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Windows Operating Systems Software PC Games (Games)

Games For Windows Live Update Coming Soon 46

CVG is reporting that Microsoft will soon be rolling out an update to the Games for Windows Live service, their PC gaming equivalent of Xbox Live. Service improvements include offline achievement tracking, a 'joinable' notation near online friends, and some UI enhancements. "Nothing Earth shattering, but its nice to see Microsoft committed to something in the PC department anyway. The last patch (that's 1.1) in case you forgot about it, added DirectX 10 and Windows XP support for future titles along with a plethora of error reporting features. According to Microsoft, it's just the beginning: 'We've come a long way since announcing the vision of Live across multiple Microsoft platforms last year,' reads its pristine press release, 'and are committed to continually refining and bringing future functionality to Games for Windows - Live.'"
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Games For Windows Live Update Coming Soon

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  • plethora (Score:3, Funny)

    by DarthBender ( 1071972 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @11:07AM (#20911737)
    Would you say it has a plethora of error reporting features?
    • by Lectoid ( 891115 )
      Forgive me, El Microsoft. I know that I, Jefe, do not have your superior intellect and education. But could it be that once again, you are angry at something else, and are looking to take it out on me?
  • by roadkill_cr ( 1155149 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @11:10AM (#20911789)
    ...Except Steam is free and has more games that I want.
    • The free part is certainly a valid, perhaps a compelling motivator. Though on the XBOX side Live has been a pretty popular service even though there are free alternatives out there.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Tridus ( 79566 )
        I haven't heard of any free alternatives to Xbox live. How do you tell your Xbox to go play on some other (free) network?
        • There is a program for Xbox1, I assume that it works for xbox 360 as well. What it did was basically make a LAN party over the internet. You would join a channel with other players, and this software that ran on your PC would make a virtual private lan with the other parties.

          I can't remember the name of the program offhand though..
          • Here we go:


            It is NOT a xbox live alternitive, although you can play multiplayer. It does not use the xbox live option in the game, but rather the LAN setting)
        • There are free alternatives to Xbox Live for the XBOX (such as XBConnect [wikipedia.org]) but mostly I'm referring to other multiplayer gaming networks that existed for consoles and the PC that were typically set up on a per-game or maybe per-publisher basis.

          Obviously Steam is a major success but it was developed and released at about the same time as Xbox live.

          • Does it only do multiplayer gaming, or does it make it possible to use other "live-like" services?
            Otherwise, it's not really a Live alternative, is it? Just an alternative to tp-cables.
      • The free alternatives you speak of aren't even close to on par with what XBOX Live provides as a service. In fact, XBConnect isn't even related to Live; it's a tunneling service to play certain games online. And while we're talking XBConnect, you have to pay to get all the features of that service, anyways. My point is just that Steam and GfW are essentially the same thing, except one is free and has more games I enjoy. While we're at it, I don't see why I should have to pay for an extra step between me
    • by Cheesey ( 70139 )
      It seems like we have been here before:
      1. Independent company (Valve) introduces a new type of product (Steam).
      2. ??? (Many years pass as legions of Steam bugs are fixed, and Steam goes from being "the hated program that broke Counter Strike" to being pretty useful, even to people who hate DRM.)
      3. Independent company makes a profit.
      4. Microsoft is angry! (Ballmer throws a chair.) Microsoft clones the product and bundles it with Windows, ensuring that most users will never know about the original.
      5. Microsof
      • by KDR_11k ( 778916 )
        Microsoft themselves said GfW is a measure to strengthen PC gaming. It's in their best interest to keep gaming alive on the PC, otherwise they would lose one big selling point of Windows over other OSes.
    • I don't like Steam because the games are tied to it, and I'm not interested in any of the services offered by Steam (I don't really use Xbox Live either).
    • by witte ( 681163 )
      Use of one service does not exclude use of the other. (Yet.)
  • As long as (Score:2, Insightful)

    As long as it doesn't interupt me while I'm in the middle of a game (ANY game, even Solitare counts) and it doesn't install things that aren't game related (backdoor Windows update?), it's whatever. Not a huge deal to hear they'll be doing this.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by raitchison ( 734047 )

      Can't speak for the games for Windows Live but on the XBOX new messages and notifications aren't too distracting while you are playing a game. I thought it would be much worse.

