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Microsoft has announced that it will extend its online gaming service for Xbox consoles to gamers on the Windows PC platform, reports the NYT. The service is scheduled for May 8 and will have the unwieldy moniker Games for Windows — Live… there are 6 million Xbox users, but reportedly 200 million gamers on Windows PCs. PC gamers will have a single identity (tag) that they will use whatever game they are playing, have access to text and voice chat, a unified friends list, and a list of achievements for games whether they are played on the Xbox 360 or a Windows-based PC. The basic membership, known as silver, is free. For $50 a year PC gamers can get a gold membership which allows multiplatform gaming. The Xbox Live gold memberships will automatically have that.
One analyst suggests the move may allow game developers to sell the a game twice to the same person so they can experience it on both PC and Xbox. And this is just the first part of Microsoft’s Live Anywhere plan to see people accessing the network from any platform, they’ve still got to integrate mobile phones.