Following the recent release of Shadowrun
for both the Xbox 360 and Windows Vista, Gamasutra spoke with Microsoft's Rich Wickham
, Director of Games for Windows, quizzing him on what Vista, DirectX 10, and Games For Windows Live provide for PC developers and gamers alike, as Microsoft tries to change up PC gaming once and for all.
In this excerpt, Wickham speaks to the importance of the Games for Windows Live service, specifically noting an upcoming library of high profile releases and the platform's native support of Xbox 360 controllers and accessories as key ingredients in the program's expected success:
“Wickham believes that the right games are on the way, both from Microsoft Game Studios – particularly showing off Live – and from third-parties with such titles as Crysis, Hellgate: London, Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures and Company of Heroes, some of the higher-profile PC titles due out this year.
That Games for Windows – Live service, still somewhat controversial thanks to its pay-for-features Gold option on the PC, is something important for Microsoft, which has plans to continually grow it. “As the service evolves, and we get content – you’re going to see that’s a really robust, really strong offering online,” says Wickham.
One place to start is in how you control your games. “We had a lot of good controller solutions,” says Wickham, “But we didn’t have one good controller solution.” The 360 controller now works wirelessly with Windows, as well as other accessories from the Xbox: the racing wheel, the headset, which will certainly helps some, and moves the platform a little closer towards having a common way to play games.
But the most important part, what Wickham stresses as the fifth pillar, “Once you’ve built this platform, you have to support it. Right?” he asks. The platform holder must educate consumers and work with partners to make sure they understand what you’re doing.”
You can now read the complete feature
, which includes more from Wickham on positioning the Vista OS as a viable gaming platform, as well as the importance of growing the Games for Windows game library and the challenges and opportunities that arise from developing across both the Xbox 360 and Vista (no registration required, please feel free to link to this column from external websites).