Microsoft to give PC gamers a taste of Xbox Live

Continuing its round of CES announcements, Microsoft has revealed that three upcoming games—Shadowrun, Halo 2, and Mattel’s Uno—will allow PC users running Windows Vista to play on Xbox Live and use Xbox Live services.

Delivering on a vision that Microsoft presented at Electronic Entertainment Expo 2006, Microsoft Game Studios’ “Shadowrun” and Mattel’s “UNO” are part of the first wave of Live titles that bring the benefits of Xbox Live® to gamers on Windows Vista, including an active community of nearly 5 million gamers, a single identity for each gamer across Windows and Xbox 360, as well as Achievements, which redefine what it means to conquer a game and share accomplishments with friends. The Live gaming and entertainment network will enable gamers to play and communicate online across both of Microsoft’s gaming platforms, bringing more players and their friends together to play and connect in new, exciting ways. In addition, “Halo® 2” for Windows Vista (Microsoft Game Studios/Bungie Studios) will also support Live, including enabling Windows gamers to communicate with Xbox Live gamers and earn Achievements in the famed “Halo 2” campaign — a first for any “Halo” title on any platform.

While PC gamers may rejoice at the idea of being able to play Halo 2 skirmishes with their Xbox 360-equipped counterparts, they’ll apparently be segregated. The folks at Joystiq asked Microsoft for clarification, and the company replied that there won’t actually be any cross-platform gameplay between PCs running Windows Vista and the Xbox 360.

That’s not to say Microsoft doesn’t care about PC gamers, though. In its press release, Microsoft says publishers including Atari, LucasArts, Midway, Turbine, 2K Games, THQ, and Vivendi Universal have all joined its Games for Windows initiative. As part of the initiative, the companies’ games will have to “meet a set of technical guidelines including easier installation, increased reliability and support for key Windows Vista features such as the Games Explorer and parental controls.” The initiative will also see stores like Circuit City, CompUSA, GameStop, and Wal-Mart display Games for Windows branding in their game sections.

Comments closed
    • Mithent
    • 13 years ago

    So, how are we supposed to benefit on the PC? Setting up multiplayer games isn’t exactly a chore nowadays anyway, so this is paying an annual fee to do pretty much what we could before?

    • Vrock
    • 13 years ago

    Uno? People play Uno online? WTF?

      • PerfectCr
      • 13 years ago

      Yeah it’s actually pretty fun on XBL 🙂

        • Vrock
        • 13 years ago

        I had no idea. I just can’t see myself spending $50-60 to play an online version of a card game from the 80’s. To each his own, I guess.

          • Darkmage
          • 13 years ago

          I know people who have a $2000 computer that they use to play solitaire. <shrug>

          • PerfectCr
          • 13 years ago

          Um, it’s $10, not $60.

    • lyc
    • 13 years ago

    /[

      • d2brothe
      • 13 years ago

      Awww….but I was so looking forward to wiping the floor with any and all console FPS fans…

    • Bensam123
    • 13 years ago

    Ports are the devil.

    Playing a console to PC port on the PC is like playing a beta. Everythings have baked, half done, and buggy as all hell.

      • Some Llama
      • 13 years ago

      AKA halo for PC.

    • quarantined
    • 13 years ago

    “That’s not to say Microsoft doesn’t care about PC gamers, though.”

    The way I read it, it’s more like they really care about getting as many people as they can to adopt Vista ASAP, so target pc gaming. I won’t be surprised if we see a quick loss of backwards compatibility to XP with future pc titles.

      • d2brothe
      • 13 years ago

      Quick loss of backward compatibility, hell they’ve practically advertized the ZERO backwards compatibility of DX10 like a feature.

    • odizzido
    • 13 years ago

    Its probably better that PC/console gamers are separated. PC gamers would ruin the game for all the consolers because consoles suck for FPS games. Not that it wouldn’t be fun to own up the “controllers are just as good/better than a mouse and keyboard” people.

