Microsoft spreads the PC gaming gospel

PC rigMark Twain once remarked, after seeing his obituary in a newspaper, "The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated." If anything could describe the condition of PC gaming, as some see it, Microsoft certainly would use this quote.

Yesterday, I attended a Games for Windows meeting where Microsoft gave a presentation on the "true" state of PC gaming, opened up a question and answer period, and of course, provided the perfunctory snacks, drinks and finger food that often accompanies these types events.

During the formal part of the event, Kevin Unangst, senior global director of Windows Gaming, gave a presentation, and spoke with the fervor of an absolutely focused man on a mission to make a difference in the world–and in this case, the PC gaming world.

 Members of the gaming press heard the "other side of the story" about PC gaming

He said Microsoft is totally behind PC gaming, and Games for Windows is testimony to that fact. While presenting an abundance of statistics, figures and reports, Unangst says PC gaming is not only alive and well, but that the PC is the undisputed leader as far as gaming is concerned.

Unangst mentioned that until just recently, PCs had no real voice or champion to promote or get the word out about PC gaming. The newly formed PC Gaming Alliance, comprised of hardware manufactures, game publishers, developers and others is also in the battle to make sure that PC gaming stays strong.

Kevin Unangst of Microsoft is a man on a mission in promoting PC games

I asked Unangst why stories of the death of PC gaming abound on the Internet. If PC gaming is truly doing well, why do these stories persist? Unangst put the problem squarely on the marketing research group NPD, as the culprit.

He said that most of the stories generated about poor PC game sales were directly related to NPD figures, which he accuses of being inaccurate and limited in scope. The real data, gathered by other sources outside of NPD, dramatcially changes the image of PC gaming from losing market share to increasing in poplularity.

After the lecture and Q&A session, I headed downstairs to look at the various games on display by various PC game developers. I checked out the latest build of Bionic Commando, a great looking shooter with Spiderman-like abilities thrown in for fun. I saw the Ghostbusters video game, which had all sorts of ectoplasmic shooting action. There was Kung Fu Panda that had really smooth graphics and fighting scenes, and Devil May Cry 4, a title packed with monsters galore.

Organizers and company reps made the Games for Windows meeting a success

Other games that were there for display were Call of Duty: World at War, Civilization IV: Colonization, Red Faction: Guerrilla, and Space Siege.

While the conference was staged to support PC gaming, I couldn’t help from seeing the irony of it all as many of the games displayed were demoed with Microsoft’s Xbox 360 controller. It seems that the distinction between PC gaming and console gaming have further blurred, at least when it comes to game control.

But one thing is certain. Microsoft believes in the future of PC gaming and is doing all it can to promote and nurture it.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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