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.
Here’s what’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.
It’s not exactly a breathtaking list, but it’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 don’t have an Xbox nor a Windows Phone, I never got to play it. Now that it’s available on Windows 8, which I installed only last week, I think I’m going to give it a shot.
Here’s the official video promoting the service:
Still not convinced? Read Microsoft’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 you’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 Microsoft’s larger vision of developers writing games once and being able to deliver them on Windows, Windows Phone, and Xbox. Unfortunately, we’re not exactly there yet, but this latest push certainly shows that we’re getting closer.
After all, since almost all Windows 8 computers now come with touch screens, it’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