Games for Windows reenLivening November

PC-oriented online service getting offline achievements and UI revamp next month.

Despite its rocky start with Halo 2 and Shadowrun, Microsoft's Games for Windows - Live initiative has been gaining support. During this year's E3 Media and Business Summit, GFW - Live general manager Chris Early noted that the service was being integrated into Epic Games' popular Unreal Engine 3, and that the publishing giant was actively courting other game-engine creators to incorporate Microsoft's technology. (Early also indirectly indicated at the time that the service would no longer be saddled with its strict Vista requirement, and that a Windows XP version of GFW - Live has now been created and can be integrated into existing XP games.)

Paving the way for further adoption, Microsoft announced today that the second update for GFW - Live is being readied for November. Bringing the service more in line with its Xbox 360 counterpart, the update will allow gamers to record offline achievement points to add to their gamerscores, as well as update the service's user interface to reflect friends' "joinable" in-game status and other similar features.

Trumping up currently slated offerings for the service, Microsoft also noted that several upcoming PC titles will feature GFW - Live connectivity. Included in this list are Sega's The Club and Universe at War: Earth Assault as well as Microsoft Game Studios' Viva Piñata and Gears of War. Eidos' Kane & Lynch: Dead Men, whose online multiplayer component was just revealed, will also take advantage of GFW - Live.

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92 comments
subrosian
subrosian

lstcorona- 1. PC has more AAAe, more AAA, and more AA games than the Xbox 360, if it's all about the games, why would I buy the platform with fewer? 2. Did you just honestly equate the cost of a MMORPG with the cost of LIVE? You are aware the MMORPGs on the 360 cost money to play too, right? FF XI has the same monthly fee on the 360 it has on the PC. In fact, some MMORPGs cost more - PSO required you to pay for both LIVE and the monthly fee last gen on the Xbox - it didn't on the GCN or the PC. 3. Why are you taking a cheap shot at Apple when Microsoft did the exact same thing with the Elite, Halo 3 edition, 65nm CPU, and will do it again next year with the 65nm GPU?

mott555
mott555

Has anyone here played Halo 2 for PC? You don't have to pay for LIVE membership. You automatically get free Silver membership, just like on XBox 360, and that lets you get achievements and play online. If you purchase Gold membership, you can host your own game on LIVE and get online multiplayer achievements. If MS is smart, they'll keep that model. (Shadowrun requires Gold membership to play online PERIOD. And we all know how well Shadowrun sold). In any case, System Link/LAN play never costs anything, and my friends and I typically play LAN anyway. Yay for offline achievements! XBox LIVE and Games for Windows LIVE is blocked at my college, and on PC you can't get offline achievements, it just ignores them and you'd have to get them again while you're signed in in order for them to actually show up in your gamer profile.

RaiKageRyu
RaiKageRyu

You know people are idiots when they think Achievement points give replay value. It doesn't, all they do is show you something you could have done by yourself anyways. Instead of inventing the challenge by yourself, you've let the achievement points take away from your creativity. I remember back in the day, we invented challenges and those with courage stepped up to them and they were credited by pure gamer cred alone and not some lame numbers a corporation gave you.

KhanhAgE
KhanhAgE

For those with XBL this is all fine and whatever. But for the PC gamers this is a real kick in the nuts. When was the last time anyone on the PC had to pay to play online (excluding MMO). Why do you think Shadowrun sold so poorly (estimated 12,000 units sold)? PC gamers are not willing to pay to play online (excluding MMO). I still don't understand what the hell "Achievement Points" are. Once I've finished a game. I've finished the game. If I really like the game and there are hidden bonuses, I might try to unlock them. If there's a multi-player, I'll go on to that once I'm done with the single player. What are Achievement Points and what is it that compels X360 players to strive to get them?

Timbydude
Timbydude

"Can someone explain to me, do people really care about achievements ? I even have xbox 360 and i still can't grasp why anyone even looks at those things." -ikreyer Achievements add a TON of replay value to a game. They give you challenges that you otherwise wouldn't even think of. Also, the achievement points are pretty addictive to try to collect.

GoddBless
GoddBless

@consar So Guild Wars is a pay2play MMO!?

ikreyer
ikreyer

Can someone explain to me, do people really care about achievements ? I even have xbox 360 and i still can't grasp why anyone even looks at those things.

Tremere1
Tremere1

There are two versions, silver (free) and gold (pay2play). Make a silver account, it has all the needed features to play Games For Windows Live.

ldonyo
ldonyo

As long as it's Vista-only and costs money, it's crap.

conzar
conzar

Native Linux Games: Americas Army, Enemy Territory, Civilization: Call to Power, Heroes of Might and Magic III, SimCity 3000 Unlimited, Tribes 2, UT2K4 to name a few... Interpreted Games 4 linux: Guild Wars, Half life 2, Eve Online, WoW, BF2, BF2142, and the list goes on (this is via wine and cedega).

mjwickstrom1
mjwickstrom1

Cool. I plan on buying GW PC when it comes out.

