Microsoft has announced the extension of the Xbox Live games and entertainment network to the Windows platform, in a move that will bring together Xbox and PC gamers for a single online gaming service.
The new service will debut in May, with the launch of the Windows Vista version of the Xbox blockbuster Halo 2. Games for Windows – Live will connect Windows gamers to over six million gamers already in the Xbox Live community. Then, launching in June, Shadowrun will for the first time connect Windows gamers with Xbox 360 players in cross-platform matches using a single service. Uno, due for release later in 2007, will also support cross-platform play between Windows and Xbox 360.
The launch of Games for Windows – Live marks a major expansion of the Xbox Live service across multiple platforms, uniting gamers with a single identity, a single gamertag, a single friends list and a single list of achievements attainable on the Xbox 360 and a Windows-based PC.
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, said Peter Moore, corporate vice president of the interactive entertainment business in the entertainment and devices division at Microsoft.
Games for Windows – Live will be available in every country and region supported today by Xbox Live.