Microsoft's looking to bring Xbox LIVE to Windows 8. I know, try not to fall out of your whatever you're sitting in and writhe on the floor in shock. In fact, Microsoft already told us this was happening a few months ago.
So Windows 8, meet Xbox LIVE, and why are we talking about it now, exactly? Three reasons: We just had our first serious look at Windows 8, Microsoft's Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb says he can confirm the marriage is happening, and...we have our first official screenshot (that's it up top).
Here's what Hryb wrote on Tuesday:
We are confirming that we will be bringing Xbox LIVE to the PC with Xbox LIVE on Windows. We are very excited about Xbox LIVE coming to Windows 8. Xbox LIVE brings your games, music, movies, and TV shows to your favorite Microsoft and Windows devices. Bringing Xbox LIVE to Windows 8 is part of our vision to bring you all the entertainment you want, shared with the people you care about, made easy. At BUILD we are showing that it is easy for developers to create games for Windows 8 that take advantage of the power of Xbox LIVE. We have much more detail to share about the capabilities of Xbox LIVE on Windows and look forward to the opportunity to do so in the near future.
So not much, in other words, just the usual stuff cut-and-paste from the PR lexicon, e.g. "very excited," "favorite," "all...you want," "made easy," "power of," "look forward to," and so forth.
Let's assume Windows 8 arrives in 2012, as was at one point claimed (then later denied) by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. The Xbox 360 arrived in late 2005. It'll be seven years old around this time next year. Even Sony's defatigable (for basically a decade) PlayStation 2 was just six when the PS3 debuted in 2006.
With the Wii U on the table, I'd wager we'll finally see Microsoft's Xbox Next at E3 2012. Xbox LIVE for Windows 8 could, in Hryb's "near future," thus provide clues about what's coming, and who knows, perhaps it'll even function as a "bridge" between the 360's sunset and whatever's around the corner.