How do you extend the life of the Xbox 360, a console that's nearly six-years-old and basically runs on PC architecture? If you're Microsoft, you might let hundreds of millions of Windows 8 users play Xbox 360 games right on their PCs.
According to Insideris, Microsoft is working on plans to bring Xbox 360 gaming to its next PC operating system: Windows 8. Apparently, users who want to play Xbox 360 games on their PC will have to pay for a subscription (Xbox Live style) and there will be no Xbox 360 to PC cross-platform multiplayer because of the advantage that a mouse has over a 360 gamepad.
That's how the rumor goes. Microsoft recently merged its Games for Windows brand under the "Xbox.com" domain in an attempt to keep PC gaming relevant (not that it isn't tempting, or ever lost its relevancy with digital platforms such as Steam). With these "Xbox 360-certified" PCs (coining a new term here!), 360 games would be hardware agnostic — similar to how Sony's allowing non-PlayStation devices, such as Android smartphones and tablets to run classic PlayStation games as part of its "PlayStation-certified" strategy.
Kinect might have helped the Xbox 360 slaughter its competitors in monthly sales in the U.S. this year, but that $150 add-on can only go so far until gamers realize it's not doing much other than collecting dust (for hardcore games, at least). With no definitive plans for an Xbox 360 successor just yet (Microsoft's playing the 10-year plan game with Sony's PS3), building an Xbox 360 into every Windows 8 PC would totally flip the entire console market upside down.
Armed with the knowledge that today's PCs are much more powerful than the Xbox 360, running the games shouldn't be a problem with a little bit of oil. The only question is would PC users be down for something like this. With 400 million Windows 7 licenses sold and Windows 8 said to drop sometime this fall, Microsoft has the opportunity to put hundreds of thousands of "new Xbox 360-certified" boxes on the market.