Windows 10 Creators Update: Store games with drivers

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 13, 2016
Updated • Jul 5, 2017
Windows, Windows 10

Microsoft announced yesterday that the upcoming Windows 10 Creators Update will support the delivery of game drivers with Store games.

Commercial Windows Store games have a tarnished reputation; not only because of time-exclusive or fully exclusive game listings, but also because Store games lack support for certain features that "regular" PC games support.

A basic example of why you may not want to buy the Windows Store version of a game is the following: it is Windows 10 exclusive then. If you have another gaming PC with Windows 7, then you cannot install it on that PC.

Not all is bad though, as you get cross-play options for some games (Xbox One and PC for the most part), which can be useful as you have to buy a game once only to play it on both platforms.

Driver issues and Microsoft's fix

windows gaming drivers store

Games released on Windows Store may have certain requirements when it comes to graphics support. They may require a certain version of DirectX for instance, or a certain driver version.

Major games may also go hand in hand with special video card driver releases that improve a game's performance when the driver is installed.

Microsoft ran into driver issues with the company's own Forza Horizon 3 game which did not run overly well on systems with outdated drivers.

The current way that users get new display drivers for their PCs is somewhat problematic. While companies may offer automatic driver updates or at least inform users about updates if software like GeForce Experience is installed (which in itself users may not want), the main way of getting new drivers is to visit the manufacturer's website, check for driver updates, download those, and install those on the machine.

Microsoft wants to improve the process by delivering video card drivers with games. The company has not revealed much about the new feature. According to the information, a game purchase will trigger a download from Windows Update of the minimum graphics drivers required to play the game on the device.

Only stable, WHCK drivers will be downloaded this way.

Alarm Bells go off

That sounds good on first glance. If a machine does not have the minimum graphics driver required to play the game, then it will be downloaded automatically to the system.

The main question that I have is whether customers will be prompted for that, or if the installation will commence without customer input.

There are good reasons not to install certain drivers on a machine. If customers are prompted and informed, all is good and well in my opinion. If that is not the case, then this could become quite the issue.

You can watch the full winHec 2016 session below. The short bit about delivering game drivers with Store game purchases starts around 10:25.

Now you: What's your take on the new feature?

Windows 10 Creators Update: Store games with drivers
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Windows 10 Creators Update: Store games with drivers
Microsoft announced yesterday that the upcoming Windows 10 Creators Update will support the delivery of game drivers with Store games.
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  1. John said on December 16, 2016 at 4:45 am

    Avoid at all cost. At release it may be the “latest” but once its like months down the road, those may not be updated, and computers may already have one that is from later date installed.

  2. Sami J said on December 13, 2016 at 11:44 pm

    Not really an issue when one simply avoids the Windows Store entirely. I can see some appeal for casual users who just want stuff to work with no fuss and don’t care about modding, but for enthusiasts like myself UWP (and Windows 10) is mostly pretty frelling awful.

    Microsoft wants to turn the PC into an Xbox Elite of sorts — a gaming appliance in their control. When I’ve spent roughly 2000 dollars on a computer you damn well better believe it’s not gonna be Microsoft who decides what is installed on it.

  3. D. said on December 13, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    It doesn’t matter what it contains, just block it.

  4. Jeff said on December 13, 2016 at 4:18 pm

    As is the case with Windows 10 and their Store, games too have several disadvantages compared to Win32/desktop games which run on Windows 7 and up and have no silly, unnecessary restrictions. But those days are gone. Microsoft may eventually phase out Win32 completely as they move to ARM and only emulate Win32 apps on ARM. They just want money again and entire new UWP ecosystem created when there already exists a first-class desktop app ecosystem on Windows. And idiots who use Windows 10 are directly or indirectly supporting their planned obsolescence strategy.

    1. Win10Spy said on December 14, 2016 at 3:14 am

      They’re trying to close the open/power users desktop market to closed/limited/controlled SandBoxed one.

      Gone are the days were you own your computer/OS.

  5. Xi said on December 13, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    Very bad Strategy. We all knew that Drivers from MS for other hardware isn’t a good choice since it creates more trouble and most probably it contains telemetry/snooping.
    Those who avoided Win 10 / Store(8/8.1/10) are much safer than the morons who believe in MS Drivers.

    1. Matt said on December 13, 2016 at 3:54 pm

      Has anyone been able to crack open telemetry data to see what’s exactly contained in them?

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