Logo
programming4us
programming4us
programming4us
programming4us
Home
programming4us
XP
programming4us
Windows Vista
programming4us
Windows 7
programming4us
Windows Azure
programming4us
Windows Server
programming4us
Windows Phone
 
programming4us
Windows 7

Games and Windows 7 : Games for Windows - LIVE (part 2) - Accessing Games for Windows - LIVE from within Compatible Games

- How To Install Windows Server 2012 On VirtualBox
- How To Bypass Torrent Connection Blocking By Your ISP
- How To Install Actual Facebook App On Kindle Fire
11/15/2014 3:09:37 AM
2.2. Accessing Games for Windows - LIVE from within Compatible Games

You're really only participating in the best of what Games for Windows - LIVE offers when you're playing a compatible game, which still amounts to a pretty small selection of titles. Most game developers today are forgoing the Games for Windows - LIVE program and simply doing their own thing. Or, they're signing up for the less inclusive "Games for Windows" logo program instead. These games supply some of the benefits of Games for Windows -LIVE but none of the online capabilities. That's not to say that you can't play these games online. It means that these games aren't tied into Microsoft's Live network in any way.

To see which games are compatible with Games for Windows - LIVE, visit the Games for Windows - LIVE Web site and prepare to be underwhelmed: www.gamesforwindows.com/en-US/Live/Pages/AboutLive.aspx.


Clearly, a better way to handle this would be for Microsoft to create a pervasive Games for Windows - LIVE client, available via Games Explorer and Windows Live Messenger and elsewhere in Windows, which could be accessed both inside and outside of Live-compatible game titles. But since you don't have that kind of seamless experience, we will instead examine what you do get.

Boot up a Live-compatible title like Quantum of Solace, Fallout 3, or Grand Theft Auto IV and you can access the Live service by pressing the Home button on your keyboard, as shown in Figure 5.

As you can see, this is a reasonable facsimile of the Xbox Guide, which you access on the Xbox 360 when you press the Xbox button on the controller. From here, you can access your Gamertag's Gamer Profile, as shown in Figure 6; your Messages, Friends, and Players lists; a Private Chat area for one-on-one voice conversations; and Settings, which includes Voice, Notifications, and some other features. (The Xbox 360 offers additional functionality, such as Vibration, Themes, Active Downloads, and Shut Down, most of which are specific to the Xbox 360 console.)

Figure 5. The Live experience in Windows requires a compatible game and supplies much of the functionality Xbox 360 users are familiar with.

Figure 6. Your Gamer Profile provides information about you that is accessible to others on Live.

Unlike with the 360's Xbox Dashboard, you no longer see virtual Xbox 360 controller buttons throughout the UI. Instead, the Games for Windows - LIVE Guide is now more PC-oriented, and designed primarily to work with the keyboard and mouse. That said, you can in fact use an Xbox 360 controller with Windows 7 and with the Games for Windows -LIVE interface, and the controller buttons all work similarly to how they work on the console. (The red "B" button is "Back," for example.) However, on Windows, you can also press the corresponding keyboard key (like the b key) to perform the same actions, which is handy and logical, especially for those without Xbox 360 controllers, which is most PC gamers, we'd imagine.

The Games for Windows - LIVE experience provides some interesting functionality, including the following:

  • Accessing and modifying information associated with your Gamertag: You can view your Gamerscore, Rep, and other related info, access overall and individual game Achievements (see Figure 7), and so on. Account management occurs outside the client: If you access this option, you'll be presented with an IE browser window.

    Figure 7. You can look up all of your game Achievements, whether they occurred on the Xbox 360 or on Windows.
  • Friends: This is the list of people with whom you have created online relationships. As with the Xbox 360, this list is ordered with those who are currently online at the top, followed by the remainder of your Friends listed in alphabetical order. You can see what your online Friends are up to (which game they're playing, or other Xbox 360 experiences they're enjoying, such as Windows Media Center or browsing the Xbox Dashboard).

  • Messages: Here, you can access messages sent through the Xbox Live/Games for Windows - LIVE network. These messages are e-mail–like in nature, as shown in Figure 8, but can include audio and video messages in addition to normal text messages (the latter of which are limited to 255 characters).You can create new text and audio messages from the client, but not video messages. You can send and approve Friend requests as well.

    Figure 8. It's like e-mail, but you can only access and send these messages from an Xbox 360 or a Games for Windows - LIVE compatible game.

    NOTE

    Okay, you can actually access some of these messages from Microsoft's web-based interface as well, found at www.xbox.com. Note that some messages sent from older Xbox games can only be accessed from within those games. This is less of a problem than it used to be, but some classic Xbox games—notably Halo 2— are still quite popular for some reason.

  • Players: This is the list of Xbox Live/Games for Windows - LIVE users with whom you've competed recently online. As with the Friends list, players who are currently online appear at the top of the list. All the normal functions are available, so you can submit a player review, file a complaint, mute them, send a message or invite them to a private chat, or send a Friend Request.

  • Private Chat: Here, you can engage in up to five separate one-on-one audio chats with Friends and other players. This requires an Xbox 360 controller with an attached headset or any Windows-compatible microphone.

  • Settings: In this submenu, you can configure your Voice options (playback and recording volume, plus access to sound hardware and a Mute Microphone option); Notifications (even more limited than on the 360: You can toggle Show Notifications and Play Sound only); and other features, such as the Guide key, which is set to the Home key by default.

