reported in September
, Xbox Live will be a major part of Windows 8. Despite concerns that PC gamers are being pushed to the sidelines in favour of the console service, this has the potential to be a very good thing. After all, well-integrated support for games could do away with the need for Games for Windows Live, whose primary purpose seems to be to inject a strain of
into our hobby.
recently asked Microsoft whether GfWL would be receiving the axe with the launch of Windows 8, and the answer, emphatically, is no.
"Microsoft continues to support the Games for Windows platform" their response reads, "but we are making new investments in Metro style games. For the core PC gamer we launched 'Age of Empires Online' last year and 'Microsoft Flight' on February 29."
This comes as gamers rally to prevent the upcoming
Dark Souls PC from using the service
. Its unpopularity comes from its tendency to foist multiple updates on players and its occasional ability to break games entirely.
Microsoft seem keen to reassure us that they're still producing PC-exclusive games, but it's only by solving the well-documented issues with their online gaming service that they're going to win back the support of players. I recently got trapped in a cycle of broken GfWL updates while trying to play the Mortal Kombat Kollection, a curse I only broke when I tempted a passing stranger into taking my place. Sometimes, when it's very quiet, I can still hear the sound of distant yelling coming from my Steam library.