Redmond (WA) - Microsoft launched "Games for Windows - Live" this week. Spearheading the collection of compatible titles for Vista is the new release of Halo 2 for the PC.With the new service, gamers are able to play Halo 2 on their Vista PC against others in the same kind of infrastructure as Xbox Live.
Like Xbox Live, Games For Windows Live has two tiers of membership - silver and gold. Silver membership is free, and gold adds additional features for a monthly ($8) or annual ($50) fee. Xbox 360 owners don't need to do anything to enable the new feature.
In addition to Halo 2, a new PC version of Shadowrun also makes use of Games For Windows Live. It also supports the ability for Xbox 360 owners and Vista players to compete head-to-head.
Xbox 360 users who already have an online gamertag can also use the same identity when playing online via a Windows Vista computer. This opens up, for example, the ability to receive Vista game achievements on Xbox 360 user accounts.
It's the newest chapter in Microsoft's push for interoperability between the Xbox 360 and computers. Earlier this year, the company officially renamed MSN Messenger to Live Messenger and opened up cross-platform communications between Xbox 360 users and traditional PC users.