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Extra Win 10 Reveals: Free Offer, DX12, More Xbox Games

Our roving reporter at the big Windows 10 event in Redmond is currently playing with Microsoft’s newly-announced holo-goggles, more on which soon, but she has been able to send back to useful bonus info about Win 10 and games in the meantime – including whether DirectX 12 is exclusive to the new OS, how this ‘upgrade to Win 10 free for a year’ offer works and whether there’ll be keyboard/mouse support for streamed Xbox One games.
So DirectX 12 will, we’re told, only work with Windows 10. That’s a bummer for people who don’t want to upgrade from Win 7 or 8, but sugaring that pill slightly is the newly-revealed free upgrade to Win 10. But it’s only free if you upgrade during the first year following Win 10’s launch. As far as our correspondent has been able to establish, so long as you upgrade within that first year, Win 10 is yours for free forever, rather than that it starts shouting at you to pay a year later. Update: Microsoft have explained the upgrade offer a little more here.

We’ve also been informed that DirectX 12 will require a new graphics card in order to take advantage of everything it’s got to offer, though some existing cards will be able to get some benefit from it. “To get the full benefits of DX12, the answer is yes,” Mike Ybarra, Partner Director of Program Management, Xbox Platform told us. “There will be DX 11.1 cards that take advantage of a lot of the driver and software tech that we’re bringing in Windows 10, but if you want the full benefits of DX12, you’re going to need a DX12 card.“That’s a bit of a stinker – early word had it that current DX11 boards would do just fine. We don’t know the full story there yet though – trying to find out more about that ASAP.

As for the Xbox One game streaming to W10 PCs and tablets, sadly controls cannot be translated to mouse and keyboard, so an Xbox controller will be required. Given an Xbox One is also required, I guess you’re going to have that controller anyway if you’re using this feature.

Also, we’re told that more Xbox One games will be coming to PC in addition to the already-announced Fable Legends, but no names or dates on that yet.

Finally, despite the telltale presence of Steam icon next to the Xbox one during the MS demo, there is apparently no special Steam integration in Windows 10.

We’ll have more about Win 10 and the hologoggles tomorrow, all being well.

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Alec Meer

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Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

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