Will Xbox 360 Games Work on Windows 8?
An article on Teknylate has claimed that Microsoft is planning to integrate Xbox 360 software with their next computer operating system, Windows 8. In other words, Windows 8 will allow users to play Xbox 360 games on their PCs, at least according to Teknylate's anonymous source.
This isn't the first time a rumor like this has appeared. A similar story came up on a site named Insideris, and the author of that piece also noted no particular source. The difference with that story is that those "sources" stated that the Xbox 360 functionality on Windows 8 would only work if users paid an Xbox Live Gold-like subscription fee. Allegedly, the subscription fee won't be for Xbox Live to avoid competitive mismatching, with severe differences between the mouse and keyboard and gamepad.
If Microsoft were to do this, their console userbase would increase drastically, as anyone who owned a PC and Windows 8 could be a potential 360 customer. Also, there would be little chance of alienating the original Xbox 360 userbase as they wouldn't be affected by the shift, and the Xbox 360 has already been in production longer than the original Xbox before it was discontinued. With the ability to sell more copies of Xbox 360 titles without manufacturing costs, Microsoft would stand to profit as well.
Microsoft has attempted to merge PC and console gaming before, with services like Games for Windows Live allowing one Live profile for both the Xbox 360 and PC, and titles like Shadowrun allowing PC and Xbox 360 gamers to fight each other in cross-platform multiplayer. Steve Balmer has also confirmed the popular Xbox 360 add-on, the Kinect, will appear for the PC at some point in the future.
It's clear that Microsoft is blurring the lines between PC and console gaming. Whether or not that's a good thing will have to be answered with the release of Windows 8 and future Microsoft peripherals.