  • XBOX Live has been one of the more successful aspects of the entire XBOX franchise, personally I didn't "get it" myself until we got an Xbox 360 a few months ago and started playing with the free 30 day trial, now we have 2 paid XBOX Live memberships (one for me and one for my son), talk about some nice revenue for Microsoft.

    One could see an increase in Live for Windows as potentially cannibalizing Xbox sales, as there could be fewer games out there that people might be willing to pony up $$$ for a console for.

    On the other hand, if this get more people onto Live, it might get people wanting more and getting a console so they can play more games.

    Personally, there aren't that many games out there now (or announced for that matter) that I would be compelled to buy, though as someone with an XBOX Live membership I might be more likely to buy a Live for Windows game knowing I can use my existing account.

    • I'm curious, what made you change your mind about Xbox Live? I have a 360 as well, but I absolutely refuse to give money to Microsoft to play online, especially because my understanding is that Microsoft doesn't even guarantee dedicated servers for your games. Then again, I'm also a PC gamer, and thus I'm used to free online play as a matter of course, so paying to get basic online play is pretty damn low in my book. Microsoft is really the only company that has it wrong, Nintendo and Sony also have free on
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Kazzahdrane ( 882423 )
        As someone who until about a year ago was a long-time primarily PC gamer, I can see why many fellow PC gamers can't fathom why you would pay £40 a year (works out cheaper in the USA) just to play games online, since as you said PC gamers have been getting that for free for decades now. To be honest, I can't put my finger on it. I got a 360 in January and dutifully made my Live account and played a little bit of Gears online during my first free month, and then didn't bother resubscribing. Over the nex
      • by ADRA ( 37398 )
        As best as I can see XBL, it doesn't host servers at all (then it may be worth some incremental fee) but instead it is simply a dispatcher between someone who's hosting a game and any participants that want to play on that game.

        They also have a whole bunch of up sells and useless achievements to piss on your friends about, and maybe some demos that are important enough to people.

        The only really sad fact of all of this is that beyond Steam on the PC, nobody's been able to do better than XBL. They don't need
      • It's really hard to explain, the whole system is really seamlessly integrated so you can keep track of multiple games from multiple publishers, the social network aspect of it is more interesting/less annoying than I thought as well. It's nice that you have "friends" and that you can play with/against those friends on all the games that you both/all have. Of course it also doesn't hurt that Live is so pervasive in the entire Xbox (360 at least) environment.

        Like I said, when we got the 360 I never would

      • Nintendo and Sony also have free online play

        Unlike Xbox Live, Nintendo's system doesn't have a lobby. In half the games, you can't play online at all without a pair of friend codes. Nintendo doesn't state how to exchange friend codes except that if you try to do it on Nintendo's official forums, you get banned from the forums. In the other half, either you can use friend codes, or you can get a randomly selected opponent and you can't use text or voice chat. This situation is good for parents of under-13 players, but it's not so good for players age

        • I'm not saying that Nintendo's service is ideal, just that it's free. And achievements are the stupidest thing gaming has ever put forth, I'm damn glad Nintendo doesn't have them.
          • ...achievements are the stupidest thing gaming has ever put forth, I'm damn glad Nintendo doesn't have them.

            How are the tokens earned in Metroid Prime 3 (and shared with Friends), the Trophy's in Super Smash Bros, or a "High Score" board fundamentally different than Achievements?

            • I don't have the tokens, and the trophys and high score boards don't flash a message up on your screen in the middle of gameplay.

              I'm also bitter against achievements because I've actually seen reviews where a cross-platform game had the non-360 versions marked down for not having achievements... which is pretty much the biggest load of crap I've ever seen in a review.

              • by trdrstv ( 986999 )

                I don't have the tokens, and the trophys and high score boards don't flash a message up on your screen in the middle of gameplay.

