Xbox Live, Halo 2 coming to Vista on May 8

In early January, Microsoft announced that it planned to bring Xbox Live to Windows Vista users via three games: Halo 2, Shadowrun, and Mattel’s Uno. Microsoft has now issued a press release that says the first of those titles, Halo 2, will come out on May 8. With it, Microsoft will allow Vista users to enjoy Xbox Live—or rather, “Games for Windows – Live”, as Microsoft calls the Vista version of its multiplayer gaming and content delivery system. Unfortunately, as we learned in January, PC users won’t be able to join their Xbox-using friends in online games. Nonetheless, Vista users will be able to use their Xbox Live subscription on Games for Windows – Live, sharing the same friends list and gamer tag. For users who don’t already have an Xbox Live account, Microsoft will offer Silver Games for Windows – Live subscriptions for free and Gold subscriptions for $49.95 a year.

Following the Halo 2 PC and Games for Windows – Live launch, Microsoft says it plans to introduce the PC version of Shadowrun in June. This time, the company says PC users will be able to play with Xbox 360 users in cross-platform skirmishes. As for Uno, that game will come out “later in 2007” and will also support cross-platform multiplayer.

Comments closed
    • AMD Damo
    • 12 years ago

    GREAT! Now we have to pay to play online on an old game we played on xbox 1 or 2 years ago… Dont we just LOVE microsoft?

    • lethal
    • 12 years ago

    xbox live on the pc doesnt quite fit in IMO. If people want ease of use, dont want/know to set up servers and generally want to have everything in the easiest possible way, they probably have already a console since they dont want to be bothered by anything else except gaming.

    If customization, mods and other power user features are your cup of tea, you are on a PC following the latests HW / SW releases and getting your drivers up to date, etc. Trying to bridge this two markets will end up limiting power users, which also have been playing online for years for free.

    • TheTechReporter
    • 12 years ago

    So, of these 3 games, Halo 2 is the one that _isn’t_ cross-platform? Yeah, that makes sense 😛

    I also like how Uno will be released “later in 2007”, as if they’re thinking it will take a long time to make the game. Heck, even _I_ could probably write an Uno game between now and June.

    • PRIME1
    • 12 years ago

    Will UNO be DirectX 10?

    ;p

    • ludi
    • 12 years ago

    Oh good, a game that was designed around an essentially DirectX 8 platform has been ported to the PC, and now magically works with only Vista.

    Good luck with that, Microsoft. I would have given you forty bucks for a chance to play the single player and LAN option on my XP box using proper PC input devices, but Vista and LIVE won’t fly.

    Hellllooo, Crysis…

    • Sniper
    • 12 years ago

    Javascript errors for the win.

    • Sniper
    • 12 years ago

    ……. …….

    • maxxcool
    • 12 years ago

    Since I cannot play other Gamers on the Xbox circuit this is completely useless.

    • Sniper
    • 12 years ago

    I like the idea of paying a monthly charge to play my games over the internet on my PC!

    Not really.

    It’s like how people have to purchase ringtones and wallpapers for their already expensive cell phones.

    I’ll just keep playing what matters – the games not provided by Microsoft.

    The only reason why Microsoft was able to charge users for Xbox live, was because nearly EVERY console at the time did not have internet play.

    This seemed reasonable to the average “in the dark” console gamer, but anyone that had played online PC games at the time, like myself, simply puked in their mouth a bit after realizing a console system required monthly installments of cash to play a $50+ game online.

    I picture Xbox live’s majority of users on the PC will be mainly for parents that don’t understand how computers work.

      • Shark
      • 12 years ago

      Are you forgetting the Multiplayer servers that MS provides gamers to play on?

      Or should MS just provide those for free?

        • Sargent Duck
        • 12 years ago

        What about how I can play CS:S or HL2 online for free?
        Or what about playing CnC Generals/Zero Hour online for free?
        Or what about playing Unreal Tournament online for free?
        Or what about playing Call of Duty 2 online for free?
        Or what about playing Star Craft online for free?
        Or What about playing Halo 1 online for free?
        Or what about playing Quake 4 online for free?
        Or what about playing BF2 online for free?

