Microsoft announces ‘PLAY’ for Windows 8

1 min read

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.

Basically, if you play games on Xbox Live at all, you pretty much know what to expect from PLAY. Games like Gunstringer, Toy Soldiers, and Pinball FX2 have all made the jump from Xbox Live Arcade to Windows 8 in one form or another and can be played “anywhere Windows 8 games are supported”. And yes, achievement fanatics, they have ‘cheevos.

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
  • Taptiles
  • Adera
  • Pinball FX2
  • Wordament
  • Gunstringer: Dead Man Running
  • Ilomilo+
  • Skulls of the Shogun – launches at the end of January
All of the above (excepting Skulls of the Shogun) are available for purchase now through Xbox Live or the Windows 8 App Store and all should have accompanying demos up as well. For more info head to the official PLAY page by clicking here.

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  • 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?

  • 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?

  • 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.

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