Games For Windows Live

Games for Windows is a trade name that is owned by Microsoft and launched in 2006 as a source to coincide with the commercial release of Windows Vista. It represents a standardized technical certification program as well as an online service for Windows games. Those games that have been certified by Microsoft carry the “games for windows” logo stripe. Games softwares must satisfy certain requirements that are regulated by Microsoft to be liable for featuring the games for Windows Brand name on its packaging.

Some of these requirements include:

  • The game should be compatible with the Windows Vista Games Explorer.
  • The game should expose an “easy to install” option that installs the title on a PC in just about a couple of steps and mouse clicks.
  • The game should install and run properly on x64 version of Windows Vista and should be compatible with 64-bit processors.
  • The game should support normal and widescreen resolutions.
  • T he game should support parental controls as well as feature family settings in Windows Vista.
  • The game should support launching from Media Center.

Games for Windows Other services

Games for windows have several other features brought to the users by Microsoft. Some of these features are discussed below:

Online Play

From the wide collection of Games for Windows, some games have access to Microsoft’s Live Network to play online along with other features like voice chat, messaging, friends list et cetera that are accessed from an in-game menu called “Guide”. Gamers can easily log in with their Xbox Live gamertags to play games, gain achievements and chat across different platforms. It is free of cost and therefore all the users can access features that were normally accessible only to Gold members.

Games Explorer

Games explorer is enclosed with all the versions of Windows Vista as well as Windows 7 and is a special folder that displays the games that are installed on the particular computer. The game’s shortcut and content rating information is added to the Games Explorer when a compatible game is installed. The fact that a game is compatible depends on the age and popularity of that particular game with newer games that have better compatibility. Games Explorer is well-matched with Windows Vista and Windows 7 with 7 parental controls. Parental controls help parents to restrict how long their child can play and what kind of games they can play on the basis of ratings and titles.

Tray and Play

Tray and Play is a technology exclusively created and developed for Windows Vista. It requires the user to put the game disc in an optical disk drive and start playing instantly, while the PC takes care of the installation in the background. The only game that uses this technology is Halo 2 (Windows version).

List of Games for Windows

The following are a set of released and going-to-be-released games for windows.

The Games Released in 2006

Titles Release date Developer Publisher
Company of Heroes 14 September Relic Entertainment THQ
Age of Empires III: The War Chiefs 17 October Ensemble Studios Microsoft Game Studios
Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy 11 September Traveller’s Tales Ltd. LucasArts
Microsoft Flight Simulator X (Deluxe) 10 October Microsoft Games Studios Microsoft Game Studios
Microsoft Flight Simulator X (standard) 10 October Microsoft Game Studios Microsoft Game Studios
Zoo Tycoon 2: Zookeeper Collection 1 October Blue Fang Games Microsoft Game Studios
Zoo Tycoon 2: Marine Mania 17 October Blue Fang Games Microsoft Game Studios

Titles and Names of The Games for Windows Released in 2007

Titles Release date Developer Publisher
Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties 23 October Ensemble Studios Microsoft Game Studios
BioShock 21 August Irrational Games 2K Games
Bee Movie Game 30 October Beenox Activision
Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts 24 September Relic Entertainment THQ
Crysis 15 November Crytek THQ
Halo 2 31 May Bungie Microsoft Games Studio
Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts 24 September Relic Entertainment THQ
Disney-Pixar's Ratatouille 26 June Heavy Iron Studios THQ
Empire Earth III 6 November Rockstar New England Vivendi
Hellgate: London 31 October Flagship Studios Namco
Lost Planet: Extreme Condition 26 June Capcom Capcom
Monster Madness: Battle for Suburbia 15 May Artificial Studios SouthPeak Games
My Horse and Me 30 November W!Games Atari
Rail Simulator 5 October Kuju Entertainment Electronic Arts
Sega Rally Revo 28 September Sega Racing Studio Sega
Shadowrun 29 May FASA Studio Microsoft Game Studios
Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword 18 July Firaxis Games 2K Games
Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Gold 17 July Firaxis Games 2K Games
Spider-Man: Friend or Foe 2 October Beenox Activision
Star Wars Empire at War: Gold Pack 4 September Petroglyph Games LucasArts
Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance 6 November Gas Powered Games THQ
Supreme Commander 20 February Gas Powered Games THQ

Titles and Names of The Games for Windows Released in 2008

Titles Release date Developer Publisher
Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures 20 May Funcom Funcom
Alone in the Dark 24 June Eden Games Atari
Call of Duty: World at War 11 November Treyarch Activision
Civilization IV: Colonization 23 September Firaxis Games 2K Games
Crysis Warhead 16 September Crytek Electronic Arts
Deer Hunter Tournament 14 October South Logic Studios Atari
Devil May Cry 4 5 July Capcom Capcom
Fallout 3 28 October Bethesda Game Studios Bethesda softworks
Football Manager 2009 14 November Sports interactive Sega
Frontlines: Fuel of War 12 February Kaos Studios THQ

The following titles are names of a few of the Games for Windows that were released in 2009.

Titles Release date Developer Publisher
Age of Empires III: Complete Collection 15 September Ensemble Studios Microsoft Game Studios
Batman: Arkham Asylum 15 September Rocksteady Studios Eidos Interactive
Battlestations: Pacific 12 May Eidos Interactive Eidos Interactive
Championship Manager 2010 11 September Beautiful Game Studios Eidos Interactive
Bionic Commando 28 June Capcom Capcom
Codename Panzers: Cold War 10 March Stormregion Atari
Colin McRae: Dirt 2 1 December Codemasters Codemasters
Demigod 14 April Gas Powered Games Stardock
East India Company 14 August Nitro Games Paradox Interactive
Football Manager 2010 30 October Sports Interactive Sega

Titles and Names of The Games for Windows Released in 2010

Titles Release date Developer Publisher
Aliens vs. Predator 16 February Rebellion Developments Sega
Batman: Arkham Asylum- Game of the Year Edition 26 March Rocksteady Studios Eidos Interactive
BioShock 2 9 February 2K Marin 2K Games
Dark Void 19 January Airtight Games Capcom
Game Room 24 March Krome Studios Microsoft
Grand Theft Auto: Episodes From Liberty City 13 April Rockstar North Rockstar Games
Just Cause 2 23 March Avalanche Studios Eidos Interactive
Metro 2033 16 March 4A Games THQ
Napoleon: Total War 26 February The Creative Assembly Sega
Vancouver 2010 11 March Relic Entertainment THQ

The following titles are names of a few of the games that are observed in the catalogues of going-to-be-released or upcoming games for Windows.

Titles Expected or expected release date Developer Publisher
Age of Conan: Rise of the Godslayer TBA Funcom Funcom
Alpha Protocol 1 June Obsidian Entertainment Sega
Brink 29 October Splash Damage Bethesda Softworks
Fable III TBA 2010 Lionhead Studios Microsoft Game Studios
F1 2010 TBA 2010 Codemasters Codemasters
Fallout : New Vegas TBA 2010 Obsidian Entertainment Bethesda Softworks
Hunted: The Demon’s Forge TBA 2010 Inxile Entertainment Bethesda Softworks
Lego Harry Potter: years 1-4 29 June Traveller’s Tales Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Mafia II 24 August 2K Czech 2K Games
Blaz Blue: Calamity Trigger 27 May Arc System Works Tradewest

The promotion of Games for Windows was done through convention kiosks as well as forums from the year 2005. Ever since its promotion took shape, Microsoft claims that there has been an increase in the sales of Games for Windows- branded games in several stores around the world.