This marks the first of many games to come which will support the Games for Windows – Live service, connecting six million Xbox Live members and hundreds of millions Windows gamers. Games for Windows – Live brings the best of the Xbox Live service to Windows gamers, such as a single online identity, the ability to easily find and connect with friends, and earn achievements.
Today, May 31st, Microsoft is launching “Halo 2” for Windows Vista, delivering improved graphics, a custom map editor and the chance to earn achievements – a first for the Halo franchise. Using a combination of dedicated servers, flexibility of the Windows platform, and the online innovation established in the Xbox original, “Halo 2” for Windows Vista provides a best-in-class PC-to-PC multiplayer experience.
Current members of Xbox Live automatically receive the functionality of Games for Windows – Live, using the same gamertag and friends list, at no additional cost. In addition, Games for Windows — Live introduces the best of Xbox Live functionality to please PC gamers, such as integrated in-game multiplayer voice chat and Achievements, as well as functionality demanded by PC gamers like dedicated server support, as part of the free Silver membership. Gold memberships will deliver the premium online network experience which adds benefits such as multiplayer achievements, matchmaking according to skill, reputation and gamerzone, as well as cross-platform gameplay – features only Microsoft’s Games for Windows and Xbox 360 can deliver.