With the launch of Microsoft’s newest operating system, Windows 8, nearing ever closer, it looks as though the Redmond company is looking to provide a platform which could prove to be a lot friendlier to developers and small software publishers.
A report from The Verge has confirmed that the software giant will have an official app store in place for the launch of Windows 8 and will contain eleven official gaming titles on launch day. Microsoft are obviously one of the big players in the gaming world with the Xbox LIVE service, and consumers may recognize a number of the games from their Xbox LIVE Arcade releases.
The eleven games which will be featured in the Windows 8 App Store upon launch are Ms. Splosion Man, Angry Birds, Toy Soldiers, Reckless Racing, Hydro Thunder, Ilomilo, Rocket Riot, Full House Poker, Crash Course, Wordament and Crash Course. Amongst the eleven titles, Angry Birds is obviously the most prominent with the popular bird game finding its way onto yet another platform.
Microsoft are by no means new comers to the gaming marketplace, already having the Games for Windows Marketplace which offers an online selection of games for users to choose from. The service has failed to gain serious traction as users tend to prefer the services offered by Steam which has a much larger gaming selection and is by far the largest digital distribution service for Windows-based games.
It is highly likely that any gaming features of Windows 8 will heavily integrate with the Xbox LIVE service and draw features from that successful ecosystem rather than the flagging Games for the Windows Marketplace. The Windows 8 Store is definitely a promising feature, and will undoubtedly make the purchase of software and digital media a much more streamlined process for Windows users.
The eleven titles which will launch on the Windows 8 Store seems like a rather meager collection of gaming goodies to me. With the company having a large selection of titles to choose from thanks to the Xbox LIVE service, and rivals such as Steam and Impulse offering hundreds of titles; it seems quite odd that Microsoft has chosen to launch with only eleven, with most of them just being last year’s LIVE arcade games.
I guess users will always have the fall back on the built in pinball and solitaire games should they require some additional entertainment.
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