Windows 10 released today and will be available as a free upgrade for users of Windows 7 and Windows 8 (8.1).
Windows 10 brings a few new features to the table that are pretty cool for gamers, here’s the run down…
Free Upgrade: The free upgrade is redeemable by users of Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 for the next 12-months and will give you a life-long licence for the OS. This is potentially great news for gamers – if a large number of gamers migrate, then developers can put more focus on using Windows 10 features, such as DirectX 12.
DirectX 12: Windows 10 comes with a new version of DirectX, which is Microsoft’s attempt at slim-lining their graphics API right down to the metal. Developers that use the new API in their games could potentially get more FPS for the same visuals, or more visuals for the same FPS. Assuming the big engine developers, such as Epic (Unreal Engine) and Unity (Unity 3D) jump on board, it might not be too much of a stretch to see a bunch of games using the new API relatively soon.
Xbox One Streaming: This feature is pretty cool. If you happen to have both an Xbox One and a PC in your house, but might not always have access to the TV, then you’ll be glad to hear Windows 10 will allow you to stream your Xbox One games direct to your PC. Similar to Remote Play for PS4 and the Vita, the Xbox will power the game, while your PC just acts as a proxy – displaying the Xbox One screen on your monitor and forwarding your controller to the console. To get the most of this, you will ideally want to connect both devices to your router via a cable, or at least have an Nvidia Game Stream compatible wireless router .
Windows Holographic: Okay, this one is one to look out for and nothing to jump for just yet – but Windows 10 will support the Microsoft Hololens. If the Hololens lives up to the expectations, it could be a pretty cool tool to create some truly novel and unique gaming experiences.
Wifi Sense: Whether a boon or a curse, I’m not quite sure yet – but this feature deserves a mention. Wifi Sense will automatically share your wifi router password with any and all friends you have on Skype, Outlook and Facebook. If you like the sound of this, that’s great – but fortunately, you can also turn it off if you’re security conscious like us!
Redesigned UI: With the uproar that Windows 8 brought with it, it’s also worth mentioning that Windows 8 goes some way to deliver a user experience somewhere between that of Windows 7 and Windows 8. Desktop users will be glad to hear the Start Menu is back, where Tablet users can also benefit from the Metro interface.
Always a personal decision – especially with a relatively fresh and new version of any OS. However, for the first time in a few years, the pull for gamers to upgrade is actually pretty good – even more so with the price tag!
If you’re already running Windows 8, and never really got your head around the new UI, then it’s probably worth giving the new OS a shot. If you’re a bit of a dab hand with technology, then downgrading in the future shouldn’t cause too much trouble – but even if you’re not, there should be quite a lot of support on the net to help you get back on track.
If you’re more of the conservative type, and you’re still running Windows 7 (or older), then you might want to give Windows 10 a little while to mature. Some old games and older hardware might not quite work as expected at launch – but these creases will mostly be ironed out over time. If you have a penchant for Good Old Games, you also might want to wait a little while – as some games are bound to have issues initially.
If you do decide to upgrade, let us know how you get on!
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