updated 04:40 pm EST, Wed January 16, 2013
New program intends to 'bring back gaming' on Windows 8
Enhancing the software lineup for Windows 8 -- and supporting the promise to bring back Windows gaming with the release of the new operating system -- Microsoft has announced a "Play for Windows 8" initiative with the availability of 15 titles, some migrated from the Xbox Live Arcade marketplace. The move is not expected to draw in the "hardcore gamer" crowd, but is a welcome addition to the nascent Surface tablet line's software library.
The initial title release includes Toy Soldiers: Cold War Touch edition, Elements: Special Edition, Hydro Thunder Hurricane, Rocket Riot 3D, Reckless Racing Ultimate, Taptiles, Adera, Pinball FX2, Wordament, Gunstringer: Dead Man Running, Ilomilo+, Skulls of the Shogun, Microsoft Solitaire Collection, Microsoft Mahjong, and Microsoft Minesweeper. All but Toy Soldiers: Cold War are compatible with the Microsoft Surface RT.
Response to the announcement by gamers has been critical, with the choice of titles being made available criticized as already available for Windows 8 from other developers. Many responders questioned the worth of the releases, and believe that the initiative needs Xbox 360 titles like Gears of War or games from the Halo franchise to be successful.
Electronista spoke with a Microsoft representative close to the matter about the launch titles, and was told to "keep watching for some important announcements involving more Xbox-specific games in the future." When pressed for specific titles, the representative refused further comment.