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Games for Windows Live - expanded and free

Games for Windows Live - expanded and free

Games for Windows Live Gold accounts will be completely free for PC users from now on.

Microsoft has today announced that the Games for Windows Live Gold service will be completely free from now on and that many new features and expansions to the service are planned for the future.

The most immediate benefit of this announcement though is that PC gamers will no longer have to pay for a Live Gold account if they want to go online and try a spot of Xbox 360/PC crossplatform gaming - excellent if you're a fan of Shadowrun or Universe at War.

Microsoft has also announced that it will be expanding the PC end of the Live service in the future to more closely mirror the benefits of the Xbox 360 Live platform. This means we can look forward to a Games for Windows Live Marketplace in the near future, as well as an arena for all other bits and pieces - demos, wallpapers, the works!

Games for Window Live will also offer achievements, matchmaking and other functions, meaning that Microsoft will be directly competing with the likes of Valve's Steam service.

While Steam has set the standard by which all other services are generally judged, Valve as a developer has indicated that it isn't necessarily interested in being the de facto digital publisher. If that means we can get Episode 3 that much earlier then that's fine by us!

Have you ever used Games for Windows Live? What did you think about it? Let us know in the forums.

18 Comments

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kiwik 23rd July 2008, 16:15 Quote
They finally realised it was ridiculous.
Tulatin 23rd July 2008, 16:16 Quote
Finally. I guess MS clued in that apart from MMOs, where you really shouldn't be paying for the content, but rather the gameplay, nobody pays to play online.

Granted, in 90% of those cases, servers are privately hosted, but at least in private hosting, you don't always have to worry about being banned from one = bricked game.

I do wonder what this means for people sitting on a year of PC Gold Time.... do they get a refund, or shafted?
Mongoose132 23rd July 2008, 16:16 Quote
Never used it, but it's free, so it's better than before IMO :p
Hg 23rd July 2008, 16:30 Quote
Live was and still should be an XBox only feature.
We PC gamers use a thing called the 'internet' to get demos. Wallpapers, News, Videos etc and best of all its free and simple!
Steam Will always win here as it allows Users to Host Games and dedicated servers for nothing, Live forces you to use their hosted servers etc this will always be there downfall.
Romirez 23rd July 2008, 16:39 Quote
Only ever tried it on gears of war, and couldn't get past the second chapter of the single player because of it, either due to repeated crashes at the menu screen, or it deleting all my saves on the few occasions it actually worked. Free or not, it's still a sack of ****.
will. 23rd July 2008, 16:53 Quote
Kinda worked ok for me, but when we have such easy access to the internet, it is pretty useless.
scarrmrcc 23rd July 2008, 16:57 Quote
interestingly i just bought shadowrun (for 5 bucks)...now i can play it online for free (actually haven't installed it yet).

hope people still play it....
BlackMage23 23rd July 2008, 17:00 Quote
Just shows how good valve are if they made steam and are not really trying
1ad7 23rd July 2008, 17:43 Quote
I didnt know they had a live service for pc...... and Im still laughing that they charged for it.....they need to wake up on the 360 as well...

Oh and no worries about ppl with tons of gold time already bought, they all own macs anyway :) "It wont install.... why"
Cadillac Ferd 23rd July 2008, 18:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackMage23
Just shows how good valve are if they made steam and are not really trying
I'm pretty sure the reason that Valve is able to make such consistently good products is the fact that they are indeed trying.
seveneleven 23rd July 2008, 18:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cadillac Ferd
I'm pretty sure the reason that Valve is able to make such consistently good products is the fact that they are indeed trying.

That's correct.All of their stuff is at such a high level of quality that it actually looks very easy when you look at how well all of the products come together but it's actually a very difficult and time consuming process.
samkiller42 23rd July 2008, 19:45 Quote
Yea, but those of us who have xbox live on our xbox's don't really get any benifits from this, considering we have already splashed out £35 for a years sub to play on our 360's. I don't actually mind paying £35 a year for a damn good service, that's never failed for me, and has so so much available on it, and that's expanding also. The only times i have problems with live is when my internet connection messes about.

Sam
Mentai 23rd July 2008, 20:52 Quote
As outrageous as I find it, windows live is definitely earning M$ money on the xbox. I'm glad they finally realised the market is Significantly different on PC. Windows live drove me batsh*t insane when I was trying to play gears of war, I actually think I might still hate it even when it's free. Best of luck to them though, they'll certainly need it to beat the perfection that is steam.
r4tch3t 23rd July 2008, 22:55 Quote
Personally I have never used Windows Live, as all my games are too old (about to buy Commander Keen ;) )
Steam should be the standard and should be licensed out to other companies, as long as they are still interoperable.
zimbloggy 24th July 2008, 04:28 Quote
good, because it was getting so that if you didn't have windows live, you couldn't really do a lot of things for certain new games, ala gears of war for pc
rollo 24th July 2008, 12:22 Quote
they finally relised how ludicras the charge is. Now all we need is it removed from xbox 360. Paying £35 a year or whatever it is. Is still really way too much consideirng most 360 games are hosted by the person who created the game
azrael- 24th July 2008, 12:25 Quote
I've never tried Games for Windows Live, but I use Steam on a regular basis. While it has come a long way since being introduced in September 2003 there still are some major annoyances with the service. Only yesterday I repeatedly got booted off servers due to some "Steam connection lost" error. And the ClientRegistry.blob "fix" is almost legendary among Steam users... :)
Zut 24th July 2008, 13:27 Quote
I didn't know there WAS a Games for Windows Live!! Though even if I did. I certainly wouldn't have paid for it.

I'll have to look into it.
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