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Vahn16
06-05-2007, 01:56 AM
I'm guessing at least a few of you have read this list (http://hushedcasket.com/node/2024) of what's wrong with Games For Windows Live on PC. I also recently read GFW magazine's interview with Peter Moore on the initiative, and it all made me wonder why Microsoft is pursuing it right now.

One statistic that Moore listed off is that 70% of Xbox Live users are apparently PC gamers. Validity of the statistic notwithstanding, it would seem that it's for Xbox Live Gold users. That's a pretty small market at this point. Shouldn't they be attempting to expand the Xbox's user base more aggressively (make Xbox Live free, for example) instead of starting something new on PC for a certain percentage of the current user base?

Microsoft is a company that could afford to make the whole Live service free instead of subscription-based. In doing that, they'd have another thing to tout against Sony. They need something to turn the tide completely in their favor or else their gaming venture will never be profitable. Instead, they charge for a half-assed version of something available on their console. Xbox users won't like it because it's missing features. PC users won't like it because they already get most of Live's features for free.

The worst problem is that Microsoft has little third-party support for GFW Live. Without that, the whole thing will inevitably fail. Thus, they won't "revive" PC gaming or draw in new customers.

So what are your thoughts on GFW Live? Do you think Microsoft can turn it around? Or is it doomed to be regarded as another fairly sizeable mistake on Microsoft's part?

ArugulaZ
06-05-2007, 02:19 AM
Gotta say that this will hurt them in the end. Let's see... Microsoft is expecting people to pay for a service they've always gotten for free, and expecting developers to pay licensing fees to make games for computers, which they can already do for free. Gee, what could possibly go wrong?

It seems that after twenty years of benefiting from the open-source environment that made Windows flourish, Microsoft is trying to stuff the genie BACK into the bottle with a more proprietary system. At this point, they'll be lucky to even FIND the genie. They can't stop people from going online with PC games that don't bear the Windows logo, and they can't stop developers from making PC games without that logo. As far as I know, there are no software lockouts for non-GFW games, so the licensing fee is entirely voluntary and can be easily sidestepped by companies that either don't want to pay it or refuse to play by Microsoft's rules.

Couple that with the critical beating that Windows Vista has been getting from the press, and you've got a Clippy-sized disaster in store for the company. They could have made it work in the 1980's, but Microsoft will never get away with a proprietary game distribution system in the Internet age. The Windows operating system is too open, the methods of game distribution are too varied, and PC users are too smart.

JR

Jakanden
06-05-2007, 04:25 AM
I suck at predictions so I will simply wait and see what happens. As an avid PC gamer with a Gold Live account (from 360), I am interested to see where this goes.

Squall
06-05-2007, 05:56 PM
I've got a paid xbox 1 account that I never use, so it would be nice to run it on a PC, but free and open PC gaming is always what I have held as the triumph of the PC. That and superior visuals. How do you people play those low-res ps3 & 360?

ArugulaZ
06-05-2007, 08:56 PM
I've got a paid xbox 1 account that I never use, so it would be nice to run it on a PC, but free and open PC gaming is always what I have held as the triumph of the PC. That and superior visuals. How do you people play those low-res ps3 & 360?

What? I couldn't hear you over the stereo system of my high-definition television set.

Seriously, though. I like game consoles because they're the utter definition of plug and play gaming. Plug in a controller, turn on your TV, pop in a disc, and you're off to the races. If you want to start a game on your PC, you've got to install it, then cross your fingers and hope you meet the minimal requirements.

JR

Eusis
06-05-2007, 09:11 PM
Well, there's usually demos on PC. Even if there isn't the game you want, you can always find a game with similar requirements and hope that's a good indication. Probably more reliably when from the same developer/publisher admittedly.

Torgo
06-05-2007, 09:13 PM
I don't know. I've always come down kind of half-and-half on pc and consoles. My formative memories of the hobby are on my Atari 7800 playing Food Fight and Dig Dug. However, when I was about five or so we also got an x86 in the house, and I put a lot of time into old DOS stuff like Stellar 7, Battle Chess, and Links. I actually put a lot more time into it then I ever did our NES, since my parents were very restrictive with how much time we got with the thing.

As I've grown up they've kept a steady pace with each other, and I've always been a bit behind the times in each realm. I didn't get a SNES until the N64 and PSX were out. The PS2 was only a couple of years away when I got my PSX. I got my DC a good two years after the system officially died. I only got my PS2 in '05. The Wii and DS Lite were launch hardware firsts for me. The fact that they both launched at relatively low prices is not a coincidence.

