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Microsoft has recently announced that their PC Games for Windows Live service is now a free service! This seems to be a move to stay in competetion with Valve’s Steam service. Hopefully this can also carry over to the Xbox 360 gaming console, if the Playstation 3 online service can bring enough competition. This is certainly a move in the right direction for Microsoft. Here are the details from the Game for Windows website.

 

Free multiplayer is just the beginning.

Introducing Games for Windows – LIVE, the free gaming service built for Windows that makes great Windows games even better.  With Games for Windows – LIVE, you get an online identity – called a gamertag – and a friends list that works across multiple games, the XBOX 360, and even the Zune music service.  You can easily find and communicate with your friends online with text and voice chat.  Earn achievements and Gamerscore that lets you track and compare your accomplishments. 

Play multiplayer games with your friends, or play against new opponents online using our exclusive TrueSkill™  matchmaking system – with other Windows® players or with or against XBOX 360 players (in supported games.)

All of this is possible today – and at no charge.

And it gets even better.

Every Games for Windows- LIVE game carries the Games for Windows branding, which means they meet standards for quality, consistency, safety, and ease of play.  Games for Windows games are tested to support wide-screen monitors, 64-bit operating systems, parental controls, and, in appropriate games, the Xbox 360 Controller for Windows.

Games for Windows – LIVE lets you add achievements and gamerscore earned in Windows games to your XBOX LIVE account. You can also chat and message your friends on LIVE, regardless of the platform.

The stability and functionality of the Xbox LIVE service provides Games for Windows – LIVE players with a constant, feature-rich platform that already supports a community of over 12 million gamers.  Come join the fun!

And – Games for Windows – LIVE will soon be the best place to download additional content for your favorite games, from game trailers to playable demos to new maps and levels.  Extending your game experience will be easy with Games for Windows – LIVE.

To sum it up:

• Games for Windows – LIVE makes great Windows games even better, now offering completely free online multiplayer including TrueSkill™ matchmaking

• 1 gamertag, 1 friends list, 1 list of achievements and gamerscore for your Windows-based PC & Xbox 360
• Experience cross-platform gameplay with Universe at War, Lost Planet: Colonies, Shadowrun, and more.
• Games for Windows – LIVE is available in every country and region supported today by Xbox LIVE®

Source: http://www.gamesforwindows.com/en-US/Live/Pages/AboutLive.aspx

– Wolfmeister

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