Interview

Games will be Windows 8's killer app, reckons Agawi's Peter Relan

Games will be Windows 8's killer app, reckons Agawi's Peter Relan
Such is the radically different approach Microsoft has adopted with Windows 8, that predicting how things will pan out is a tricky science.

It's not a question of whether the OS will be a success or not in terms of pure numbers: Microsoft's continued dominance of the enterprise sector means the platform will have a sizeable userbase almost from day one.

Just how games will fare, however, is somewhat more up in the air.

One firm sure of Windows 8's gaming prowess is cloud gaming specialist Agawi, which has just signed a deal with Microsoft to stream titles to the OS via Microsoft's clouding computing platform Windows Azure.

We caught up with Agawi co-founder, executive chairman and industry entrepreneur Peter Relan for more details on his firm's landmark deal.

Pocket Gamer: How did the partnership with Microsoft come about?

Peter Relan: Agawi focuses on streaming games to the post-PC platforms.

We already support the iPad with our iSwifter product, and it was logical for us to explore collaboration with other tablet platforms, so Windows 8 was obvious.

Secondly, we are cloud-based so the collaboration with Azure was very important to explore. The discussions happened earlier this summer through executive connections.

Microsoft's interest must be a sign that it has a lot of faith in cloud gaming.

Both the Azure side and the Windows 8 side has shown a lot of interest in this collaboration, so we believe there is faith, but it is up to us to deliver a great user experience to Windows 8 users.

What kind of opportunities do you think Windows 8 will open up for your business?

Windows 8, with the new tile interface on both tablets and PCs, is considered one of the best new user experiences to come around in awhile.

Gaming is a huge killer app on new platforms: look at iOS and Facebook. So we think there is consumer demand here. And Azure is obviously important for economic cloud-based delivery of those games.

In turn, what opportunities can Windows 8 offer for devs utilising it through Agawi?

There is a library of PC games that cannot be played on tablets or in the tile interface.

We can bring those over with little effort, opening up a whole new channel for game developers and publishers.

Will Agawi work with Windows RT on tablets as well as Windows 8?

Currently we are not announcing the RT tablet support - only x86 tablets and PCs will be supported at the time of Windows 8's launch.

What kind of games will you be bringing to the OS?

Three types: Facebook social games to Windows 8 tablets, mid-core web MMOs to both Windows 8 tablets and PCs in the new tile interface, and core PC games to tablets.
Thanks to Peter for his time.You can find out more about Agawi on the firm's website.

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.

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jds
There are plenty of really cool games already available for Windows 8. Check out PuzzleTouch - it was built for Windows 8, is available in the App store now, and it's awesome!