Games for Windows set free (for those who care)

by: Chuck -
More On: Games For Windows
Microsoft announced today that they are eliminating the fees associated with Games for Windows Live which means you can now play Shadowrun, Halo 2, and the PC version Gears of War online for free.  This will excite the 10 or so of you who actually bought and are playing the PC versions of the games.

Microsoft also announced that they will be releasing a PC version of the Xbox Live Marketplace this fall.  No word on prices but expect the service to pale in comparison to other services like Steam and Gametap in terms of quality and quantity of games.

If Microsoft wanted to do something to salvage the epic failure that is Games for Windows Live they'd release an API set which would allow PC game companies to add achievements to their games without burdening them with the PC version of the Live service.  This would actually incentize developers to support the service at some level and would allow Microsoft to build in support of the Live service direction into the operation system where it belongs.  The fact that this kind of support is already built into Steam (and is available for free for developers in the Steamworks program) speaks to how far behind Microsoft is on the PC side right now.
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