Similarly, when I go for a new PC (I try to wait three or four yeras in between systems if I can), I usually go for upper-middle specs. Nothing too fancy that won't run the big graphical showcases, but will run most newer stuff at a steady framerate. I'm probably four or five years away minimum from playing Crysis, but when I do, I'm all over it.

Squall
06-05-2007, 11:41 PM
What? I couldn't hear you over the stereo system of my high-definition television set.

Yeah, I had to turn down the volume of my surround sound home theater I've got my PC plugged into through optical audio. So no loss there. Also, console gaming is less plug and play, because you have to get up, insert a disc, untangle your controllers.... I just click on an .exe and grab my mouse :P

Also, I haven't had issues with requirements since Tribes 2, and I've run some pretty crappy hardware. If Doom 3 and HL2 could run on an MX440 at playable framerates, then anything is possible.

djSyndrome
06-06-2007, 12:03 AM
Microsoft is a company that could afford to make the whole Live service free instead of subscription-based.

Actually, no, they can't. They're already bleeding billions to begin with, and shareholders are going to look to MS' games division to turn a profit sooner or later. Eliminating the 'Silver' service and making the 'Gold' service free would do two things:

-It would instantly take 125 million a year out of their pockets (2.5 million gold users x 50 bucks a year, and that's assuming that they all pay yearly, which many don't). This adds up to a cool half a billion dollars over the next four years.

-It would mean the other 75% of 360 gamers that haven't ponied up for the Gold service can suddenly use all of those features for free. And many of them will, dramatically increasing server load and the costs that go with it.

I agree that it would be great if MS could offer XBLive Gold for free, especially since it's so much better than what either Sony or Nintendo have to offer. But in this case, you do get what you pay for.

Vahn16
06-06-2007, 12:16 AM
After looking at the points you made, I agree with you that MS probably can't afford to make Live free without jepoardizing their whole games division.

Microsoft is in a pretty interesting position in that they're "on top" of the next gen wars, but not to a large extent. It seems like they need to do something big to not only win outright, but even turn a net profit. At the same time, though, they've kind of dug themselves into a hole. They are trying to squeeze every dollar possible out of the games division in order to keep it as an attractive prospect. They do it by charging large amounts of money for Xbox-related products ($100 wireless adapter, $180 hard drive, among other things), but because of that, they'll lose money if they build those items into a the actual console. Thus, we get products like the Xbox 360 Elite, which just doesn't have enough features to make it worth the price, or technologically superior to the PS3. Microsoft wants to (and may need to) dominate in order for their games division to be successful, but there just doesn't seem to be a way for them to make it happen right now.

Parish
06-06-2007, 12:24 AM
I like game consoles because they're the utter definition of plug and play gaming.
That is really not so much the case anymore.

Psyael
06-06-2007, 01:31 AM
This guy seems too obsessed with the Live features built into the OS like Marketplace, et al. Microsoft isn't trying to reinvent the wheel here, there's no reason to make movie downloads available because people with PCs already know where to get movies for less than they're selling them. Likewise there's no reason for a desktop tray app because then people say "OMG BLOATWARE."

The only thing he put up there that even makes sense is that you have to run Vista, which is a way of shoving an upgrade up my rear that I don't want.

How do you people play those low-res

untangle your controllers....

Good lord, it couldn't be any more obvious that you don't own any next-gen consoles at all. Wireless controllers and HDTV resolutions (well, except the Wii, but you're not going to be playing Unreal Engine level stuff on it anyway) are standard on all of them.

Squall
06-06-2007, 10:32 AM
Yeah, that was what I was talking about, those low res hdtv's. 1920x1200 bitches!!!!

Also, I do have wireless controllers that I never use because the batteries are always dead (wavebird). I have seen the 360 quick-charge setup, however, and it is slick. 99% of my console experiences the past 6-7 months have been either with an NES pad or my steering wheel, though. But clearly you haven't looked behind your consoles at the rats nest that lies behind. I'm always having to move cables between systems, and it's a pain in the ass.

Still, I"d just end up playing virtual console/live arcade all the time with new systems, that's the only thing that's almost as easy and quick as playing PC games.

Thinaran
06-06-2007, 11:30 AM
Move cables between systems? If you have a real home setup, you have an AV receiver as well.

