Microsoft Reveals Live For Windows Pricing

While Microsoft was quite quiet about Live for Windows Vista, today during a press event prior to the Game Developers Conference the company revealed to Game Informer Online the exact pricing structure for the service. Live for Windows Vista will actually be the same exact price for Vista as it is for the Xbox 360. Just like with the Xbox 360 there will be a free Silver package as well as a Gold package which retails for $49.99 for a year subscription, $7.99 for one month, and $19.99 for three months.

Good news for gamers who already have an Xbox Live Gold Membership – you've already subscribed. Your Live membership works on the Xbox, Xbox 360, and Live for Windows. Your gamer tag and achievements will be used across both Xbox and Vista PCs. Upcoming Vista games like Halo 2 and some exclusive Vista casual games will include achievements and will be able to add to your gamer score.

News source: GameInformer

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Silver Package -> FREE

Your gamertag
Universal Friends List
Video, Voice & Text Communications
Online Multiplayer against other PC's
The only thing that will cost you is a copy of Windows Vista

Win/win situation for Microsoft, everyone will eventually switch to vista, have one of the 360, or xblive, also the next operating system which will probably provide better directx, better gaming, in the cost of a few bucks every few months.

um, I think I will use Xbox Live subscription for my Xbox 360. I think I'll use my 360 to play 360 games too. How stupid.

You guys are missing the point there will be two versions of live just like the 360 a silver package which will include the following:

Silver Package -> FREE

Your gamertag
Universal Friends List
Video, Voice & Text Communications
Online Multiplayer against other PC's
The only thing that will cost you is a copy of Windows Vista

Gold Package -> Paid Service

Everything in Silver
Online Multiplayer against PC's & XBOX 360 owners
And i not sure about this last one but i remeber reading somewhere you would be getting exclusive content and demos before silver owners.
I also heard of some extra features but they havent released that yet

But i think this is great and cant wait for this to happen again i am a console gamer i love my pc games but i just dont have the money to keep upgrading my video card but at least now i will be able to play my pc buddies once again, yes there are some drawbacks such as certain games being ported from the 360 to pc but there is also games that developers like shadow run and alan wake are developing for the pc & 360 seperatly. I just hope they make this a great as xbox live on the 360.

This has to be the stupidest thing I have ever heard. PC gaming is supposed to be free why must we pay to play Halo 2 online when I can play any other pc game online for free. F this in the A microsoft and your greedy ploys.

in other news - users of neowin still refuse to read and understand news posts prior to posting a uninformed post... as Quietstorm pointed out nothing on PC gaming will change if you do not have a Gold membership..... however if you get a Gold account you will be able to play against PC users AND Xbox 360 users.... i do not play Halo 2 anymore but I am pretty sure you cannot play that across platforms at the moment... so to correct your statement you will not have to pay to play Halo 2 online....

I honestly don't know why everone is so upset.

Here is one way of looking at it:

For the fee, you get Xbox Live and Live for Windows. You don't need 3rd party apps for Live for windows titles for server browsing, matchmaking, and communication.

From (link at bottom):

Quote - Control Group
There's a role for free services, and there's a role for pay services. As long as MS' offering provides something free services don't, there will be a market for it.

If you've read In the Beginning Was the Command Line, you should already have a real good idea what Microsoft is trying to do here. They're in the business of making complex tasks easier (well, seemingly easier - the difference between the real and the perceived is best demonstrated but what a pain Windows is once you start moving outside the boundaries of "normal" use). What they're offering is a single interface to handle game instantiation, matchmaking, player communication, game rankings, and - probably - logins.

There's something to be said for that. Having a persistent identity across games is worth something: I'd imagine almost everyone who plays multiple games online uses the same handle in most of them. Most forum users tend to use the same handle on all the forums they participate in - and I've certainly known people to be annoyed when "their" handles have already been taken.

Along with that, there's something to be said for a barrier to entry - if someone is banned, it actually costs to set up a new identity. This, in turn, makes booting people more effective.

Similarly, a unified friends list is nice to have - people I get along with in one game I am more likely to get along with in other games. Having a gaming community rather than a game community has its advantages.

How many pieces of free software would be required to set this up individually? How much time would you spend setting them up?

There's obviously a role for the approach that uses many small pieces of free software to accomplish the same thing that one piece of expensive software does. But the reverse is also true. If it weren't, then Linux would dominate desktops.

i dont think the non-xboxers of the world will enjoy this move, well not that it actually has to make a difference to them, they can just have a silver account but for us xbox gold users its pretty good, although i little intention of buying vista anytime soon... or upgrading my pc to game on... just noticing games like stalker coming out with rec specs that are above mine

This is the setup of Live Anywhere where games such as shadowrun and alan wake will be croos platformed with the xbox 360 allowing people to basically play pc vs console. Its a smart move by MS and i like the idea of being able to play some of my friends on pc while i play from my 360.

....what the hell is the point in this, really?

The only benefit Live seems to have over PC online gaming is that all of your friends are connected, but we have IM's for that and I sure as hell wouldn't pay $50 a year for the privilege anyway.

g0wg said,
i wonder, will games other than Microsoft's support this?

It's Vista-centric and the biggest benefit over standard multiplayer gaming seems to be that your stats are recorded and you have an account. I don't think that's enough incentive for anyone to pay $8 a month for multiplayer they already get for free on PCs. You could also use something like X-Fire if you want to have a permanent account for PC gaming.

Don't you love how MS is "saving PC gaming"? That's what their ad campaign said. With help like this, PC gaming would be better off dead.