Microsoft's Windows 8 release has created quite a stir in the gaming community. When Valve's Gabe Newell called the new operating system "a catastrophe," his comments sparked a wave of criticism across the PC gaming space.
Blizzard executive Rob Pardo weighed in on the matter at the end of July, and now another heavyweight in the desktop gaming industry has spoken up.
"If Microsoft decides to lock down Windows 8, it would be very, very bad for Indie games and competition in general," the creator behind "Minecraft" Markus Persson said in a chat with the Reddit community. "If we can keep open platforms around, there's going to be a lot of very interesting games in ten years, mixed in with the huge AAA games that we all love."
Windows 8 has been catered to fit Microsoft's transition into the mobile gadget industry, with its new operating system sporting a Metro interface that was introduced in Windows Phone 7. However, the Redmond, Wash.,-based company is bringing that mobile style to its PCs with Windows 8, and with it could come the elimination of open-platform gaming.
The main selling point for Microsoft has always been its wide open platform, but now users will have to go through what is expected to be called the Windows Store to install any apps through the Metro interface. This is similar to Apple's approach, which forces users to purchase and download apps through the iTunes store. Previously, any owner of a product running on Windows would be able to install any program via download or disc.
However, this "closed-platform" approach is still considered rumor at this point, since Microsoft has yet to comment on the matter. It is also important to keep in mind that Microsoft is offering different versions of its Windows 8 release. One of which is called Windows RT, and it will only feature ARM processors.
These are typically found in mobile devices, and Microsoft has said the Windows RT will be a closed system, according to ZDNet. However, there is still no word as to whether or not the other edition of Windows 8 will follow in suit. But the tech and gaming community is left wondering if this is a first step for Microsoft, and critics have offered their speculations.
"It seems that the closed nature of Windows RT is being seen as Microsoft's foot in the door, suggesting they may lock down all versions in the future," writes James Dominguez of the Sydney Morning Herald.
Winning over the gaming community is one of the areas where Microsoft excelled over Apple, gaining traction and holding a clear advantage in that space. But now, the iPhone and MacBook manufacturer is looking to stake a claim in the video game industry, striking at a time when its rival seems to be vulnerable. It was recently reported that Apple has patented a dual-shock game controller, indicating that the company is either secretly developing a gaming console or planning to bolster their mobile and computer video game platforms.
If Microsoft takes the closed platform route with Windows 8, what would put them ahead of Apple? Of course, they will always have the widely successful line of Xbox consoles, but the company is sure to take a huge hit if PC gaming partners decide to pass.