Games for Windows LIVE - Full UK Launch Details

Will PC gamers pay MORE to play online?

Posted by Staff
Games for Windows LIVE - Full UK Launch Details
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 games

Gold 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.

What an incredibly long job title Peter has!

?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.

But is it really a win for everyone?

In reality, how many PC gamers will be willing to pay this extra premium to play against their mates with 360s?

You can see SPOnG's recent interview with Shadowrun producer, Mitch Gitelman right here.


alexh2o 14 Mar 2007 13:31
well seeing as i already have an xbox live subscription, i think this is great because it covers both. would i pay for it solely for windows, well maybe in the future. xbox live on the original xbox was hit and miss, on the 360 its essential. so im sure in time it will become something you just get.

the only thing i dont get... if i can now use a 360 controller on my pc, plug my pc into my hdtv, play pc games against xbox players and play the same games on either platform... could this not backfire horribly and result in people just not buying an xbox?
ghoti 14 Mar 2007 13:44
That's a good point and it could explain why they've made Vista such a pile of dog dirt.
Joji 14 Mar 2007 15:11
More like could it back fire on people buying Vista (the doggy dirt pile as some call it)? This is what they call a double edged sword. Will PC Live help the flagging sales of Vista?

Its a damn good idea and a long time coimng to actually get cross platform play between PC and consoles (glimpse of the future here). Whether I'd want to pay for that on a PC, especially so after online gaming has been free for a while on PC, I'm not sure, so long as a lot of stuff is still free, but with MS influence that situation would probably change eventually. However its an option available the lagging PC market will benefit from.

Out of the two I think I'd still opt for (and many will too) a 360 for Live. The simplicity of a console is what makes console gaming such a joy. No worrying about drivers, crashes, DirectX or your PC being under spec. When you add the mainstream to that equation, a 360 is more appealing (not to mention PC gaming frying your eyes close up for years), easier to set up and play etc. And with a possible drop in price of the premium pack, it will keep getting easier and more attractive than using a PC.
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