Microsoft is eager to expand its Xbox Live service beyond the console space, a demonstration for the Xbox Live functionality on Windows 8 was given on Thursday and it looks like that strategy is going to expand even further next year.
Microsoft confirmed that Xbox Live is coming to PCs next year, when the new Windows 8 operating system launches.the cross platform possibilities of the new operating system were on full display. With Xbox Live coming to the new interface, and plenty of back-end optimizations, a whole slew of new features that work with Xbox Live will be coming to Windows 8.
“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,” wrote Microsoft’s Larry Hryb on his Major Nelson blog. “At BUILD we are showing that it is easy for developers to create games for Windows 8 that take advantage of the power of Xbox Live. We have much more detail to share about the capabilities of Xbox Live on Windows and look forward to the opportunity to do so in the near future.”
One of the most promising features however, is the aysnchronous multiplayer that allows players on Windows PCs, Windows Phone, and Xbox 360 to play against each other using the same multiplayer and matchmaking functionalities across all platforms. It’ll be interesting to see how deep the integration runs between the various platforms. Rumors that PC players will be able to play Xbox 360 games on their PCs seem ridiculously optimistic. At the same time, Xbox Live subscribers can already customize their avatars, chat with their Xbox Live brethren, and access their download queue on PCs via Xbox.com.
Windows 8 would be centralized around gaming to give Valve a run for its money, and this new Xbox Live functionality incorporated into the new OS is looking to do just that.