Games for Windows – LIVE, the Free Gaming Service

Microsoft Announces Free Gaming Service for Windows

Games for Windows LiveMicrosoft has revealed their new gaming service “Games for Windows – LIVE”, a free gaming service that allows users to play games online through a service similar to that of Xbox Live.

The new service will utilize gamer tags, friends lists shared between Xbox 360, Windows Live and Zune, text & voice chat, and gamer achievements. All of these features are similar to those found on Xbox Live, the service that Microsoft has received high marks for on its Xbox and Xbox 360 console platforms.

On top of the PC game play aspects offered by the service, Microsoft has also announced cross platform gaming between Windows users and Xbox Live gamers. Although there was no mention of any plans to offer the Xbox Live service for free.

The Windows Live service sounds like it will attempt to set some new standards for online gaming. While it worries me when companies try to create standards for the rest of the industry, some of the innovations delivered by Xbox Live would be a welcomed change in the PC gaming world.

So far there has yet to be any industry standards regarding online gaming with PCs leading to a rather fractured online community consisting of millions of users. It would be very cool to allow those people to easily interact in a common ground to further the gaming culture, and bring gamers closer together.

To read the full details checkout the Games for Windows – Live homepage here.

With the new standards and features offered by Games for Windows – Live what are your impressions of how well the service will be received by users? Do you think standardizing online gaming will provide value to gamers, or make people feel as though they are being told how they should play. Let’s hear your thoughts!

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