Games for Windows Live is a mess compared to Steam, and Microsoft seems to be looking to get away from the infamous branding. Xbox Windows is the name of the service in Windows 8, bringing features including achievements from Xbox Live.
Games for Windows Live isn’t the best piece of software for playing PC games available, but what about Xbox for Windows?
You don’t see me using Games for Windows Live, because it just isn’t as fast and simple as Steam. Plus the latter has fantastic summer and winter sales; however, Microsoft aims to remove the negative connotations by introducing Xbox Windows as the replacement branding.
Xbox360Achievements.org uncovered the branding, along with three games to be bundled in with Windows 8: Minesweeper, Solitaire, and Mahjong. Achievements, as you may have guess, also got uncovered for the three titles.
The virtual box art actually has the Xbox logo on the left-hand side with Windows opposite, and then an image of the title. It’ll be interesting see if this transfers to retail games for Windows 8 supporting the integration.
The integration with Xbox Live can only be a positive sign for Windows 8. I want an experience as close to that on my Xbox 360 as possible, and that looks likely with the new games hub. The ability to resume sessions on my Xbox after playing a game on Windows 8 is a compelling feature, especially if I’m to use Steam less frequently.
Why All The Negativity?
There hasn’t been a super warm reception to gaming on Windows 8 from notable gaming industry figures, including John Carmack and Gabe Newell. The former said id Software continued to use Windows XP until the last moment, as it provided everything the studio needed. Newell said top-tier PC manufacturers could exit the market, destroying margins for certain people.
There could be a degree of self preservation with Newell’s comments, because I don’t see what’s negative about gaming in Windows 8. However, Newell has made correct predictions in the past: he said the PlayStation 3 would place third in the console race this generation. He’s right: Wii outsold Microsoft and Sony’s console, while Xbox has taken the mantle as Wii’s sales faltered. The Xbox 360 has consistently sold well though.
We’ll see how gaming pans out when Windows 8 releases October 26.