        Now granted, most of these servers are set up by individuals, but EA, Valve, Epic, ID and others have set up servers to be played on for free. If I can play all these games for free, why do I want to pay to use Microsoft’s servers? Multiplayer matchmaking with friends, TrueSkillâ„¢ matchmaking, Multiplayer achievements, Cross-platform gameplay doesn’t cut it for me.

        Of course, they do offer the silver-subscription, which is free, so I can’t complain too loudly, MS does offer an alternative to the gold subscription, and for this I applaud them.

          • Sniper
          • 12 years ago

          Are you forgetting that the silver subscription does not allow you to play online?

            • Shark
            • 12 years ago

            WRONG: “PC only multiplayer including browsing a list of active PC games”

            • Sniper
            • 12 years ago

            OH, well then. If you really do sign up for Xbox Live Gold, you are being ripped off. Hahaha.

          • Shark
          • 12 years ago

          “now granted, most of these servers are set up by individuals, but EA, Valve, Epic, ID and others have set up servers to be played on for free”

          This is what I’m talking about. You can’t guarantee QOS with individual servers and ID, EA, valve(?), etc, cannot every provide the amount of bandwidth and servers that MS can.

            • Sniper
            • 12 years ago

            Oh come now, servers are cheap to service. DIRT CHEAP.

            However, MASSIVELY MULTIPLAYER ONLINE ROLE PLAYING GAMES ARE DIFFERENT. There, I can understand the need to charge users.

            But for a game like Halo 2, the natural world does not need Microsoft to host servers. The community would step up to the plate just as every game community has.

            Stating that the Xbox-live service has to charge users to cover the cost of server upkeep is outrageous.

            • SGT Lindy
            • 12 years ago

            Sniper….you probably have not really used Live Gold because it is so much more. Let me ask you a few questions.

            Of all of those games, do you have the same gamer tag?

            If so is it unique to only you?

            Do you login differently for each game?

            Has that login ever been buggy in any of them?

            Is there a way for your friends to find you (using the same name) see what game you are playing, and join or invite you?

            When downloading a new demo of a yet to be released game, is there a place you can see all of the new demo’s…or do you have to track it down your self via various sources.?

            What about patching, do all of those games release patches the same way?

            Do the patches install the same way for all games?

            Are the patches hard to get as in find a place that has bandwidth to get a 300meg patch? Or do you pay a gamespy, filefront, or whatever for a faster reliable source so that you can get the patches on day one?

            Do those games have cheating?

            Do they have anti-cheat software in them?

            Is it trouble free…like punbuster…NOT?

            Can you download HD movies over you same game service…or TV shows….or Music Videos??

            With all these things and more Live provides you with a easy, realibale, high bandwidth method for all of them. You pay for what you get. Xbox Live gold can be regualarly found for $39 for a 13month card…..that is 3 bucks a month. Or you can play WOW…one game for $15 a month.

            Or better yet if you dont think its for you….then we dont care.

            • Gandhi
            • 12 years ago

            I would not want Microsoft handling how I play my online games. And I certainly will not be buying any PC game that requires Live to play online.

            • Ricardo Dawkins
            • 12 years ago

            ahah..but iTunes (err Apple) knows everything about you….:P

            • Gandhi
            • 12 years ago

            Dumbest post evar!

            Okay, first of all, this is not a discussion about the Zune, so you don’t need to drag Apple in to this since it is off topic.

            Second, you dont need to use the iTunes store in order to enjoy listening to the music you already and putting it on your iPod.

            And finally, Apple does not know anything more about me beyond the information I give it.

            Go back to listening to your Zune. This discussion does not concern you.

            • Ricardo Dawkins
            • 12 years ago

            haha…I think a bell rang inside you LOL.

