In 2008, the global PC game software market reached $12.7 billion in revenue from a combination of retail sales, subscriptions, virtual item sales, advertising and digital distribution revenue according to the PC Gaming Alliance Horizons Software Report (click here to download the report). This was up 18% from 2007! PC gaming is hotter than ever!
So today we are announcing that we are revamping the Games for Windows Program. This revamp includes new technical guidelines, a self-certification option, and a set of 22 technical requirements which are designed to:
- Create an easier game installation experience.
- Support both 32-bit and 64-bit Platforms.
- Support Ratings and Parental Controls in Windows 7
- Game titles populated in the Game Explorer.
- Enhanced game update notifications for game titles.
- Stability, security and compatibility against commonly known issues.
The idea is to have more game developers participating with more game titles that pass a standardized set of technical requirements. Games that go through and pass these technical requirements will offer consumers a better gaming experience. Gamers can expect awesome high-quality gaming with Games of Windows titles going forward.
The new requirements for Games for Windows will also allow developers to take advantage of Windows 7 features and compatibility when Windows 7 is released on October 22nd.
You get some of these improvements today with Games for Windows – LIVE titles. When you install the Games for Windows – LIVE 3.0 client on Windows 7, Games for Windows – LIVE is added to Game Providers in Games Explorer.
As you can see, I can receive the latest news on Games for Windows – LIVE in the right-hand pane directly within the Games Explorer in Windows 7. When I click on Street Fighter IV (which is a Games for Windows – LIVE title) I can see whether or not the game is up to date directly from Games Explorer.
You can download the Games for Windows – LIVE 3.0 client here.
I posted about many of the brand new enhancements to Games Explorer (and the gaming experience) in Windows 7 several months ago.
Starting today, the program will be available to all PC gaming developers and publishers.
Over the past few years, we have worked to improve the quality of PC gaming in Windows for consumers through the Games for Windows. We hope that the revamp of the program we are announcing today makes gaming in Windows and on a PC even better!