Windows 8 Preview Menu (Photo : Por Ceo1O17 / Creative Commons)
Word of mouth reception of Windows 8 among PC gamers has been lukewarm at best, and recent data from Valve and the research firm NPD indicates that this perception is reflected in hard data.
Microsoft's new operating system sold 40 million copies within October alone compared to Windows 7, which shipped 60 million in the same time period after its launch. Likewise, only 0.44 percent of Steam users have upgraded to Windows 8. "With 54 million active users on Steam, you get 237,600 Windows 8 users on [the service] provided that Valve's data is consistent across all its users," reports Digital Trends.
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Stephen Baker of NPD notes that PC game sales have dropped by 21 percent during Oct.21-Nov. 17, in contrast with last year.
"It hasn't made the market any worse, but it hasn't stimulated things either. It hasn't provided the impetus to sales everybody hoped for."
Windows 8 embodies a strong focus on touch-screen functionality, a feature which has not necessarily caught on among desktop users. Microsoft, however, asserts that the traditional legacy interfaces have stagnated for too long.
Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer argues that "Windows 8 shatters perceptions of what a PC now really is. We've truly reimagined Windows, and kicked off a new era for Microsoft, and a new era for our partners."
"With Windows 8, we're introducing a new way for developers to build apps that are touch enabled, connected, and mobile," adds Former Windows President Steve Sinofsky.
Only time will tell whether or not Windows 8 grows on gamers, and as per usual, the software will inevitably evolve over time. Dedicated PC gamers once lampooned Steam, but now embrace the service with open arms and hold it as a gold standard in the industry.