Unconfirmed reports claim that the upcoming Windows 8 operating system will allow users to play Xbox 360 games on their PCs.
According to InsiderIs sources, Xbox 360 on PC will have a subscription fee (just like Xbox Live). However, when it comes to online gaming, it will use Windows Live Marketplace and as a result, PC owners will not be able to compete against console owners (at least in initial stage), due to plausible frustrations (mouse vs. controller).
Microsoft is definitely set on converging its products and devices into a single ecosystem. Between Xbox 360 and Xbox Live, Windows Phone 7, and Windows OS, Microsoft wants you to be able to access all services from any device. None of that is news, but the folks shifting through the source for the latest Windows 8 beta’s have revealed some references to the Xbox 360 that are interesting.
Previous rumor was not suggesting that you could place a game in the DVD drive and play but would have to re-download the game from Microsoft for a nominal monthly fee. This rumor was largely dismissed because the power needed to emulate the Xbox 360 could possibly be greater than what is available to the consumer at this time. Windows 8 kernel appears to have some instructions for handling itself in the event of an Xbox 360 crash. Over at WinRumors and Insideris.com (they found the following strings, “XBOX_360_SYSTEM_CRASH” and “XBOX_360_SYSTEM_CRASH_RESERVED”), the predominant opinion is that this means Xbox 360 games will be playable on PCs when Windows 8 is launched.
There isn’t much information available at this point, and naturally many will be wondering why Microsoft would potentially cannibalize sales of its own console. But with Windows 8 still about a year away, and the company’s next-gen console announcement expected in some form at E3 2012, the pieces could fall into place for a smart succession plan of Microsoft’s gaming platform.
This could be nothing more than a feature that Microsoft wanted to implement but later canceled. At this moment there is very little info until Microsoft provides an official statement on this feature. Until then, we can only hope that one day we will be able to play all the Xbox 360 favorites with a keyboard and mouse.