    • SpotTheCat
    • 13 years ago

    cross platform FPS would be funny, the guy on the PC would kick the crap out of the console guy, assuming no handicap.

    • d0g_p00p
    • 13 years ago

    Not cross platform = Not care!

    • Corrado
    • 13 years ago

    What would be sweet is if I could check my XBox live messages and stuff from the web. Log in, and have it be able to download the audio file of a voice message or read the text of a text message.

      • SGT Lindy
      • 13 years ago

      Today you can read or send text messages from the 360 dashboard or xbox.com over the current live.

      You cant send or hear audio messages from xbox.com….only from the 360 dashboard.

      I am sure the xbox live for PC’s will have the same.

    • Bauxite
    • 13 years ago

    Haha, they already know the dirty secret…consoles controllers all suck total ass for FPS. Even the sitting on the couch thing ruins it a bit.

    BTW, mentioning wow is kinda funny…theres a game that could be ported over for chump change and sell…even at $20 a cart that would be free money.

      • My Johnson
      • 13 years ago

      I can’t play any FPS without my legs up on the desk and the keyboard on my lap. 🙂

      • SGT Lindy
      • 13 years ago

      After a year of playing FPS games on the 360 I am very close to being as good as I was on a PC. The fact that aim-assist or whatever they use is in place makes it very close to being the same experience on both after you get used to it.

      On the PC I would have rated my self at the 75% of the mark as in I could hold my own with 75% of the people out there with 25% handing my ass to me. On the 360 I would say I am at 70%. It is to the point that I dont even think about it anymore.

        • mongoosesRawesome
        • 13 years ago

        You haven’t said anything about how you’d compare against someone playing the same game as you except on a PC.

          • d2brothe
          • 13 years ago

          Yea, no kidding, the 30% who are beating you on the console are also playing on a console. They’d get their ass handed to them by anyone on a PC…

        • PerfectCr
        • 13 years ago

        Agree. Gears of War is perfect for the controller. It helps when a game is designed to specifically use the controller.

        • Bauxite
        • 13 years ago

        Plug your 360 controller into a PC.

        See how shit a console controller really is for FPS.

        Thats as close as you can get for the moment anyways.

        Also lol @ aim assist for multiplayer…good thing theres no real sniper rifle action.

        I think you’re missing the picture…take this webpage for example. Anyone with a good mouse and some coordination can put the cursor on any very small group of pixels, then in all 4 corners of the screen and back on the pixels in no time flat.
        (like for example the

    • Sargent Duck
    • 13 years ago

    easier install? what’s so hard about “next, next, next, finish”?

      • ew
      • 13 years ago

      Your right it is easy. But I’ve always wondered why I can’t just pop a disk in my PC and press the play button like I do with a console. Maybe the first time it is played you would have to wait a few minutes while important file are cached to the disk but I really don’t see the point of an installer.

        • Bauxite
        • 13 years ago

        just ask sony…they know all about “put in disk and automatically install n run without any user input”.

          • d2brothe
          • 13 years ago

          Heh…Tru dat

        • Beomagi
        • 13 years ago

        I dont want files to positions themselves where they want in my pc – on a console it’s a different matter, hence the need for human interaction.

          • cAPS lOCK
          • 13 years ago

          I’ve got >200.000 files on this box and probaby just as many entries in the registry. I’ve honestly got better things to do than managing that. I’ll manage what goes into “My Documents”, gets dumped in the “Start Menu”, and my own personal folders, but I’ve got no interest in managing the “system32” folder.

          Windows Update doesn’t ask you, why should a game ask for your permission when it caches a few files in “C:\Documents and Settings\Username\Local Settings\Temp” ?

          • Mithent
          • 13 years ago

          I definitely agree with that.. not only do I want my games to go in a Games directory, separate from my Applications directory and neither within Program Files, but also automatic installers suffer from the delusion that everyone just has a single partition called C:.

