsoft wants me to buy games through this service? Ouch.
 

Nossy

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Try to explain to the customers targeted by the Windows Store why V-sync, SLI, and modding is an issue. You'll get a blank stare and perhaps hear, "I just want to play." These people are not going to care about the glories of gaming on a high-spec rig. They'll play 60fps at 4K when it works on their $800 AIO from Best Buy and only if it happens by default.

All those things you may think should matter are just noise to them. Trying to make them care is like trying to insist that somebody who wanted the slightly peppier model of car needs to subscribe to Street Racer magazine to achieve fulfillment. Microsoft knows there are tens of millions of people who are not going to buy a game console but will buy games if they don't have to blatantly advertise the activity to casual observers in their home. Yes, after all these years there are still plenty of people who regard overt indications of gaming as a mark of immaturity. Those people have money to spend.

No. Those people you mentioned will just stick to console. There's two types of gamers on PC. Those who plays LOL/DOTA/SC2 and don't care for specs because the game runs on a 10year old engine; and those who play FPS who do care about framerates, SLI, Vsync, Gsync, Freesync, etc. There's a reason why GFWL failed miserably and this app store for Windows 10 will fail also if they keep this BS up.
 

beayn

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Yep. I have had many brand new installations break as well. Most commonly at the moment is the Win10 Start menu. Just randomly, even on a clean installation, it just stops working. Click start, nothing happens. You can right click it for Admin command prompt to run your commands to repair it, but it is truly sad that it has to be done so often. So many people switching to Macs... personally I'd rather deal with Windows problems but the regular user just buys into the "Macs don't have problems" advertising.

Macs apparently have 15% market share, yet 30-40% of my repair jobs are Macs.
 

sylentz199

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And the problem with "growing" is the size of your store in your PC, you can´t change the place where do you want to have another or just move the current Store into a different STORAGE, that blows. The only way you can is messing with the Windows Registry and that didnt work well :(
This is about the only issue I have with it so far. I'm actually impressed that they got a AAA type game to the Store so quickly. I was able to pick up the new Tomb Raider for 80% off (slickdeals) and have played a couple hours of it on my 960. Looks amazing and haven't seen any frame drops and other stuff that might be cause by vsync lock. I could see vsync being an issue with lower powered PCs since you'd have stutter etc. Not being able to do GFE screen cap is annoying too but I'm sure it'll get fixed. WinRT is coming along nicely.
 

JacFlasche

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Free isn't good enough for windows 10. They should pay you to use it. I mean why hasn't any of the "expert" commentators on the subject noticed that it sucks?

At least you can turn the store, news, cortina, etc off. But it has all kinds of bugs that Windows 7 (for instance) doesn't have. On the other hand Windows 7 will not use the newest Pcie drives, while 10 sets them up automatically.

As for a race game that doesn't use wheels. That deserves recognition for epic stupidity.

I was hoping that since no company seems to be able to do a decent racing game, usually because the AI is primitive and useless, that MS could finally do it, but they can't even plan to do it right. What's with that anyway. Every racing game I have tried sucks for the same reason, the AI is horrible. What is so hard about keeping the AI opponents from smashing into you from behind?

Asseto Corsa is the worst, because it is so good in every respect except the AI, which is literally the worst AI I have ever experienced in any game. And that is the new updated version. Sucks does not cover it. And it really sucks in contrast to the physics and graphics and laser scanned tracks which are all ruined by a primitive AI that just smashes into you. They should really hire someone to code a new one instead of trying to do it, because they have failed so miserably and thought it was good enough for their customers. Now AC is coming out on console. Those console kiddies are just gonna be thrilled to loose time after time because an AI opponent crashed into them from behind.
 
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