You know how awesome Forza Horizon 3 is, right? And you know what an absolute ballache it is having to download it via the Windows Store, yeah? Well, take that frustration and multiply it by a factor of ‘oh my god they made me download an early graphics driver that has b0rked my entire system.’ Looking forward to 2017 now?
Read more: check out our pick of the best graphics cards around right now.
In the Spring of next year Microsoft are preparing to release the Creators Update for Windows 10. It’s a free patch which will add a host of creative features, such as game broadcasting, music creation and an improved version of MS Paint. Now with 3D modelling! Along with that is an update to the Windows Store for games which adds a minimum driver requirement bundling the software in with the download of individual games.
Basically it looks like the Windows Store is going to enforce a graphics driver update on you if you’re downloading from their store. I can understand why it’s happening; they want to make things easier for gamers by taking the onus off them to keep their drivers updated. In practice though it could mean day one game ready drivers getting forcibly installed onto your machine if you want to play a particular game whether you like it or not.
There are times when early drivers for brand new games have undiscovered issues in them which can have potentially nasty effects for your PC as a whole. At the moment when that happens you have the option to not install a particular driver regardless of what games you’re installing or playing. This allows you to wait until a fix is found or a newer driver released and taking that out of your control seems rather unnecessary.
Admittedly this is a worst-case scenario. Driver updates are rarely that catastrophic and chances are Microsoft are only going to force-download WHQL (Windows hardware quality labs) tested drivers and generally they’re the most reliable. You will also be able to roll back the update if it does prove to be broken, but as a minimum requirement it may still stop you from playing the game you just bought if you do.
But is there really any need for this in the first place? Both Nvidia’s GeForce Experience and AMD’s Crimson ReLive software are able to inform you about new driver releases, and you even have the option to download them in the background to install whenever you want. It’s not like driver upkeep is even that tough right now.
Introducing another hoop to jump through when you’re trying to download a game from the Windows Store just seems bizarre.
Already it barely feels like a service that’s been designed for gamers. All they had to do was copy Steam, like EA did, and things would have been fine. Unnecessary, but fine. Sadly Microsoft have gone their own way.