The Windows 8 Xbox Live app will play exclusive XBLA games on desktops and tablets.
The Director of Programming at Microsoft, Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb, has announced that certain Xbox Live games will be available in Windows 8 upon launch. Starting on October 26th, 40 titles will be initially available via the Windows 8 Xbox Live app, with more trickling in as time goes by. The games will run on both desktops and tablets, and feature traditional Xbox Live amenities such as leaderboards, achievements, and friend lists.
The first wave of games presents a diverse selection. There's the predictable time-wasters like Minesweeper and Mahjong, as well as tablet-fodder like Cut the Rope and Angry Birds. Perhaps most importantly, many XLBA exclusives are making the leap into PC land for the first time, such as Toy Soldiers: Cold War, Hydro Thunder Hurricane, and Pac-Man Championship Edition DX.
With the failure of Games for Windows Live, this seems to be a move by Microsoft to use the Xbox moniker for all its gaming products. Thus, the MS-sanctioned gaming ecosystem in Windows 8 will chiefly take place via the Xbox Live app, a move which may or may not make sense depending on your perspective.
If nothing else, Windows 8 is a bold move to merge the traditional desktop environment with the new emerging tablet one. Now that the Xbox ecosystem is being wired into Windows 8, it will be interesting to see if there will be any future integration with the future Xbox 720 as well.
Source: Major Nelson