Microsoft to bring Xbox Live to the PC
According to this story over at Eurogamer, Microsoft will unveil a new game development platform at GDC that will span not only game consoles, but also Windows-based PCs and mobile devices. Branded XNA, the new development environment will provide a common controller reference design and also bring Xbox Live to the PC.
Developers working on Windows games will now be able to use the billing, security, login, friends and matchmaking tools which are integral to the Xbox Live service - effectively extending Live functionality onto Windows games, although it's not clear whether PC gamers will be expected to pay Live-style subscription fees for these services.
Although it's not yet clear whether Live for the PC will be tied to a subscription fee, there's no doubt that Microsoft will face stiffer competition with online PC gaming than it did with Xbox Live. With Gamespy, All Seeing Eye, and integrated game browsers well-entrenched in the PC space, Microsoft may have a hard time charging the PC crowd for game browsers or buddy lists..