Windows Store downloads lack some features of Steam equivalents

Customers who buy products such as Rise of The Tomb Raider on Microsoft’s Windows Store as opposed to rival services such as Steam aren’t getting exactly the same game.

That’s according to How-To Geek which reports that differences between how purchases are delivered result in the Windows Store version missing a number of features.

Steam purchases, much likes games bought through clients such as Origin, Uplay or GOG, are delivered via an exe. file, sometimes called a ‘Windows desktop’ version. Windows Store purchases, however, are delivered via UAP (Universal App Platform), making them ‘Universal App’ versions.

UAP games don’t support SLI or Crossfire (for owners of multiple graphics cards) and don’t allow users to disable v-sync. They also always enforce ‘fullscreen windowed mode’ and don’t allow exclusive fullscreen, preventing GPUs from having exclusive access to the game/app.

Looking at Rise of the Tomb Raider specifically, the Steam version – as it is an .exe – does support SLI and CrossFire, can disable v-sync and offers proper fullscreen. These differences have been confirmed by the port’s developer, Nixxes.

Also not possible with UAPs is modding (locking out programs such as SweetFX), the inability to add the game to a Steam library, no support for the Steam Controller, no in-game overlays (such as Fraps) and no mouse macros.

Many of these features won’t matter to a casual audience, but with Microsoft making lots of noise about winning back the hardcore PC gaming audience, the news will likely be poorly received – and could impact sales of Windows Store only titles such as Quantum Break.

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