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Live for Windows will hold onto Xbox Live prices, and will offer cross-platform gaming

No one doubts that Microsoft had plans to bring some form of its Xbox Live service and model to PC gamers after it announced its Games for Windows initiative to reinvigorate computer games. The biggest questions about a Live for Windows service are around pricing and interoperability with Xbox Live.

A new trailer for Shadowrun displayed a tiny banner of text near the end of the video which read, “Cross platform play requires Xbox Live Gold account and hard drive (on Xbox 360), or Games for Windows – Live Gold account (on Windows).” Clearly, Microsoft has plans for cross platform play between its console and the PC, and the notice of there being a “Gold” account for the Windows platform indicates a premium, paid tier of service.

Even at GDC, Microsoft remained quiet on details surrounding Live for Windows, though Game Informer has learned that the pricing for Live service will be consistent across the platforms. That means that a yearlong subscription of Gold is 49.99, one month is $7.99, and $19.99 for three months. The Silver level subscription will be free to all Live for Windows users, though it will be limited in features, such as cross platform gameplay, compared with the Gold level.

Those who have existing Xbox Live Gold subscriptions can carry over their memberships to work on PC games with all Gamertags and Gamerscore. Achievements are also expected to be worked into Games for Windows games, with Halo 2 expected to be one of the first games to incorporate the gameplay incentive feature.

Microsoft may face some challenges in convincing PC gamers to pay for features that they’ve previously been enjoying for free. While console gamers may accept the subscription model due to the differences between running a closed console platform and an open PC platform, getting gamers to pay to play online (aside from an MMORPG) could be difficult.

It remains to be seen what other incentives Microsoft will provide to its Live service for Windows to entice PC gamers to pay. Games for Windows PR director Michael Wolf said to Joystiq last year, “We're not crazy enough to think that people will suddenly start paying $50 a year to get something they already get for free on Windows ... all I can say now is that we're working to make a Gold membership worthwhile even if you're only connecting to Live from Windows Vista.”

Xbox 360 gamers, however, are probably pleased that their subscriptions are continuously expanding in functionality, from Video Marketplace movie downloads to the new age of PC gaming on Windows Vista.



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By Ryanman on 3/8/2007 2:06:06 AM , Rating: 0
Time to Break out the Hack Box.
I'm telling you right here, right now, if there is ANY concession to Console Gamers I will learn how to hack, straight up. I have never in any way cheated or modified game files ever. I will make it so my G5 can turn like it was meant to, so my G15 doesnt have button lag, so i have the same Autoaim as all the Halo 2 n00bs. IMO if you were dumb enough to like a controller, get ready to cry once you hook up to a PC server. By cry i mean move back in with your parent, wearing a urine stained straitjacket.


By Tsuwamono on 3/8/2007 2:59:46 PM , Rating: 2
i agree dude. this is why i play PC games. i hate controlers for FPS. They are great for racing and RPG but for FPS i hate it. Its not my fault some retard wants to use a controller VS me with my keyboard and mouse. Let him get raped, its his fault for being dumb


"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings

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