Microsoft Studios’ PLAY initiative brings Xbox back to the PC one more time. But unlike Games for Windows Live, PLAY’s focus on XBLA titles just might stick.
Windows 8 hasn’t exactly had a great reception from players or the gaming developer community since its launch, but that might change (at least a little) thanks to PLAY and its introduction of some of Xbox Live’s best to PC playing audiences.
A surprisingly solid selection of titles are available right now too, with more on the way soon. Here’s the rundown of what’s on the Windows 8 App Store and XBLA under the PLAY banner:
- Toy Soldiers (not available on Windows RT)
- 4 Elements: Special Edition
- Hydro Thunder Hurricane
- Rocket Riot 3D
- Reckless Racing Ultimate
- Microsoft Solitaire Collection
- Microsoft Mahjong
- Microsoft Minesweeper
- Pinball FX2
- Gunstringer: Dead Man Running
- Skulls of the Shogun – launches at the end of January
I wonder how worried Microsoft is about losing Valve's support? Steam is essentially the gaming platform for PCs…
Especially with all the Steam-box stuff that's going around. It's kind of crazy to think that MS isn't the defacto leader on the PC as it comes to gaming, but I guess it really never was, was it?
Yes, exactly. This whole falling out with Valve has shown very clearly how small Microsoft's presence in gaming on PCs actually is.
I don't think they are so worried yet. As of now, Steam remains far and away a Windows PC service and will stay that way as long as most games are developed to target that platform.
I am sure Valve wants to move away from that, but I don't think Windows 8 is where the scales will tip in their favor.
In a few years time?
Hm. Does Steam even work on Windows 8 yet? Anyone know? I'm not much of a PC gamer, so I honestly dunno.
Yes… in terms of digital distribution. However, a majority of PC gamers have Windows as their operating system, last time I remember. Their DirectX graphics API is what keeps Microsoft in the game, as lots of games use it as the base for their graphical components. Things would've been different if it didn't exist.
We'll see what happens with Windows 8.