Microsoft's press spiel says that its new Windows Vista operating system -which launched today - offers "amazing experiences for all gamers, from the most casual players to hard-core enthusiasts." But then it would say that, wouldn't it.
For a more impartial view on the new OS, we asked four experts what they think about Vista and what its introduction really means for gamers. We'll be posting the first part of our own in-depth look at Vista later today but, until then, digest these wise words from the PC sages before you make that upgrade...
Ross Atherton, editor, PC Gamer
"Windows Vista is going to be a great operating system, but the games industry has a bit of catching up to do. Right now there are no games that take advantage of its killer app, DirectX 10, but when Crysis launches that'll be a big reason to upgrade. Also, running current games on Vista can result in framerate drops, particularly on OpenGL games like Quake 4 and Call of Duty. This is partly because Vista is simply more demanding on your PC's innards, but mostly because graphics drivers and game patches are lagging behind Vista's new tech; in the fullness of time, when everything's updated, the situation will be very rosy for PC gamers."
Duncan Harris, writer, Edge (www.edge-online.co.uk)
"The lack of optimised drivers and software will no doubt make Vista's start as a gaming platform a troubled one. With DirectX 10 yet to flex its muscles, it's likely that hardware upgrades such as multi-core CPUs and dual-configuration graphics cards will prove a sounder short-term investment."
Dean Evans, editor, Tech.co.uk (www.tech.co.uk)
"Windows Vista delivers several improvements over Windows XP, both in terms of its user interface and its functionality. It's safer, prettier and more flexible and intuitive than ever before.Yet for the majority of home users, at least, it lacks the sparkle of a must-have upgrade. Who's excited?Not many.Gamers, on the other hand, are better served with exclusive DirectX 10 support - a renewed 'Games for Windows' push by Microsoft - not to mention plans for a Live Anywhere initiative that will link PCs to Xbox 360 consoles and eventually mobile phones. There's no compelling reason to upgrade today, but buy a new PC in the future and you'll get Vista whether you want it or not."
Adam Ifans, editor, PC Format (www.pcformat.co.uk)
"Over the past few years, PC Format has tested every beta version of Vista as it has struggled to emerge from the R&D labs at Microsoft. One thing is certain: we'll all be using it to play games on at some stage in the future. But now? No point. DirectX 10 isn't even available yet and chances are that when it does get bolted on to Vista there'll only be one or two games that make use of it. In short, keep hold of your XP system until you see a DirectX 10 compatible game you simply have to play."
January 30, 2007