Back in May we did a comparison of DirectX 9 and DirectX 10 to show graphically what the differences are. The reason why it is important is because Microsoft didn’t make a DirectX 10 that works with Windows XP, so you would have to upgrade to Vista to benefit from it. Microsoft claimed that it is impossible to implement DirectX 10 in XP because it uses many Vista-specific features to bring more realistic graphics to your computer.
Also in that article we discussed a project called Alky that started in hopes of developing their own version of DirectX 10 that does work with Windows XP. The project merged with another project to form Falling Leaf Systems, and now expects to have a working application towards the end of July. Here’s what Falling Leaf says about their move:
Microsoft has, in typical Microsoft fashion, decided to launch their forced migration onslaught in full force with the release of two games that will only run on Windows Vista. First they claim that it was impossible to implement DirectX 10 compatibility atop Windows XP, and now they also want us to believe that they couldn’t successfully launch two DirectX 9 based titles on XP either. We plan to expose both theories as patently false.
When they do launch their program it will let users play Halo 2 and Shadowrun, two "Vista-only" titles, on Windows XP. I’m still a bit skeptical on this whole project, because the site says that anyone who purchases a preorder of either game through their site, which actually goes through Amazon, will get a free copy of their software when it is released. This is a little weird because they aren’t very upfront about how this works. From what it looks like they are just trying to earn money through a referral program on Amazon by pointing people to the site and having them preorder the games. Amazon is the one shipping them, which means that Falling Leaf actually has no idea who purchased the preorder. This leads me to believe that the compatibility update will be offered to everyone at no cost
when if it is released. They are apparently just trying to earn some extra cash on the side, and there is nothing wrong with that if they were upfront about it.
In my opinion this sounds too good to be true, and you should hold out on purchasing any of the games until you read some reviews on how well this actually works when it is released. After all, you wouldn’t want to preorder the game now and have it sit on the shelf for several months while Falling Leaf is working on their software…especially if it turns out to be vaporware.