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I’ve taken a look at all the possible aspects of gaming in Windows Vista, including the new DirectX platform, UI integration, and new technologies that boost performance of your games. Vista has some problems running games as fast as Windows XP, but I hope that future drivers might alleviate these issues. In late 2007 or early 2008, we’ll see the first DX10-only games that apparently will run only under Windows Vista, and that’s when the breakthrough will finally come. Only hardcore gamers should jump on the DX10 and Vista train right now, since it’s currently very pricey to build a decent system designed to run DirectX 10 games. If you’re an early adopter, keep in mind that most of the games "designed for" DX10 definitely don’t take full advantage of the entire set of features the platform has to offer. So we’ll basically see DX9 games amped up with a couple of effects from the next generation. The best thing to do is to wait until the end of Q2 2007, if you can. At that time, quad-core processors and DX10 graphic cards will be less expensive, and will become really useful to support the new features as those first true DX10 titles come out.

It’s clear that Microsoft takes games on the PC more seriously than in former times. We have some interesting new features (WinSAT, DX10, Games Explorer, to name a few) and some must-have launch titles for DX10 (Crysis), but we’ll need more killer apps (or "killer games") to boost the new era some more.

Will Windows Vista provide a unique gaming experience? The answer is yes, but we’ll have to wait until mid-2007 to see Vista’s true potential as a gaming platform.

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