Seven days of Vista -- day 5: DirectX 10 pimps your gaming

Day five is all about the games, and disproving the myth that Windows-based machines are for boring old flatulists

Commuters on the Tube this morning will probably have noticed some new Apple adverts featuring comedy duo Mitchell & Webb. The pair pose in a new 'I'm a Mac, I'm a PC' spot depicting Mitchell as the nerdy PC guy and Webb as the 'trendy' Mac dude -- all obviously aimed at taking the gloss off tomorrow's Vista launch.

We were intrigued by the ads' claims that Macs were made for "the fun things you want to do" while PCs were for "the serious stuff", because "fun is just a waste of time". Poppycock, we think you'll agree, particularly as we can just about count the number of Mac games on one finger. Taking this 'no fun' diss to heart, we thought we'd spend the fifth day of our Vista foray looking at how the new OS could change the face of gaming.

Hardcore gamers will be well aware that Vista is compatible with DirectX 10 graphics cards and the DirectX 10 application programming interface (API) -- a collection of software tools that enable the creation of games. You've probably all played a DX9 game, but honestly, wait till you get your hands on the next generation of Vista-only DX10 titles. They'll blow your tiny little mind.

We could bore you with the technical reasons as to why DX10 is so important, like how it more efficiently manages communication between the CPU and graphics card, but we'll just urge you to look at the pictures of a couple of forthcoming DX10 games, starting with Flight Simulator X.
 


Flight Simulator X's DX10 version on the left, DX9 on the right. Not available on a Mac
 
Next up is Crysis, which we were fortunate enough to spend time playing earlier this month. The game is a first-person shooter from the same development team who brought you Far Cry, and though it's still in very early form, it makes even real life look rubbish. 
 

A shot from real life on the left and Crysis/> on the right. OMG!1!


It's not all roses, sure -- Vista allegedly doesn't let you have surround sound in some XP games, and its emphasis on security could cause problems for independent games. But we think the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks, particularly when you consider the fact that Xbox Live will soon allow PC gamers to tackle their Xbox 360-playing counterparts on the global battlefield.

The new OS launches on 30 January -- so check back tomorrow, when we'll bring you more reasons why you might want to buy it. In the meantime, check out parts one , two , three and four of our Vista blog series.

 

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