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Microsoft Launches Play Service: Xbox Games on Your Windows Phone or PC

One of Microsoft's latest efforts in unifying its platforms is by bringing Xbox games to Windows 8. Dubbed "Microsoft Play" (between Google Play and this, things are bound to get a little confusing); Microsoft's new service allows XBLA titles to be played on Windows 8 desktops and RT tablets. Since the service is still new, only fifteen titles are available for cross-platform play:

  • Skulls of the Shogun.
  • The Gunstringer: Dead Man Running.
  • ilomilo+.
  • Wordament.
  • Toy Soldiers: Cold War.
  • Taptiles.
  • Rocket Riot 3D.
  • Reckless Racing Ultimate.
  • Pinball FX2.
  • Microsoft Minesweeper.
  • Microsoft Solitaire Collection.
  • Microsoft Mahjong.
  • Hydro Thunder Hurricane.
  • Adera.
  • 4 Elements II Special Edition.

The list doesn't consist of any mind blowing titles, by any means. However, the list can only expand as Microsoft plans to be able to have developers write games that will work across Xbox 360, phones, tablets, and desktops.  

For more detail on Microsoft's Play service, head to its official page.

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  • ddg4005
    This only the beginning. I think it is Microsoft's strategy to eventually port all, or most, of the Xbox 360's game library to Windows. That would allow them to retire from the console market with their games continuing on in Windows.
    Reply
  • gamerk316
    ddg4005This only the beginning. I think it is Microsoft's strategy to eventually port all, or most, of the Xbox 360's game library to Windows. That would allow them to retire from the console market with their games continuing on in Windows.
    Very much doubt it, due to the architecture differences. You can get away with this for XBLA titles simply because of how non-resources intensive they are, which allows CPU side emulation of the PPC instruction set. But for 360 titles? Simply not enough horsepower for emulation to work. (Hell, emulation the 400MHz PS2 CPU is a major challenge!)
    Reply
  • dozerman
    I was hoping for a built-in xbox emulator. :(
    Reply
  • Antimatter79
    If they'd market a PCI-E card based Xbox 360 emulator for a hundred bux, maybe even 150, I'd buy that. I wouldn't mind playing a few 360 games if I could do so on my PC.
    Reply
  • leakingpaint
    That will be awesome I reckon, be nice to be able to eventually play anything on any platform. Never understood why devs & publishers divided the gaming community in the first place. Can you imagine the online gaming boom if at some stage ps3, xbox and pc players could all jam together - very cool (not sure that will ever happen but it's nice to dream)
    Reply
  • Marco925
    gamerk316Very much doubt it, due to the architecture differences. You can get away with this for XBLA titles simply because of how non-resources intensive they are, which allows CPU side emulation of the PPC instruction set. But for 360 titles? Simply not enough horsepower for emulation to work. (Hell, emulation the 400MHz PS2 CPU is a major challenge!)That's for emulation though, trying to actually run PowerPC instruction sets on an x86 CPU is resource heavy, but if it's written in a language that's platform independent like C++ then the difficulty of porting over to the other architecture is much less difficult.

    And the PS2 uses MIPS
    Reply
  • triculious
    A nice first step. Here's hoping they will make it available for Windows 7 in the near future.
    Reply
  • DRosencraft
    Not certain on the feasibility of this, but could they not just make a full-screen app that itself contains an emulator? Just from a feasibility perspective it's not as though the performance level of the 360 is more than a desktop can handle, and min. requirements should be part of any game. Just saying, despite the difficulties, I would imagine doing an official emulator app would be a lot easier than sifting through the entire 360 library for whatever games can be found to port over one by one.
    Reply
  • ojas
    But...this isn't new, they announced this with Windows 8's launch...
    Reply
  • Aren't there rumors that the next Xbox will have an x86 core in it? So I can theoretically play next-gen Xbox games on my PC (and maybe Windows Phone 9 with Intel Atom in it)? That would be a smart decision.
    Reply