    • TheDVDMan
    • 13 years ago

    One of the nice things about playing games on the pc: I can play online FOR FREE.

    F-you, Microsoft…I ain’t paying to play online games on a freakin’ PC.

      • Hizpanick
      • 13 years ago

      You might well f— Blizzard too, for charging you monthly fees for WoW.

        • 41.60l23
        • 13 years ago

        I would totally pay for XBOX live on PC just for the chance to show up some console controller users with the superior keyboard/mouse.

          • UberGerbil
          • 13 years ago

          Except that you won’t, because the PC users and the XBox users will apparently each be in their own ghetto. Which actually makes sense, because all the XBox users have a common hw configuration (at least in terms that might affect gameplay) whereas the PC users could be all over the map (and could be running cheat apps as well). It’s a bit like a lot of racing leagues, where there is a class that requires everybody race with identical equipment, and then more “unlimited” classes for the folks who want to use souped-up stuff.

            • IntelMole
            • 13 years ago

            Even then, why can’t they segregate it into Xbox / PC / Hybrid?

            Then everybody’s happy, and if they’re implementing segregation like this, it’s practically copy-paste unless there’s some interfacing between Xbox and PC needed (as a guess this might be why they don’t allow it).

        • TheDVDMan
        • 13 years ago

        Bleh, WoW…any of the monthly “pay to play” games I’ll pass on.

        Hell, even if WoW was completely freeware, I’d still pass on it.

      • SGT Lindy
      • 13 years ago

      Xbox Live offers so much more than MP gaming.

      How about the name your “in game name” is the same in every game. How about not having an account for every different gaming serivce, and with most every game needs its own login. How about a VIOP that works with everygame…and not some third party crap like teamspeak. When a patch comes out you dont need to hunt for it and find a place that is not hammered with everyone downloading it…..not to mention problems with patch installs….live tells you there is a patch…downloads it, installs it and restarts the game.

      Want a demo of a game…..select it from live and start the download at as fast as your DSL or cable line can download it. PC demos….find a free download wait in line for a slow download if its a new demo….or pay to get it fast.

      Live rocks.

        • A_Pickle
        • 13 years ago

        y[<"How about a VIOP that works with everygame...and not some third party crap like teamspeak. When a patch comes out you dont need to hunt for it and find a place that is not hammered with everyone downloading it."<]y Xfire. y[<"Want a demo of a game.....select it from live and start the download at as fast as your DSL or cable line can download it."<]y Wait, don't you need a hard drive for that? It's funny, PC users don't usually need to worry about that... ...not saying Xbox Live is bad, but don't be dissin' on the PC now...

        • ludi
        • 13 years ago

        Since Xbox Live is a subscription service, the argument about demos and patches is hardly different than if I threw money at FileShack (I don’t). On both the PC and the Xbox, I usually find that voice chat simply means the extra step of muting about 75% of the players; obviously if you’re playing a game with a known team, it’s useful, but 5-15 people who play together regularly on the PC can usually find and agree upon a free chat application.

        I haven’t usually had trouble maintaining a screen name across multiple games if I so chose.

        Xbox Live was designed /[

      • A_Pickle
      • 13 years ago

      You’re forgetting one thing. With PC’s, you can relatively cheaply afford server rental, or you can use YOUR OWN PC to host an online game. You can’t do that with an Xbox, which means that the online service has to be run entirely by and from Microsoft’s pocket.

      $50 a year for Xbox Live Gold. Come on. You could be paying for … Sam’s Club membership…?

        • SGT Lindy
        • 13 years ago

        You dont know the 360….there are usally three MP options…

        Split Screen

        System Link…..host your own game on the 360 on a Lan.

        Xbox Live where for most games live is only used to find players/find each other and your 360 is the host over the Internet. Some games will have dedicated servers. Raven Shield Vegas and Gears of War have all of these.

        13 months of xbox live can be found at places like Amazon regularly on sale for $35.

        How much does a rented server cost….for one game?

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