NDegree
NDegree

Whats the problem with Microsoft? Playing online is always free on PC then why should we have to pay now. I am not ready to pay not even a single dollar NO WAY.

conzar
conzar

bomboy02 wrote: "dude do you even pay attention to the pc gaming market?" Actually yes, I do pay attention to the PC gaming market. There are more cross platform games now then before especially with EA's deal with Transgaming. You are right about a monopoly existing for AAA titles and M$$ is trying to keep that monopoly from slipping (which it already is) via their XBL service. Also, another poster mentioned Game servers being crap in the PC world. Well the XBL world usually uses a host (which is a paying XBL live user) as a game server and all the players connect to him. This model is not feasible for most competitive multiplayer games. So your paying $50 a year so that you can use your own hardware as a server. Thanks M$$

Merl57
Merl57

Please tell me that BF2 2142, Ut2004, and old games will have achievements cause that would ROCK! and non vista only! thats great!

Shot2daDome
Shot2daDome

Conzar: People use Linux to play video games? Besides UTK4 name some other games, and who still plays UTK4 all of the big names are only windows.

moncealyo
moncealyo

No way am I going to pay for a gold membership I don't care how many bells and steaks you attach to the service. PC multi player with ALL of its perks should remain free. For example I like unviverse at war but I'm not going to get it because you need a gold membership in order to get ranked on online multi-player. Thats just stupid. No way m$!!!

bomboy02
bomboy02

conzar wrote: "XBL is M$$ way of trying to monopolize PC gaming" dude do you even pay attention to the pc gaming market? if you look at the ratio of pc games to mac/linux games you would see that a monopoly had already been in place, all MS is doing is capitalizing on an already present monopoly. also their are numerous services who provide many features GFW - live user have to pay for, for free. so MS is far from monopolizing anything in pc gaming

42316
42316

That seems pretty darn cool........I just want those achievements and to be able to play FIFA 08 with my mates.......the price doesn't seem too high so I hope i can twist my old man's arm ;).......ahhh those achievements, they add a bit of re playability to games and seem like a another way to compete with friends

conzar
conzar

Foleman wrote: [quote]Heck, thats about 4 bucks a month, less than any pay to play MMO.[/quote] I'll I have to say about that is ... Guild Wars buddy ... Guild Wars ....

conzar
conzar

Shot2daDome ... what about OSX users and GNU/Linux users? UT2k4 is on all 3 platforms. How will OSX and GNU/Linux users be able to play multi-player if XBL is a requirement? XBL is M$$ way of trying to monopolize PC gaming and I for one am boy-coting it.

Foleman
Foleman

Wow Enos, you must just be a Microsoft hater, since you know nothing about the PC industry. As long as there are free online services like Gamespy and Steam and developers are making their own servers for games like Battlefield, Microsoft can't monopolize anything. Also, think of all the companies out there who either don't include mulitplayer and now can have it easily added in and run by someone else, or companies that end up with bad servers, patches taking forever, or whatnot. Trust me, if you have a PS3 try playing Call of Duty 3 online and tell me how it goes for ya, then check it out on Xbox Live. I like free as much as the next guy, but when I lose quality because of it, then I'm all for 50 bucks a year. Heck, thats about 4 bucks a month, less than any pay to play MMO.

enoslives7
enoslives7

I like how micro$oft is trying to monopolize computer games. I guess since they lost the console war, they're gonna try a new front.

Deihmos
Deihmos

wraith808 If you have an Xbox Live gold you also have Windows Live Gold. You don't need Gold to ply online with the PC either.

neal_douglas
neal_douglas

wraith, GFW and XBOX Live are one and the same. If you have XBOX Live Gold, you have GFW Live Gold

wraith808
wraith808

No matter how good it gets, I won't be paying for an additional account. They need to make GFW part of your $50 you pay a year if you have a 360. At least IMO. And I won't be supporting it until they do, if they ever do.

