Sunday, March 3, 2013

Windows 8: I... Survived!

Well, my Personal Computer is now running on Windows 8 Pro and everything seems to be running fine right now. It will take a while to get to all my games but the important ones, like the recent Sonic & All-Star Racing: Transformed and my all time favorite League of Legends are running flawlessly. But you are probably more curious about the Metro interface thing and I will say that I love it. I think those who have game on the X-Box 360 before will appreciate Metro because it is in actuality, a more efficient variation of the interface used on the X360 dashboard and of course it runs a lot smoother than what inspires it.

Easy navigation, yes even with the mouse.

I don't know if they have changed things around since launch but the desktop is so easy to access... It's just sitting there at the bottom left hand corner, waiting for you to click on it. The Metro interface is basically a fancier version of the Start Menu and nothing else. That is the only conceptual thing you have to embrace to understand the entirety of 8's new design aesthetics. Everything that I need to access to is just a couple of clicks away and I am beginning to see that all the horror stories I have read in regards to the operating system are not true. You can pretty much do everything that you do on 7 before on 8, only that now you also get a really fancy interface to play with on top of having everything streamlined using your Microsoft account. For a gamer, this means connectivity to your LIVE account that's accessible with a click of a button. I really think Microsoft should abandon console gaming and commit to PC gaming because Windows 8 is making it very easy and painless for them to do so. Speaking of gaming, guess what I found on the Windows Store!

Achievement unlocked in a free game?!
Achievements galore on Windows 8 should get the 360 gamers transitioning to PC.

The one thing that is rather disappointing about 8 is that you cannot customize the tile images for non-Metro applications. If we can customize the grids on Steam, why can't we customize them on Metro? I think that Microsoft should provide this option to users since it will make Metro a lot more fun than it is now. Why limit the fun to only Microsoft approved apps? Open up a little to make people love 8 more. Bottom line though, for the super low price I paid for the upgrade, it seems to be worth it for the LIVE connectivity and cool Metro screen. For the current Windows 8 Pro upgrade price of $199 however, probably not. It's not a huge upgrade. It's more like an enhanced version of 7.

Connectivity to LIVE is great but when can I start playing my X360 games on Windows 8?

Update Note: 03/04/2013 - After thoroughly browsing the Windows 8 Store yesterday, I can say that it's pretty much a ghost town. The most horrific thing about this however is that the LIVE Arcade games are not even X-Box 360 quality in terms of graphics even at the highest settings - apparently they couldn't figure out a way to scale the game up when downloaded and played on a PC versus a tablet. I tested out the demos of Pinball FX2 and Hydro Thunder Hurricane and they both looked quite bland with missing textures and effects. I still strongly believe that Microsoft should abandon console gaming however and put all their efforts in contributing to the vastly unlimited growth of PC gaming. I find it rather ironic that instead of following Valve's footsteps, they were running after Apple's crazy head start and utterly failed at it. Give it up Microsoft, commit to the PC or what I would like to call it, the "X-Box Forever". I do still love those cute little Metro tiles though I do spend most of my time on the desktop.

03/04/2013, 3:10pm - Here's an unexpected improvement: I get excellent performance while streaming PC games now. When using the "Game Capture" hook from Open Broadcaster Software, I would usually get frame rate dips when playing games at 1080p 60fps while streaming it at 720p 60fps with the capture itself chugging heavily and now, everything is just super smooth. This is fantastic because I really do prefer just using OBS without running Dxtory on top of it.

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