Peter Moore, archlord of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business (read: games) recently stopped by for a chat about the future of gaming on the PC.
Moore is concerned about the decline in the stature of the PC as a gaming platform and wants to leverage the success of the Xbox 360 with the cutting-edge Vista operating system. Even as futher delays of Vista were announced later that day, pushing it to Jan 01, 2007, Moore was optimistic that gamers will flock to the new OS to play Vista-powered games.
Moore hinted at an Xbox Live-type service for the PC as he touted the games, friends and lifestyle Utopia that Xbox Live users enjoy. In fact, he didn't seem adverse to the idea of a single online service that enabled players to use the same login, ranking, and points totals for Xbox, Xbox 360, and PC.
Moore hopes that increased services and a focus on user friendliness will keep increasing frustration for PC gamers at bay. He cites features like "Tray-N-Play," an ambitious Vista trait designed to automatically install whatever game you pop into your machine, complete with any bug fixes or patches that have been released. He states, "Bringing the experience of PC gaming closer to the ease of use of the console is important," and cites the technological crankiness of PC games as a whole as a major roadblock that Vista is designed to overcome.
Moore also maintains that Microsoft remains staunchly devoted to the PC platform as a whole. "We really believe in the ability of the gaming platform that is Windows to rise again," he vows, and reveals that 30% of Microsoft's booth at this year's E3 Expo will be games for Windows.
Moore also admitted up front that it wasn't yet clear just how well most people's existing computers will run Windows Vista - there's so much new code, much of it related to copy protecting digital media like DVDs and CDs that your current PC may have too much incompatible hardware.
However, he also reminded us of one very good reason to upgrade: the company's upcoming PC version of Halo 2 will only run on machines with Vista installed. Which we have to admit feels rather unfair, even though we'll probably be the first in line for it - we're promised that this version will be enhanced in as-yet-unrevealed ways. We're hoping for a real ending to the single-player mode.