Plug it all in, and it's easy as 6 on the remote to get the Wii setup, 7 for the PS2, 4 for DVD, 8 for Mac, etc.

Psyael
06-06-2007, 11:31 AM
Really, at some point you're reaching resolutions where you need to sit very close to the screen to see the difference. Most people aren't going to notice the extra 120 pixels in your screen from their couch. It's about time for consoles to stop focusing on resolution and now begin focusing on getting the most out of their graphics engines.

Rats nest? There's an average of three cables for each one, since Wii and PS3 are wi-fi. The biggest "mess" is the sensor bar for Wii that goes at the top or bottom of your television. But it's the Wii, you simply MUST love it, right?

I keep a marginally acceptable PC gaming system in addition to the three consoles (C2D6600/7600GT) but most of my time with is spent browsing the web at places like this and converting videos from various PC formats to PS3-acceptable formats so I can watch them with the comforts of a DVD. There's three games I'm looking forward to (the Half-Life 2 expansion, Quake Wars, Starcraft II) but none of them are due out this year and so when they do arrive I'm looking at buying more computer hardware anyway. I still have my battle scars from seeing Carmack's original Doom 3 tech demo on a GeForce3, buying a maxed-out GF4 about a year later in anticipation, and eventually buying a $400(!) 6800GT around launch so I could get something that actually looked like the demo.

I've invested in rechargable batteries for my home electronics already so the 360 isn't really a problem. Batteries for it last longer than you'd think. PS3 controllers last about as long as you'd think, but it's just a USB cable connection to recharge them which is probably exactly like how such controllers work on PC.

As a PC game enthusiast for 10 years, though, I don't know what's "quick and easy" about it. Patches, bugs, etc are pretty common and only Blizzard and the other MMO devs has been good at making this stuff "go away." Want to patch your Warcraft3? Just log onto battle.net and it'll take care of it. MMOs start off the same way, and so do Xbox titles. If a game needs a fix or something, it just downloads it from Live next time you try to start it, and it's done.

There's been a serious disconnect between consoles and PCs for many years, with consoles trying to come up with their own methods and interfaces instead of using PC industry standards as well as often being behind the times technically. However, as a guy who used to sneer at GoldenEye fanboys for being too stupid to know how great QuakeWorld and mods like TeamFortress and ThreeWave were, I have to say that the gap is almost shut. Nintendo's system is probably the most 'closed' to the user, but even it's supporting tech like Bluetooth and SD cards.

Squall
06-06-2007, 01:23 PM
As for me, I have 9 consoles, a vcr, 2 pcs, wireless headphones, a plethora of audio wires, and networking for 5 of those systems, all continuously wired, with power cords for most of those. I do have a switcher, but I only use 1 Nintendo cable for SNES->Gamecube, and I was using the same cable for my PS2 and 360 until recently. Why I should buy multiple cables is beyond me.

And PC games get patches every maybe 6 months, meh. Bugs are definitely not PC-exclusive, and they rarely have any impact on me.

Still, while I debate that one needs to buy top of the line video cards (I usually run $150 cards and keep max settings), a $350 8800GTS would still be cheaper than a 360. I upgraded to a geforce 3 (for $70!) when Doom 3 came out and was running it on all but the 'ultra high quality,' which was supposed to be beyond current video cards at the time.

PC gaming has, traditionally, been vastly inferior to console gaming in my mind, until about maybe 3 years ago. Since then, yeah, PCs are awesome, and console experiences in the US are jsut slowly converting into PC experiences.

Falselogic
01-09-2016, 04:11 PM
Does anyone know where one can find and download all the old GFW Radio episodes? I'm feeling nostalgic for the Brodeo!

estragon
01-09-2016, 09:28 PM
Is this it? (https://archive.org/details/gfwpodcast)

It was the second Google result, but I've never listened to it so I don't know if that's what you're looking for...

Falselogic
01-10-2016, 11:29 AM
Is this it? (https://archive.org/details/gfwpodcast)

It was the second Google result, but I've never listened to it so I don't know if that's what you're looking for...

That is it. JustTalkingMeat found me a torrent of it all though and I'm using that. The archived collection is here (https://t.co/6hEW8HQzU3) if anyone else is interested.

Falselogic
10-01-2016, 06:53 PM
Listening to the GFW Radio's Hero of the Web segments has me crying with laughter.