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Xbox 360 on Windows 8

/ Jul 14th, 2011 No Comments

The Xbox 360 will purportedly have its games play in Windows 8, according to several industry reports. While Microsoft is hard at work on Windows 8 and the Xbox Live support for the new operating system, there are rampant rumors that gamers will be able to take their games from the Xbox 360 and stick them in their PCs, running Windows 8, and play them all the same.

The rumors surfacing over the last few weeks first bubbled up when Microsoft confirmed that they are building Xbox Live components for the PC and Windows 8. From that, reports of Xbox 360 compatibility inside Windows 8 machines took right off. The rumors point to the references to the Xbox 360 in Windows 8 inside the kernel. Entries for “SYSTEM_CRASH” and “SYSTEM_CRASH_RESERVED” are present in part of the Windows NT kernel, however, the strings do not verify that Microsoft is planning the rumored support. However, it does point to much tighter integration between the two systems.

As you might remember, Games for Windows Marketplace was integrated into earlier which further adds to the speculation of a singular seamless marketplace for gaming. While Microsoft has not made any statements, both Teknylate and Insideris have reported on their websites that users should be able to play any content from the Xbox Live marketplace as well as read game discs with their PC to play them. This service would come at a premium subscription fee.

Let’s also not forget that Microsoft is also rumored to be working on the next version of the Xbox platform, which many are dubbing the Xbox 720. Since Microsoft has been the leading PC company for dozens of years, it comes as no surprise that they would look to merge their two most powerful brands in Xbox and Windows. The brand power would be similar to what Apple has done with their tried-and-true desktop operating system, OS X as well as their mobile platform, iOS. It’s not a bad move by Microsoft, who would couple technologies already in the home to work on PCs, Xbox devices, Windows phones and Windows tablets, rather than try to introduce some other new technology at a premium price.

While a lot of these topics are purely speculative, gamers are usually spot-on with these types of rumors when they get leaked. The biggest loser in this potential merging between platforms would be Sony, who essentially couldn’t allow their popular VAIO line of computers play PS3 games. Since gaming companies still lose money on consoles sold and make tons in royalties in games sold, Microsoft stands to make a decent margin here if gamers conceivably started using power-PCs to not just play PC-centric games like World of WarCraft but also big console franchise games like Halo or Madden that have ported over to PC poorly in the past.

One warning that some gaming industry insiders have posted when speaking to the topic of Xbox 360 support on Windows 8 machines, is the robust hardware requirements needed. While discussing this internally here at Gaming Illustrated, we’re not convinced that this counter-argument is totally valid, since the Xbox 360 was designed more than six years ago and mainstream hardware technology a year from now (guessing at a Windows 8 release) would more than exceed traditional PC shortcomings aimed at gaming-specific needs. It’d be more than safe to assume that someone sticking their Xbox 360 into their PC looking for cross-compatibility would be a power user, the hardware requirements shouldn’t be a roadblock at all for Microsoft to develop an integrated solution.

While we continue to watch the rumor mill churn out what it will with the future of Microsoft, the good news is that we’re actually talking and excited for new integrated Microsoft technologies.

Sean W. Gibson

Sean W. Gibson

Founder, Featured Contributor at Gaming Illustrated
Sean Gibson has been the owner and Executive Editor of Gaming Illustrated for over eleven years. His roles include acting as CEO and President of Gaming Illustrated, LLC and also includes being a reviewer, previewer and interviewer. Sean's opinions on this site do not reflect those of his full-time employer.
Sean W. Gibson
Sean W. Gibson

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