We know – releasing Games for Windows LIVE for free looks something short of a desperate plea to get the platform running. But on top of that, it looks like Microsoft wants to take control of download content distribution on the PC as well. That’s right – there a Windows LIVE Marketplace announced as well. But the biggest news we get from the XNA Gamefest 2008 is the fact that Windows LIVE Gold services are now completely free. Get the primary details at the full story.
More news is streaming from Microsoft‘s press conference at the 2008 XNA Gamefest, and it appears that new development applies to Vista gamers at every length. The Redmond giant just made the free licensing of Games for Windows – LIVE to developers official, and with the Microsoft-sanctified multiplayer feature, they also announced the launching of Windows LIVE Marketplace.
Yes – a digital distribution service just for Windows Vista and future versions of Windows. Something that Stardock wouldn’t have expected, perhaps?
Even heavier in the news weighing scale is that they’ve seemed to also announce that ALL Games for Windows – LIVE services will be available for free. We’re not 100% sure of this announcement, but deeper investigation into other news streams also explicitly concur this bit of information as well.
The scope of this free service has not been fully itemized, but we’re told that the services for same-platform and cross-platform multiplayer and matchmaking are now cost-free. If this is true, then Microsoft at least has done something to infuse new blood to PC gaming.
Other details of a user-interface revamp have emerged, and though Microsoft’s Chris Satchell was generous enough to leave some sample screens, we could not find any officially released.
Also, we’ve heard that new games from Eidos and THQ have recently passed Microsoft’s Games for Windows certification, and Battlestations: Pacific and Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II will incorporate Games for Windows – LIVE technology for multiplayer. More updates as we get them.