Got games?

For arguably the best gaming platform spanning over a decade now, games management was never an easy or pretty task. I’ve seen desktops filled with icons, or start-menu lists that would span at least 3 columns of little microscopic icons and text. Folders and icons were not the most attractive solutions to organize your game collection.

Windows Vista Games ExplorerThe Games Explorer in Vista changed all that. It is a dedicated virtual folder where your entire games collection is universally accessible, populated with all the meta-data and artwork you’d expect to see from games just as rich with visuals. It reminds me of browsing a vivid collection of DVD covers which shows off its best visual characteristics to get you into the experience.

And what better ways to get a feel for what that might be like than to take a peek at this eye-opening collection of games by “marinexx” on the Neowin forums who shared his impressive library and a tip on how to manually add the box-arts for games which Windows does not support.

Windows Vista Games Explorer
Windows Vista Games Explorer

That’s more games than I have ever played in my life. Of course, I have faith in the legality of his collection. πŸ˜‰

15 insightful thoughts

  1. Meh. I don’t need:

    Pretty pictures.
    ESRB ratings
    System Ratings

    1. What I do need is compatibility straight out of the box
    2. No activation requirement.
    3. No copy protection requirement. (Reduces compatibility).
    4. Microsoft being more proactive on older game support. (They tend to release application compatibility updates right after an OS releases and then never again).

    Sadly I have to do most of this myself via my PC Game Compatibility List:
    http://vogons.zetafleet.com/viewtopic.php?t=8784

    and of course http://www.ntcompatible.com

  2. There we have it: another “Wow” πŸ˜‰ And I have to say that I really like the new games explorer, not a killer feature but a usefull one.

  3. I was really disappointed to see that the games explorer did not work the same way WMP 11 does, in that you can search for information and box art for any game yourself. Oh well, at least in a couple of hours and lots of blood, sweat and tears i will have a nice looking games explorer window!

  4. If anyone tries this, keep in mind that it doesn’t work with all games. Some games, apparantly MMOs and those that use a launcher, will not display box art or information, period.

  5. Windows is an open platform to develop for, meaning people can code their games however they want without MS’s influence. But part of the Games for Windows program is that the game has to meet certain requirements, one of which is to install in Games Explorer automatically. Also, it’s not necessary to be a Games for Windows game for this to be the case either. I suppose if you know what you’re doing, you can make sure that happens on your own. I believe this is correct, but I might be wrong.

  6. And you’ve installed 90 per cent of all games from 2007?

    I was surprised that StarCraft, first released in 1998, was automatically placed in the explorer (thought not actually since it’s popularity is still there, plus it was recently patched!)

    I am glad Games have been given such attention but one must wonder why videos dont even get a seperate link in the start menu?

  7. @Anthony: Maybe because we should use the Windows Photo Gallery (stupid name!) for organizing videos. But the point here is, that we can’t configure the start menu. (Does someone said “SP1”? πŸ˜› )

  8. Very impressive. :) Like others have said, I suppose Games Explorer could use a bit of work, but it’s at least a step in the right direction.

    On a separate note, did anyone else notice how the position of the games shifted from the first screenshot to the second, as if a game (starting with A-H) was added in between? Check out the position of, say, the great big Flight Simulator “X” (just because it’s a handy landmark).

  9. I have a new dell 410 320 gb hdd intel duo 2.6 4 gigs of ram nvida 8600gts and every old game I have tried to use doesnt work at all they cant find the cd whats with that? some one please help

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