                You can turn off notifications in the 360, and that would silence "Achivement Unlocked". Just FYI.

            • How are the tokens earned in Metroid Prime 3 (and shared with Friends), the Trophy's in Super Smash Bros, or a "High Score" board fundamentally different than Achievements?

              Because unlike with Xbox Live, not all Wii games and post-WFC DS games have an online high score board. For example, Animal Crossing: Wild World gives rare items for achievements (e.g. feathers for supporting Boondox, golden watering can for a perfect town, fish trophy for landing the biggest sea bass on Fishing Tourney day, etc.) but it does not keep a count of earned achievements, especially one that can be interpreted as a percentage.

  • Still don't get it (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jasonmicron ( 807603 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @11:53AM (#20912493)
    Why would anyone pay for a service for PC gaming when just about everything the paid-for service is offering has been free to use on the PC for the last 15+ years?

    Most games come with a built-in multiplayer option. X-Fire keeps track of stats & meeting up with your friends - the list goes on.

    Nope, won't be paying for that.
    • by Pojut ( 1027544 )
      People such as yourself seem quick to forget that multiplayer gaming on the PC wasn't always free...sure, battle.net has been around a while and there were a COUPLE of other things, but you forget about services such as TEN, Dwango, MPlayer, Heat.net, etc...
      • Yes, but see... it evolved PAST that stage, so it's hard to see why it should regress. ;)

        I don't mind if folks want to monetize things--even on the PC end--but paying for "online play" access at ALL? Puh-lease. Gamescore is pointless (and before anyone bitches, whatever will hit PSN's Home will be equally pointless, as is any other multi-game "rating" system), and after experiencing automatic online chat on PC more and more, I've come to realize I don't really WANT it except when you already know every
        • by Pojut ( 1027544 )
          For me, the $50 a year for a Live Gold membership is well worth it...the service works very well, it's integrated with ALL of my 360 games, and it's layout is fantastic...many people take issue with paying that much a year for online play, but then they forget that people pay $180 a year just to play World of Warcraft...

          If the money is worth it to someone, they will have no problem paying...millions of other people share my opinion that it is worth it, and millions of other people don't share my opinion an
        • I'd just like to add that on Windows, you can actually play multiplayer even with the FREE membership to GfW Live. For example, with Halo 2 PC, the Silver features are: Achievements, Game Server Browser/Multiplayer, Voice Chat, Text Chat, Friends List (and the associated matchmaking with your friends). With the Gold subscription, that adds... well, Matchmaking. Specifically the system which goes to behemoth efforts to pit you against opponents that suck/rock as much as you do at the game. [reference: htt [microsoft.com]
      • Multiplayer gaming on the PC was free before, during, and after those services were active, with a few exceptions.

        Those services were hardly a requirement to play anything online, but maybe a few small games on MPlayer or others. There was some service that allowed IPX games to play over TCP/IP, for a fee, but that serviced died out long ago with IPX games.
        QSpy/GameSpy was free and could browse and launch for a ton of games. There wasn't just a couple of free multiplayer online games, MOST were. Doom 95,
      • by vux984 ( 928602 )
        People such as yourself seem quick to forget that multiplayer gaming on the PC wasn't always free

        Pretty much, yes, it was.

        but you forget about services such as TEN, Dwango, MPlayer, Heat.net

        No, those were matchmaking services. Multiplayer was already available on an "enter the ip address of the server", basis.

        Besides those were never that popular outside of what they offered for free. (I vaguely recall using mplayer for something, rainbow six maybe? But I never paid them a dime.

        The only reason Xbox live is
        • Yep. Pretty much anything that allowed TCP/IP connections was free. You just had to know the IP of your host. All this talk brings back memories of the serial link cable we made JUST to play some of those old games.
  • by HTH NE1 ( 675604 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @03:12PM (#20915803)
    Windows Live Update is going to carry games? Will they have Genuine Entertainment?

God doesn't play dice. -- Albert Einstein