Does Xbox Live On Windows 8 Mean Cross-Platform Gaming?

The Xbox Live screen as it will appear in Windows 8

Major Nelson has confirmed that Windows 8 will be packing full compatibility with Xbox Live, sounding the apparent death-knell for the Games for Windows initiative. In a brief blog linking to the Windows BUILD showcase, the Xbox Live afficionado issued a call to game developers to exploit the power of the Xbox Live system and said that there was much more detail to share about its capabilities.

“Xbox LIVE brings your games, music, movies, and TV shows to your favorite Microsoft and Windows devices.” he explained. “Bringing Xbox LIVE to Windows 8 is part of our vision to bring you all the entertainment you want, shared with the people you care about, made easy.”

What he didn’t say was the Xbox games would now run in Windows. This would of course mirror the wonderful Steam model, and effectively put paid to the recent rumours that Valve were bringing their platform to Xbox. Tech blogs are already alive with the possibilities for cross-platform functionality, but let’s get real – that’s a huge programming, financial and political headache that Microsoft have very little incentive to handle. It’s 100% more likely that they’re merely trying to build bridges between their key platforms, and exploit more of a social angle – as well as expanding their audience for Xbox Live downloadable content such as music and video from Zune.

More details as they’re announced…

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