Shot2daDome
Shot2daDome

everyone is complaining but remember that all you guys are running microsoft software anyway, so why not embrace a company whos software you have been using forever. so the "I dont want to pay microsoft" complaints dont make sense because everyone from Nvidia to Ati to Sony have all been using microsoft software.

kingfiend138
kingfiend138

microsoft really needs to make a part of the os and not just the games and have the arcade and the video markteplace then i might be intrested but untill then why pay cross-platform isent enuff to convince me

lstcorona
lstcorona

How can you say that PC gaming is free? Dont people pay 12-15 dollars a month per account and some have more than one for WOW. I think Xbox Live is awesome and for $50 for the year i can play anygame with online that has the functionality to do so. By the way Achievements are awesome as it is not about saying whoever has more is better, it justs shows how much of a gamer you are. Achievements make it more worthwhile to play and actually add more replay value to a game giving you more bang for your buck. And to all those who hate on these just because it is MS. Get over it. If the product is good then it is good. Maybe you are the same guys who want an iConsole of sorts so you can pay $1000 for it when it comes out then 6 months later it will be $500 and come in 3 colors and then a year after it comes out it come in a slim version with larger hard drive. IT IS ALL ABOUT THE GAMES AND RIGHT NOW THE 360 AND WII ARE WHERE ITS AT!!!!!

Yuck_Too
Yuck_Too

Sorry but Vent and Xfire are nowhere near as good as XBL voice for what they do (2-16 people) And if you want to use them for larger groups or organized events then they are not free since since you have to pay money to run a server. The way I see this though is MS just gave me more functionality for my existing XBL Gold account. If you don't want it you don't have to get it, but if you already have it things just got even better.

Kahones
Kahones

Well, in order for me to pwn some console players, I'll gladly fork over some dough if it means more competition and the games will have a longer life with a larger audience.

Shot2daDome
Shot2daDome

Its free for me I have xbox live gold so the offline achievements are great. Good job Microsoft.

sergio_afonso
sergio_afonso

Not interested in paying more money to Microsoft!

aximili88
aximili88

spelledarn - congrats for seeing the fundamental flaw in this service except that you didnt do your research. MS know that pc gamers have been have free online play... They also know that no one on pc would ever buy something like this if that was the case. That is why it IS free. THe gold service just lets you access the same stuff as the xbox. The game broswer is still there. I actualy have shadowrun and halo 2-pc and the service does work fine. (excluding shadowrun which was a huge flop)

spelledarn
spelledarn

Worthless. I'd take FREE online play on my PC any day, than being forced to fork more cash over to Microsoft for some stupid "achievement" points. Who cares?

subrosian
subrosian

mmpr7 - Yes, gross generalizations are a great idea. You just implied people who will pay $600+ for a 24" monitor because TN-panels suck, $300+ for a high-end GPU (because lack of AA sucks), and buy plenty of games and expansion content are cheapskates... way to go. It's the principle of the thing - PC gaming is full of free services with *better* features than LIVE, we have no need for a $50/year service that gives you a few "my space" type features in exchange for being a complete ripoff. On PC, LIVE makes no sense. There is absolutely no reason for us to pay for this because it *doesn't do* anything that Xfire, Teamspeak, Ventrilo, STEAM community, et cetera don't already do. MMORPG fees are ridiculous, what does that have to do with PC gaming as a *whole*? Obviously some of us are opposed to idiotic recurring fees - LIVE and all the other monthly / yearly subscriptions can go away on the same bus, as far as I'm concerned.

Chuong19
Chuong19

Ventrilo/TeamSpeak/Xfire + Online Gaming + Dedicated Servers + Free > Live + $$ Apparently the only people who think this is a good idea are Xbox/Xbox360 users. Those are the same people who don't really understand Mods (Free), User content (Free), or game-based community.

Game-o_O
Game-o_O

nVidia owns PC gaming, not MS. My, un-edumikatard opinion.

couggod
couggod

they're only doing an XP version because no none is buying their overpriced OS.......and on-line play on PCs is traditionally handled by individuals and not the companies themselves.

mmpr7
mmpr7

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

mmpr7
mmpr7

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

ablance82
ablance82

pc to pc gaming is still FREE on gfwl u only hav to pay for PC to XBOX gaming

Grandhand
Grandhand

Why do they charge for online? It doesnt make any sense

bildo2020
bildo2020

gamercards are for chumps. you show real skill by fragging not accomplishing a mundane tasks.

_KwispY
_KwispY

im not paying to play online games when its been free for decades on the pc

dn3datomiced
dn3datomiced

That sounds good, especially for an XP user like myself. Now, we need some news on what the season update for Xbox 360 is.

ADPJFC
ADPJFC

They need to make some kind of dashboard for windows too, (the games section in win vista is a good start... though i personally dont like it). Otherwise its just an annoying little screen that pops up in games and asks you to sign in....

The_PC_Gamer
The_PC_Gamer

Great, what are they trying to do, turn PC Gamers into point wh*res?

the_real_VIP
the_real_VIP

"Conor_220: Ok PC vs 360 is not fair. PC would just dominate with mouse and keyboard. They would have to find some middleground." They did with Shadowrun and nothing good came out of it, especially the PC version. Almost all PC gamers hate the "Games for Windows - Live" feature.

Bill900
Bill900

I hope they patch the games already released under GFW so that they include achievements too. :)