Yes, it is possible, you have to select a partition that is primary and has the
boot flag active; that way it won't ask you to create a new one.
Anyway, this is not a new change in Windows 8, it was already in place in Windows 7 and in Vista if I recall correctly.
EDIT: For that you can use a disk partitioning program like GParted (has a graphical live environment), but since you say the disk you're using is empty you could do that directly during installation, follow this steps and you'll be set (I'll be doing it in a virtual machine but should work just as well in normal conditions):
- When you reach the part where you have to select where to install Windows press Shift+F10 to open a CMD window.
- There type
diskpart to open a partitioning utility that's included, it's text only but it's quite useful. You'll be presented with a different prompt, type
help to see some commands. But basically what you want to use after creating the partition and having it selected is
active. The following screenshots show how to create a partition with that utility and set the
boot flag to it:
NOTE: If the disk is not empty, double check what operations you perform to prevent unwanted results. For example after selecting a partition use
list partition to ensure that you selected the one you want to work with.
- After that, you may close that CMD window and refresh the installation one, you should see that partition there (it should say
System as its type). Selecting it and clicking next installs Windows along with the boot files to that partition alone: