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Aezon

How old?

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I am currently learning from "Killer Game Programming in Java", and an interesting problem has surfaced. The book gives considerations for older operating systems(Such as Windows 98) as well as versions of Java that are older than J2SE 5. My question is this: Is it worth the effort to support older OS' and software when developing games with similar quality to current games?

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I'd say use XP as your benchmark for "old" operating systems. It's still very much in use but has been superseded by Vista and Windows 7. As for Java, I'd say look around for your demographic and work to the current highest. I know steam publish a list of their users specs periodically - I'm not sure where you'd find the Java equivalent.

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Think about your target market. Should they have fancy computers? If so they probably will have recent software and operating system versions. Do you mind losing 10% of your potential market share due to compatibility issues? What about 50%, or .5%? You need to decide which is right for you.

Look at the statistics. Here is one about operting systems, and here is one about Java versions.

Warning: those statistics could be extremely flawed, but if you do some more Google searches and average out the results it should give you a decent picture of the current state.

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