NOTE

While there are two levels of the Xbox Live service, Microsoft no longer requires Games for Windows - LIVE users to subscribe to the higher-end (paid) Xbox Live Gold service in order to compete online against other players. Anyone who plays a Games for Windows - LIVE game title can access a single Gamertag with an associated Gamer Profile, Gamerscore, and Friends list, single-player game Achievements, private text and audio chat, and PC-only multiplayer gaming. You can also access features that Xbox gamers pay for, like TrueSkill Matchmaking for finding players online that better match your own abilities, multiplayer Achievements, and cross-platform game play. At this time, cross-platform game play, whereby an online match can mix and match PC and Xbox 360 gamers, is still limited to a rather lousy title called Shadowrun.

NOTE

If you're an Achievements hound, you may be interested to know that some Xbox 360 games have been ported to Games for Windows - LIVE, enabling you to effectively play the same game twice, once on Xbox 360 and once on Windows, thereby doubling up on the Achievements. As of this writing, games such as Gears of War, Hour of Victory (EU only), Kane & Lynch: Dead Men, The Club, Universe at War, Viva Piñata, and others offer this possibility. Also, an original Xbox blockbuster, Halo 2, has been ported to Windows, providing PC gamers with Achievements for the first time. There's never been a better time to rack up Achievements points.

Looking at the big picture, it's hard to escape the conclusion that Microsoft has delivered the absolute minimum here: Games for Windows - LIVE provides a single online identity with a unified contacts list that combines people you communicate with on the Xbox 360 and the PC. So much other obvious functionality is missing in action. For example, there's no way to change a Gamertag picture to any picture you can access from the PC. And you can't access the tremendous Xbox Live Marketplace from the PC at all, though Microsoft is arguably working toward some of this functionality in its related Games for Windows -LIVE Marketplace and Zune Marketplace . There are few downloadable games, and certainly nothing like the popular Xbox Live Arcade titles.

In any event, Games for Windows - LIVE is here, and if you're a dedicated gamer, it's still worth looking into, especially if you're an Achievements fanatic.

Other -----------------
- Microsoft Project 2010 : Linking Tasks (part 8) - Auditing Task Links,Using the Task Inspector
- Microsoft Project 2010 : Linking Tasks (part 7) - Creating Links by Using the Mouse,Working with Automatic Linking Options
- Microsoft Project 2010 : Linking Tasks (part 6) - Creating Links by Using the Entry Table
- Microsoft Project 2010 : Linking Tasks (part 5) - Creating Links by Using the Task Information Dialog Box
- Microsoft Project 2010 : Linking Tasks (part 4) - Entering Leads and Lags, Creating Links by Using the Menu or Toolbar
- Microsoft Project 2010 : Linking Tasks (part 3) - Using the Start-to-Start Relationship,Using the Finish-to-Finish Relationship
- Microsoft Project 2010 : Linking Tasks (part 2) - Using the Start-to-Start Relationship,Using the Finish-to-Finish Relationship
- Microsoft Project 2010 : Linking Tasks (part 1) - Defining Dependency Links
- Microsoft Project 2010 : Defining Task Logic - Manipulating Your Schedule
- Microsoft Word 2010 : Collaborating with Others - Limiting What Other Users Can Do to a Document
 
 
25 Inspiring Game of Thrones Quotes
Top 10
- Microsoft Visio 2013 : Adding Structure to Your Diagrams - Finding containers and lists in Visio (part 2) - Wireframes,Legends
- Microsoft Visio 2013 : Adding Structure to Your Diagrams - Finding containers and lists in Visio (part 1) - Swimlanes
- Microsoft Visio 2013 : Adding Structure to Your Diagrams - Formatting and sizing lists
- Microsoft Visio 2013 : Adding Structure to Your Diagrams - Adding shapes to lists
- Microsoft Visio 2013 : Adding Structure to Your Diagrams - Sizing containers
- Microsoft Access 2010 : Control Properties and Why to Use Them (part 3) - The Other Properties of a Control
- Microsoft Access 2010 : Control Properties and Why to Use Them (part 2) - The Data Properties of a Control
- Microsoft Access 2010 : Control Properties and Why to Use Them (part 1) - The Format Properties of a Control
- Microsoft Access 2010 : Form Properties and Why Should You Use Them - Working with the Properties Window
- Microsoft Visio 2013 : Using the Organization Chart Wizard with new data
- First look: Apple Watch

- 3 Tips for Maintaining Your Cell Phone Battery (part 1)

- 3 Tips for Maintaining Your Cell Phone Battery (part 2)
programming4us programming4us
Popular tags
Microsoft Access Microsoft Excel Microsoft OneNote Microsoft PowerPoint Microsoft Project Microsoft Visio Microsoft Word Active Directory Biztalk Exchange Server Microsoft LynC Server Microsoft Dynamic Sharepoint Sql Server Windows Server 2008 Windows Server 2012 Windows 7 Windows 8 windows Phone 7 windows Phone 8
programming4us programming4us
 
programming4us
Natural Miscarriage
programming4us
Windows Vista
programming4us
Windows 7
programming4us
Windows Azure
programming4us
Windows Server
programming4us
Game Trailer