Microsoft this week launched its Play service, not to be confused with Google Play, which allows you to play select Xbox Live Arcade (XBLA) games on your Windows 8 computer and Windows RT device. Unfortunately, there are only 15 titles currently available via the Windows Store, and Microsoft says it has no plans to bring in more.
Hereâ€™s whatâ€™s available right now:
- Skulls of the Shogun.
- The Gunstringer: Dead Man Running.
- Toy Soldiers: Cold War.
- Rocket Riot 3D.
- Reckless Racing Ultimate.
- Pinball FX2.
- Microsoft Minesweeper.
- Microsoft Solitaire Collection.
- Microsoft Mahjong.
- Hydro Thunder Hurricane.
- 4 Elements II Special Edition.
Itâ€™s not exactly a breathtaking list, but itâ€™s certainly a start. Aside from your typical Microsoft games (Mahjong, Minesweeper, and Solitaire), the only XBLA game I recognize is ilomilo, which was heavily promoted by Microsoft.
Since I donâ€™t have an Xbox nor a Windows Phone, I never got to play it. Now that itâ€™s available on Windows 8, which I installed only last week, I think Iâ€™m going to give it a shot.
Hereâ€™s the official video promoting the service:
Still not convinced? Read Microsoftâ€™s pitch:
Get your game on with this amazing line-up of titles from Microsoft Studios. Our games have something for everyone, from casual puzzlers and high energy racing to immersive adventure and non-stop arcade. For Xbox fans youâ€™ll also find your favorite features like leaderboards, multiplayer modes, connecting with friends, and more. All Microsoft Studios titles let you try before you buy; check them out today!
This is all part of Microsoftâ€™s larger vision of developers writing games once and being able to deliver them on Windows, Windows Phone, and Xbox. Unfortunately, weâ€™re not exactly there yet, but this latest push certainly shows that weâ€™re getting closer.
After all, since almost all Windows 8 computers now come with touch screens, itâ€™s certainly easy to see how a game could made for Xbox could have variants, connected versions, or even a full port that works on a Windows tablet as well as Windows Phone. It would be great to see Microsoft bring such an option to third-party developers, one day.
Image credit: Stephen Davies