Get ready to upgrade your computers

Just get a rough idea of what we will need to game come fall 2006:

http://www.microsoft-watch.com/article2/0,1995,1790569,00.asp

“Longhorn will provide an absolutely fabulous gaming experience,” Russell told WinHEC attendees. In order to be able to take the fullest advantage of Longhorn as a gaming platform, Russell suggested PC makers gravitate toward 64-bit dual-core processors, 1 GB of memory, [2]56 MB of graphics memory and advanced LDDM support.

What exactly is Longhorn going to bring to the table as far as gaming goes?

~$180 of your money.

It’s not that Longhorn offers anything new for gaming, it’s really more of a “Microsoft is a monopoly so upgrade isn’t optional” situation.

I’m perfectly happy with Win98 still, but I had to upgrade to XP because games stopped working on Win98.

When all the developers start developing games on Longhorn than the clock starts ticking towards mandatory Longhorn upgrade for gamers.

A push toward the Xbox 360.

To answer this question a bit more seriously, Longhorn will have DirectX (now called Windows Graphics Foundation) as the underlying core for desktop graphics. Since the basic graphics API will be 3D, rather than 3D being tacked onto the OS, we’ll probably see more interesting stuff.

For example, when a game runs full screen today, it locks all of the graphics card memory. But WGF will instead only have exclusive access to one monitor when a game requests it. There can be multiple exclusive locks, for each monitor, if you have more than one.

You can also have 3D games that are intergrated into the desktop, rather than run as something separate.

With longhorn theoretically you shouldn’t have to reboot for new video card drivers, and even if the drivers crash the screen should just go black and come right back up with the reloaded drivers.

Of course this will just make things worse in the beginning no doubt, but I have high hopes for a year or two after release.

You will finally be able to scale the desktop font to any desired size, without screwing up the GUI layout of half your applications and having the other half completely ignore your new font size.

Okay, not exactly related to gaming…

It’s a shame there won’t be many more PC games being released to take advantage of all this “power”.

But thanks to XNA you’ll play many more games with big-eyed fairies and magical mushrooms on your Windows computer! :wink:

Microsoft always promises the world and delivers a trailer park in Aurora, Ill.

They forgot to mention the bullet proof firewall and security software you’ll need.

Sweet. Moving away from GDI is good.

It’s a shame there won’t be many more PC games being released to take advantage of all this “power”.[/quote]

From what I’ve seen and read, fall 2006 is suppose to be a “relaunch” of PC gaming and they are working with publishers and developers towards that goal. Whether it actually happens is another matter.

No, you’re thinking of Peter Molyneux.

No, you’re thinking of Peter Molyneux.[/quote]

No, he only delivers an outhouse in Aurora, Ill.

Longhorn will feature a new driver model which should make it easier to upgrade most of the drivers on your computer without rebooting.

The new driver model should also be less crash-prone, leading to less crash-prone games where drivers are the culprit.

Longhorn PCs will be able to work with all Xbox 360 controllers. So if you want to play a game on your PC that’s sort of gamepad-centric, you don’t need a PC gamepad. You’ll have a wireless gamepad on the Xbox 360 (should you happen to buy that). This is also part of a push toward a “standard PC game button layout” so games on the PC that use gamepads aren’t so confusing to set up. Other Xbox 360 peripherals should work as well. The Xbox 360 Live headset, for instance.

There is still enough that we don’t know about what will be in Longhorn that we don’t know specifically what it will mean to gamers. Most of what we’ve heard will be cool and good to have, but not for gaming specifically.

Don’t worry judgding by the # of things Microsoft has cut, they’ll probably cut the 3d desktop as well. And they’ll still deliver it later then promised.

That’s just how it is, get used to it or switch to Linux :).

I think I’d be less skeptical of future gaming offerings if Microsoft hadn’t managed to ship Win XP with the 60Hz refresh-rate problem.

I kinda have a hard time believing this statement, honestly.