Microsoft UK has just told SPOnG all about the final, official details of its Games for Windows - LIVE
service, which is set to launch in the UK on 18 May.
The service is Vista-only and will enable anybody with an existing Xbox Live gamertag to use their PC to start collecting achievements on games such as Halo 2
, and to check their friends lists and so on.
If you want to be a Gold subscriber - basically, if you want to play on your PC against mates' 360s on games such as Shadowrun
- it will set you back £39.99 for a year?s subscription.
The major Gold-only feature is crossplatform play, so if you plan to play Shadowrun
with mates on different platforms, factor in that extra forty quid, otherwise you may want to hang back a while to see if the service really is worth shelling out for.
Games for Windows ? LIVE, is coming out at the same time as the aforementioned Halo 2
on Windows Vista. Here are the differences between the silver (free) and gold (£39.99 per annum) services:Silver Membership Features
? Single gamertag
? Common gamer profile
? Common gamerscore
? Single player achievements
? Private chat via text and voice
? Common friends list and online presence
? PC only multiplayer including browsing a list of active PC gamesGold Membership Features
? All Silver membership features
? Multiplayer matchmaking with friends
? TrueSkill matchmaking
? Multiplayer achievements
? Cross-platform gameplay
?Five years ago, we began building a service that now defines the bar for online gameplay,? said Peter Moore, corporate vice president of the Interactive Entertainment Business in the Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft.
?The benefits of expanding Xbox LIVE to Games for Windows titles is twofold: We?re bringing together two communities that share a passion for playing online games, and we?re enhancing the online experience for PC gamers who have long desired seamless game and voice connectivity ? it?s a win for everyone,? Moore adds.
In reality, how many PC gamers will be willing to pay this extra premium to play against their mates with 360s?