When writing about the latest technology news you hear lots of rumors which sound far-fetched, today we have come across an article posted on Teknylate which suggests that Mirosoft’s next major OS release, Windows 8, will be able to play Xbox 360 games straight from the disc.
To be honest with you this rumor sounds rather unbelievable to us and the fact that Teknylate’s post has no source suggests that it is fabricated, however even if it does turn out to be false it does open up quite an interesting debate.
Let’s start by repeating what Teknylate’s Frank Tizzle has told us, he says that Windows 8 will feature its own subscription-based ‘Live’ feature (separate to Xbox Live), he also suggests that you will be able to play Xbox 360 by placing the games into your PC’s DVD tray, not only this but future Xbox 360 games will feature a new graphic on the retail packaging which states that they are Windows 8 compatible.
If this turns out to be accurate it suggests that virtualization / emulation will be used as there are such major differences in terms of architecture etc when you compare a PC to the Xbox 360. Also it will be interesting to see what hardware requirements games need if Windows 8 does offer this functionality.
Why it makes sense
There are lots of reasons why this functionality makes sense, firstly it allows Microsoft to earn money through a subscription based service for PC gaming like they do with Xbox Live, secondly it will allow Microsoft to gain extra income via purchases, this means Microsoft could combat Steam and Direct2Drive in this particular market.
In terms of peripherals it also make sense, Xbox 360 controllers and Kinect are currently compatible with Windows and if you own wireless gaming receiver you can connect other wireless peripherals to your PC. This will make playing 360 games on your PC pretty easy as third-party controllers etc would makes things much more complicated.
When you look at game development there are some serious advantages, game development costs could decrease massively as only one product will have to be worked on, rather than PC and Xbox 360 releases. This could potentially mean that games and DLC prices could drop (we doubt it), not only this but developers should be able roll out patches more frequently.
Previously we have been told that Microsoft take a loss when selling a console, obviously profits are made via Xbox Live subscriptions, game purchases, peripheral sales and DLC, however if Windows 8 plays Xbox 360 gamers it means profits can be made from games etc without ever taking a loss on a console sale. It also means that Xbox 360 games will still sell pretty well even when the next-gen Xbox arrives.
Do you think this rumor will turn out to be accurate?