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On January 29-30, while everybody was sleeping in peace, another world-shaking event took place:


The latest version of operating system from Microsoft - Windows Vista came into retail.

Windows Vista  

Maybe it won't be a big surprise for you because you've tried it just like a lot of people across the globe.


But just in case you haven't yet had a chance to learn about it before, Microsoft Windows Vista -  that's the name of the newly-released OS - will require much more resource from your pc.


Makers of it state it's pretty worth it.


But let's look into this fact from the point of view of casual game fans and developers.


Hardware requirements.... are really hard...


Microsoft has classified all computers capable of running Vista as: Vista Capable and Vista Premium Ready.


Very-very minimal requirements:  800 MHz processor, 512 MB or random access memory and a DirectX 9 class graphics card. That does not guarantee smooth operation, but is enough to install Windows Vista. That sounds pretty tough for casual game fans, (some of them, still use Windows98).


To ensure easy and quick operation, you've got to be lucky to have 1.0 GHz processor, 1 GB main memory, and an Aero-compatible graphics card with at least 128 MB graphics memory and supporting the new Windows Display Driver Model.  J

Now let's look into some of the high-end features Vista has to offer:


- Windows Aero - an Eye Candy: Of course, notwithstanding anything, a book is still judged by its cover, while operation system is judged by its graphical user interface. With Windows AERO, that stands for Authentic, Energetic, Reflective, and Open, developers have made new Windows version even more attractive, than Windows XP. 


It is to admit, Windows Vista features a slightly changed navigation system,added multifunctional parental controls, a backup and restore utility and many other useful staff.


But, some of its key features still prove to be the system's serious drawbacks. We mainly mean:


Windows VistaRestricted security settings: from now on, once you download and install some third-party software (say, games), Vista will ask you for at least 2 times to confirm your intention to install the game.  


Same is with the Internet Explorer. By the way, Vista uses Internet Explorer version 7.0. On default it will only load Vista-certified websites. As the rest of the websites which make 99.9% of the I-net, Vista will notify you they are not certified and can include malicious software and viruses that could harm your computer.   


So, the solution here is to modify the default settings to make your pc more tolerant towards non-Microsoft software.  


Are there any casual games for Windows Vista?


Saying Vista is all for tough hard-core gamers and offers nothing to casual game fans would be unfair.


As stated in Softpedia.com "by default, Vista offers casual game players a set of titles that includes the updated versions of games that have established themselves as classic aspects of the Windows operating system: "Minesweeper," "FreeCell" and "Solitaire." Along with the traditional casual games that have become and integer part of Windows, Microsoft is also delivering "Chess Titans," "Mahjong Titans" and "Purble Place". The Redmond Company has also introduced the Windows Vista Games Explorer to facilitate the gamers' access to their favorite titles.. . 


Vista GamesAll the casual games that will be offered via MSN Games will be optimized for Windows Vista. Updated variants of "7 Wonders of the Ancient World for Windows Vista" (Mumbo Jumbo) and "Luxor 2 for Windows Vista" (Mumbo Jumbo) will deliver intricate puzzles, "Bliss Island for Windows Vista" (Codemasters) will offer new adventures, "Crystal Quest for Windows Vista" (Codemasters) will enable users to collect crystals, "Spinword for Windows Vista" (Slam Games) will provide word puzzles to complement the gem matching puzzle of "Jewel Quest 2" (iWin) and the action adventure title "Darwinia for Windows Vista" (Introversion)".


Those games have not yet been released. To view the full list of Vista games on MSN, click here.


But still, the question is: how about the rest thousand of titles produced by small casual game developers that stay out of MSN game list?


And here's a bad news:


 Casual game developers are not happy with Windows Vista


There's been much resentment coming from small game developer teams with regard to the latest Microsoft's product. Casual games are still easy and small, and they are designed to run on computers with mediocre configuration. 


Game DeveloperCasual Game Developers SIG set up a discussion on December 2006 to point out and solve some Vista-related problems. David Selle reported in a posting that "about 80% of the games we get from third-party developers have some kind of issue with Vista." "Just under half of that number are severe issues that will significantly impact a user's ability to play the game".


As understood, game development for Windows Vista is a way more expensive. It is also to admit, a developer will have to pay fee to get their games rated and thus, presented to Vista user, who can now access the games from a Game Explorer.


"What is at issue is the new Game Explorer, a one-stop application within Vista designed to make game installation and accessing information about installed games far simpler than previous versions of the operating system. It also makes note of the local rating of those games that have received ratings, and it allows parents to enforce them or not. [In the U.S., the Entertainment Software Rating Board determines the ESRB ratings.]"


But many casual games, which are typically created by smaller developers with skimpy budgets, are not rated for many reasons, including the fact that the ESRB charges a fee to rate games. Some developers fear that they will now be forced to go through the ratings process or risk having their games "vanish" from desktops if parents set Game Explorers to ignore unrated titles" (biz.gamedaily.com).


So, in the field of Vista, casual game developers are just a third party that does not seem to win so far.  But, what is your attitude to Windows Vista as a user? Have you already tried its premium features? Or, you are not going to install it? We are looking forward to your feedback.



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Alice  2007-01-30 11:36:36
Hey, I'd also add that Microsoft dudes are monopolizing the market more and more - where are those AntiTrust laws??? Gosh, we had the USSR censoring and now MS is trying to censor the whole world!!! Let's boycot Vista...Why would I upgrade my computer just to give some extra cash to Billy Gates?

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