            So, you came to a news post titled:
            “Xbox Live, Halo 2 coming to Vista on May 8”
            Last thing we know: Xbox, Halo and Vista are Microsoft products and services
            but the first thing you say here is:
            *I would not want Microsoft handling how I play my online games. And I certainly will not be buying any PC game that requires Live to play online.*

            Why you are so concerned about MS if you dont use (last thing I know from you) any MS product ?

            I don’t think you need a Xbox, Halo or Vista to enjoy your Mac games.. 😛
            Always the ifanboys trashing MS. *hillarious*

            • Gandhi
            • 12 years ago

            Yeah, guess I fell for the troll-bait.

            • SGT Lindy
            • 12 years ago

            How will/does Microsoft control how you play them any more than EA or UBI soft?

            I last two PC games I played via MP was BF2 and GRAW. For each I had a different login….because I could not use the same one…it was taken. Each controlled how I played MP.

            If I did not login into them…i did not play MP. Once I logged in I could only really play MP games…I could not download patches…the many for each that was there….PunkBuster on BF2 was problematic at best.

            Each PC game has its own very limited “Live” for free. You have to learn each, deal with each, configure each….etc. None of them have very good options beyond finding a MP game and launching into it.

            • Gandhi
            • 12 years ago

            Problem I have is them wanting the user to pay for service that has been included in PC games for free.

            What is to stop MS from charging even the silver-members down the road, when oter developers have joined them. I mean, look at Halo 2 – a 3 year old game with Direct X8 graphics that can only run on Vista?

            • SGT Lindy
            • 12 years ago

            You dont have to do it. You pay for what you get. Sure PC stuff is free…and for the most part way less quality.

            • BKA
            • 12 years ago

            Great post SGT Lindy. I don’t own an XBOX so I’ve never seen the Gold service or know what it provides, but if I did own one you would have convinced me to take a closer look.

            • Sniper
            • 12 years ago

            I don’t need the “microsoft experience” with my games, I have instant messaging and a gaming nick. It’s not hard, it’s rather simple, and I play all my games for free online.

            As far as patches go, Steam’s awesome.

            • SGT Lindy
            • 12 years ago

            Steam is awesome? Yeah its ok…but not awesome compared to Live. I love re-installing something like HL2 and then 4 hours later its all patched up and ready to go.

            What about the other 98% of PC games that dont use steam????

            • Sniper
            • 12 years ago

            Who cares?

            • SGT Lindy
            • 12 years ago

            Lol…you are right who cares about all those other games….STEAM is all you will ever need.

            • Sniper
            • 12 years ago

            If you look at Relic’s games, they provide automatic patch downloading in-game. Many other games out there check for updates before playing, making it easy for the user.

            Steam was just an example.

            • lethal
            • 12 years ago

            …… wrong reply ….

        • willyolio
        • 12 years ago

        Blizzard provided theirs for free for years. and it’s still free, with the exception of WoW.

      • Namarrgon
      • 12 years ago

      Live’s online multiplayer IS free. That’s what you get for the free Silver membership (unlike on Xbox), along with the friends list and voice chat.

      Gold just adds “Trueskill” matchmaking, cross-platform multiplayer (where allowed) and online achievements (offline achievements only need Silver, of course).

      The Ars article is somewhat more informative than TR, this time round.

    • Shark
    • 12 years ago

    As an Xbox Gold member, this is the best part:
    q[<"Current Xbox LIVE Gold members will automatically have access to Gold features on Games for Windows — LIVE titles."<]q

    • Sargent Duck
    • 12 years ago

    Oh goodie. I get to play a game that’s how old? I liked playing through Halo 1 on the PC, but with the extremely poor performance, and no co-op, it put a bad taste in my mouth for Halo 2.

    So, now for a PC, what’s the advantages of a gold subscription over a silver?

      • Shark
      • 12 years ago

      Read the link:

      • Multiplayer matchmaking with friends

      • TrueSkill™ matchmaking

      • Multiplayer achievements

      • Cross-platform gameplay

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