GFWL Going Away, To Be Replaced With Xbox Live?

Q: Will Xbox offer games on certified phones, similar to what Sony’s PlayStation is doing with Android phones?

A: We think there’s a lot of potential on the Windows phones. With the Nokia relationship, we’re going to have a lot more distribution of phones and Live will be the primary entertainment service. I think that’s going to be a good play for us.

If we have that and the PCs to leverage, that will be a big Live base. It’s our job to make “buy a movie in one place and play it everywhere, buy a game in one place and play it everywhere.” Making things portable will be a big focus of ours.

Q: How will your services and content be part of Windows 8?

A: There will be a lot of similarities in design and service philosophy. Whether it’s us or Apple or anybody else, people want to be able to navigate through multiple devices in a certain ecosystem very seamlessly so we’re committed to that.

Q: Will Xbox Live be your cloud media service that works with your Windows PC as well as your phone and Xbox?

A: Xbox Live will the pervasive media service across devices.

Is he saying GFWL will be replaced wholly with Xbox Live, or is he saying parts of GFWL will morph into more of a unified platform?

replaced/rolled into, not sure it makes a whole lot of difference.

In fact, rationalising the platforms makes a lot of sense, as far as delivery, support, cross-platform games, etc goes.

It already is, really, just with some GFWL labels stuck on in some places. You manage it through the Xbox Live web interface, the profiles are already shared, you get directed to the XBL site for various support issues…

Sure, but I think he may even be referring to the content like Zune stuff, movies, music, and even… Wait for it… Ads!

Those are things that are really just missing from the PC side implementation, though. Extending the PC side to include them doesn’t really require ‘replacing/unifying’ anything. Well except maybe the Zune stuff, I’m not sure how that works, but then that would be more of a Zune+XBL merger, not a XBL+GFWL merger.

Perhaps I’m not being clear. With the Metro interface in Win 8, I expect Xbox Live/GFWL/whatever it’s going to be called to look basically like the upcoming U/I for the console experience.

That’s a pretty big change from the current GFWL look.

I’m probably just thinking more backend than frontend. Improvements and a more unified look on the frontend would certainly be great, but it’s probably already all the same on the backend as far as what’s actually servicing both XBL and GFWL.

So, did GFWL ever become anything more than a horrible experience that customers must occasionally plow through to play games?

My last experience with it was Bioshock 2, and the service corrupted my saved games.

My recent experience with it in Section 8 Prejudice was not good. I had a persistent “GFWL Failed To Initiate” error that required me to delete both it and the game off my PC and reinstall.

That still pretty much describes it.

I never had problems with GFWL other than when I muted my mic on the PC, then went to Xbox, I was muted until I unchecked it.

It’s probably just miscommunication. As bad as the “Games For Windows Live” name is, I don’t see Microsoft dropping it, even though Xbox has become a brand of its own. Remember that the ugly stepchild only ever gets the crumbs.

Don’t count them to do anything GFW-related properly. Parts of their website/service integration are still broken beyond repair…

Whatever this means, seems to be happening on the 11th.

It’s brand consolidation. Xbox = games, on the console, on the phone and on the PC. Besides PC Gamer apparently being offend that they have to go this could actually be an improvement for Microsoft PC Games. as lot more traffic that could for example help the Age of Empires launch. Also maybe Microsoft games could actually make it to the PC, like Fable 3.
Another point could be the F2P games rumored to appear on Xbox, they could actually be cross platform games.
The move to doesn’t bother me at all the question is will they increase PC support or just continue the same.



Make some sense. It has never been a independent thing. Everything was linked to Xbox anyway, like the signing the eula. So it was a lie. Now Microsoft will be more honest about it. And with honesty something great can happend. or not, but It will probably be better.

This seems like a really bad idea to me. PC games will just get buried.

If they merge GFW into the Xbox business unit, that might actually be a significant improvement. The impression I get is that Microsoft isn’t really deliberately trying to sabotage PC gaming, it’s just divided up into a bunch of different business units, and the GFW unit needs a lot of help from others, for things like marketing, hardware support, XBL interoperation, etc. But the business units are going to look out for their own interests first, and then those of their biggest partners second, and GFW is often going to lose out to the Xbox division when it comes to deciding who to work with, so it dies of neglect. Merge the Xbox and GFW units, and they then have a much stronger ability to pull resources from the other units for PC development.

(Or they could wind up drifting into separate console and PC cliques within the newly merged unit and the resources wind up still going almost entirely to the console guys while the PC guys are ignored and nothing really changes, but that’s the kind of thing they can keep in mind when they’re restructuring the units.)

THey’re already kind of merged I thought. I know someone who had their GFWL account hacked by an xbox user to buy games for the 360. She’s never owned any xbox units.