Love it or hate it, there are few who can deny that Halo is probably one of the true successes of FPS games on consoles. To many of our readers, it's the holy grail of shoot-'em-ups, whereas to others it's just average. But either way, the title blew away previous console expectations for the genre, something that hadn't been done since Golden Eye
on the Nintendo 64.
The success of Halo 2
for both Bungee and Microsoft has made it an obvious first choice for the first connect for the Windows Live service, a parallel to Xbox Live. To do that, Halo 2
needed to be released on PC first. So now its date has come
- May 8th.
Of course, what hasn't been discussed as much is the missing interoperability. Windows Live is meant to duplicate a console-like experience, but not every game will work between PC and console. In fact, Halo 2
will not even be the first game to include this feature - that honor is reserved for Shadowrun
, a game not due out until June.
Whether Halo 2
could be patched after that is uncertain, but for now it will just be Windows vs. Windows. Microsoft blames this on Halo 2 not being designed for the Xbox 360 to begin with. Apparently, since the game isn't written for the 360, it can't be adapted to play cross-platform. However, since the original Xbox was even more like just a computer than the 360 makes this a curious statement.
Much like the Xbox Live service, Windows Live will have a bit of pay-to play. It will set you back $50 USD per year for a gold membership, which allows you matchmaking. It is also required for you to do any of that cross-platform gaming mentioned earlier. Whether this will offer any legitimate value over other online solutions has yet to be determined. Unlike the bBox, which holds a rather captive audience, the PC has several services that provide the general functionality of Live, though maybe not in as neat and tidy of a package.
Do you have a thought on either Halo 2
or the new Windows Live? Is it not quite what you expected, or does it sound like it will do what it should? Tell us your thoughts in our forums