News: Are PC gamers prepared to pay for Live?
Microsoft has announced that Games For Windows Live will launch on May 8. This is also the day Microsoft plans to release the PC version of the popular shooter Halo 2.
Games For Windows Live will operate almost identically to Xbox Live. The service will be available in both Gold and Silver tiers with a Gold membership retailing for $49.95. Unlike Xbox Live however, a Silver membership in Games For Windows Live will include online multiplayer (albeit for PC games only).
Xbox Live Gold members will also receive Games For Windows Live Gold functionality and vice versa at no additional cost. The two systems will actually be able to communicate with each other and a single Gamertag will work across both. Microsoft even has plans to create games that will feature cross-platform multiplayer. The first cross-platform game, Shadowrun, is scheduled for June. The popular Live Arcade title Uno will also be released for PCs in a cross-platform version this Fall.
?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. ?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.?
Games For Windows Live will include many of the features that have made Xbox Live such a hit, including voice chat and Achievements. The full feature list for both tiers is as follows:
Silver Membership Features
Common gamer profile
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
We'll have more on how to live it up with Live soon.