Xbox Live integration coming to Windows 8

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Xbox Live integration coming to Windows 8

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It is well know that there will be a new Xbox Live dashboard update coming for Xbox 360 consoles, bringing the Metro design outside Windows. Today, at Microsoft Build in Anaheim, CA, the new Xbox Live dashboard was showcased as a part of Windows 8. But it's not only about the dashboard itself. Xbox Live development is finally coming to Windows 8. We'll see support for:

  • Multiplayer
  • Achievements & Gamerscore
  • Avatars
  • Friends List & Community
  • Roaming Save State
  • Title Managed Storage
  • Beacons
  • Avatar Awards

The Live ID integration in Windows 8 is already present, so the dashboard will be automatically linked to the current user account. This ultimately makes Xbox Live integration as easy as it can get, both from the user and developer perspectives.

The development experience for the Xbox Live platform is pretty straightforward with previous development experience. It all relies on a single Microsoft.Xbox namespace that can be used from either a C++, C# or JavaScript project. Most of the plumbing is already done, including the authentication mechanisms - the developer doesn't have to worry about the associated ID - if it is there, it will be automatically used. If it is not - the OS itself will provide a prompt for the user to enter the correct credentials. With very little effort, developers will be able to add interactive capabilities to their games that will make the general entertainment experience as good as the one on the Xbox, with all the associated benefits.

There will also be specific service endpoints, going through https://services.xboxlive.com - the data returned to the developer will be formatted using JSON.

At this point developers might ask - what about the Xbox Live SDK and all the associated capabilities? After all, it would not be good to simply let everyone on the XBL bandwagon because of the quality requirements. Microsoft throught about this as well - in order to add Xbox Live capabilities to a game, the developer will have to go through an approval process, that will be somewhat similar to the current XBL-capability acquisition process. If this process is cleared, the SDK will be offered for free.


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