Games Explorer in 64-bit



I own the 64-bit edition of Vista Ultimate and my Games Explorer is a mess
which really bugs me because I'm a big gamer and I liked the idea of having a
neat central location for my games.

First of all, some of my games don't appear in the Explorer at all. This is
strange because two of the games that don't appear I know have appeared in
other Vista owners Games Explorer. Two of which are Oblivion and Half Life 2.
They don't appear in my Explorer yet this site shows a screenshot where you
can clearly see both games with box art, MSRB ratings, etc. in the Explorer:

Will Vista Run Your Games: The Final Word: Oblivion, F.E.A.R, and GTA

Secondly, one of my games (Half Life 2: Episode 1) appears twice, not such a
big deal since I can just hide one of the icons but still shows I'm having
strange problems with my Explorer.

Also, another issue which I'm not sure is really an issue (maybe someone can
verify) is that any of my Steam game icons such as Counter Strike: Source and
Episode 1 don't run the game itself, they just open Steam. If anybody else is
able to open Steam games directly from the Explorer than that's a third issue
I'm having.

In conclusion, are the problems I'm having because of the 64-bit version? Is
there a way to fix or work around this problem? And if not is there a way to
get the info on a game that doesn't appear in the Explorer (when I add a game
shortcut manually it just puts an ugly pixelated icon in the Exlporer without
box art, MSRB rating, etc.) and is there a way to get Steam game shortcuts to
open the game itself instead of just Steam?

Also, Half Life: Source shows up in the Explorer and I don't have that game
installed. Perhaps Vista is misidentifying Half Life 2?



Paul Smith

Steam has a lot of troubles with the Games Explorer (32-bit and 64). The
Games Explorer sometimes mis-indentifies the shortcuts to the games, so you
need to go in and manually change them to match those in the Start menu, or
else the Steam/game can fail. It also mis-indentifies games, I've had
Half-Life Source pop up for no reason despite it not being installed, so I
removed that.

The whole Steam issue is far from ideal, and in reality needs an overhaul.

I'd try dragging your Oblivion and Half-Life 2 shortcuts into the Games
Explorer see if that sorts it out.

Oblivion gets recognised here OK on 32-bit, but I do remember on one build
it just refused to show up, so if you're still using a pre-release build
that could be why.

Paul Smith,
Yeovil, UK.
Microsoft MVP Windows Shell/User.

*Remove nospam. to reply by e-mail*


I have dragged the Oblivion shortcut into the Games Explorer and all it gave
me was a messy pixelated icon and I know (like you said you have) some
versions of Vista recognize the game just fine. And I am using the RTM
version, not pre-release.

Dale M. White

How can you be a "Big gamer" and want to use Games explorer ? A true warrior
never users a game explorer !

Anyways, I don't use games explorer, but what little poking around I did
(since reading you're question, it seems that Games explorer seems to be a
little off\odd, though when it comes to Steam games, I can see where it gets
a little confused. Here are some screenshots from Vista 32 and Visa64. I
don't have all the games installed so it wouldn't be a total match, but you
can see where it sees the same thing twice, not just Steam, but in my case
Doom3, but on 32bit and not 64bit

I think were you can get double Icons, is if you run the game without
installing it and then install it later. For example, I didn't install AOE3,
Rise of Nations or LOTR battle for Middle earth. I just doubled click on the
EXE for the game and it popped into games explorer, even though RON and LOTR
didn't even run. (note, I have a dedicate games drive, so I install once and
play from other OSes)

Other than Counter-Strike 1.6, Clicking on the other steam games only opens
Steam. You do have the option to make your own "Play" line and add the
correct suffix on it.

One question you can answer me, is to run the HL2:Lost coast demo and tell
me if it's alot slower than when you ran it under 32bot XP or Vista. Lost
cost will detect you're 64bit and download a 64bit version. I went from
127fps under Vista32 to 64-70fps under Vista64 with HL2:LC 64. All the other
32bit games actually play a smidge faster under V64, running in 32bit mode.

One poster in the Valve forums started that 64bit applications run
considerable slower than 32bit apps. If this proves true, I can't see any
good reason for a gamer to go to 64bit


Why would using the Explorer make me not a big gamer? I think its a great
idea to have a pretty interface just a click away where you can access every
game on your computer instead of clicking through menus or having a jubilee
of icons on your desktop.

Anyway though, it just seems incredibly weird that people have thise
problems seemingly at random on the different versions.

Dale \Mad_Murdock\ White

It was a bit of a joke. That was a Worf (from Star Trek) style quote. If you
weren't into Star trek Next Gen, then it's not as funny. A klingon warrior
never complains about physical discomfort. When you said it had a pretty
interface, I just flashed back to him and how he would respond to such a
thing. A true gamer doesn't care about pretty interfaces to their games.

I guess if you bounce around to alot of different games, then maybe games
explorer is nice. I tend to only play 1 or 2 games at a time. So no
hodgepodge of Icons on my desktop. If I feel like playing some old
game(assuming I stilll have it installed) it's just as easy for me to go to
the folder and click the EXE. Had I not being playing around with Vista, I
would only have about 5 games installed on my games drive. Up until Vista, I
hadn't touched steam in about 4+ months, Same for Doom3 and AoE3




Ah, I get it now. I liked Next Gen but wasn't a Trekkie by far. I do play a
pretty wide assortment of games. I have about a dozen that I play regularly
and I'm picking up a new one today so that's why I was so interested in the
Games Explorer interface.

Is there a way to edit my Steam games so that it points to a different .exe
file? My guess is that the games open Steam and not the actual game because
they point to the Steam .exe but if I point them to the program .exe maybe
that would fix my problem.



Dale M. White

it's not very obvious, but you have to go into Games Explorer, right click
the link and choose Customize, then choose play and then edit. At the end of
the line you have to add -applaunch 220 So that it looks like this
G:\Steam\steam.exe -applaunch 220

220 is HL2
340 is Lost Coast
380 is Episode 1
240 is Counter-Strike Source
10 is counter-Strike 1.6

If you have other, the way I found out the Applunace number was to simple
"create a desktop icon" from the steam Games windows and then look at the
properties of those shortcuts.

Not sure if you'll see the same problem I did, but I said to create a
desktop icon, it said it did, but it didn't show up. I had to do a search to
find it's location. which it put in C:\users\administrator\desktop, instead
of c:\users\dale\desktop

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