Gabe Newell was (and still is) right. Windows 8 is dead set on killing off gaming for PC.
In an email to XNA/DirectX Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs) yesterday, Microsoft gave notice that MVP status was being phased out for program members. According to the missive, this is being done because “the XNA Game Studio is not in active development and DirectX is no longer evolving as a technology.”
Are there alternatives? Absolutely. But Microsoft’s developer support was a key factor in the Xbox 360′s early success over the PS3. There are other options for game development besides XNA, but there’s no data on what current XNA devs should plan to do if they want to develop games for the Xbox 720/Durango. Even if D3D is still in development, calling DirectX moribund isn’t exactly positive. It’s not like D3D itself couldn’t stand some major improvement; the API’s overhead in the PC space is a huge part of why consoles are able to effectively keep pace with PCs years after their internal hardware is thoroughly outdated.
Microsoft blames AMD and Nvidia for some of this. AMD and NV blame Microsoft. End users are stuck with bottlenecks and communication on resolving said issues has dwindled to nothing. At this point, it seems as though even Microsoft has no real idea how XNA users and cross-platform developers should think about the future of game development in Windows beyond “Let’s roll it all into one package.” It’s ludicrous to think the company would jeopardize its programming advantages ahead of its next-generation console launch, but absent better communication, that’s the way things look.
Microsoft is trying to push everyone into their walled garden. You want any newer games on your current Win 7 setup or below? Well tough shit. Win 8/XBox or GTFO.
I hope developers go the OpenGL route. If more people pay attention to linux as a gaming platform (among other things) think of all the good things that could be provided for it.
A war be abrewin’.