Pay to Play with Live on Windows? Maybe Not

With competing services like Xfire and Gamespy, Microsoft's deployment of Live via Vista isn't like their entrance into the online console space -- they have competition. Significant competition. With PC gamers, the expectation is that multiplayer gaming is free. However, in the console space, Microsoft's Live service, Nintendo and Sony haven't (as yet, Sony is making great strides with moves like their dedicated servers for first party titles) equaled Microsoft's offerings in the space. With as progressive as Microsoft wants their Live service to be, charging PC users to play multiplayer games -- a service they expect for free -- would be a step backwards. Shane Kim, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft Game Studios is aware of this.

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