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Xbox 360 Silver Accounts, Free XBL Cross-Platform Gaming

July 29th, 2008 by Derrick Schommer · No Comments

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Microsoft has announced they’ll be giving Xbox Live silver accounts access to play some multi-player cross-platform games for free until the fall update. Recently, Microsoft announced free online play with Games for Windows titles, effectively giving PC gamers “gold accounts” to play online.

Most people agree the move to give gold subscriptions to PC gamers was done because PC gamers don’t care to play Games for Windows games online if they have to pay for it. The culture of PC gaming is much different than console gaming on XBL, gamers expect the online experience at no cost; they’re already paying an ISP for network access, paying for a match-making system with a yearly subscription is not desired.

Console gamers don’t have a choice, buying the 360 experience arrives with simple to play games (no drivers, no installs) but limited online choices: pay or go away. Now, silver members will get a little taste of network play, along side PC gamers in the cross-platform Games for Windows titles.

“Supported cross-platform titles include Universe at War, Shadowrun, and Lost Planet: Colonies Edition.” (gamespot)

We question the intention here… is this as a good faith move or are they wetting people’s appitite for XBL so they’ll want to upgrade to gold in the fall? Or, maybe there are some logistical reasons to doing this in the Xbox Live infrastructure to prepare for upgrades where making it free solves a few of their internal upgrade paths and, as a side effect, gives gamers some games to play.

Of course, we’ve seen few people playing Shadowrun or Lost Planet lately. Maybe this will re-popularize a few older titles as well.

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Tags: Industry News · Microsoft · Xbox 360

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