Using Xbox LIVE Games in Windows 8

Windows 8 features a tight integration with Xbox Live service.

You can buy music, video and games from Xbox Live Marketplace directly, using the new Modern-styled apps bundles with Windows 8. You buy music through the Music app and videos through Video app.

Xbox Live Games, also a Modern-styled app, provides the gaming services of Xbox Live.

You can view game trailers in the app. Also, you can buy a game directly through the app. Besides that, you can customize your avatar and manage other account settings.

Launch the app by clicking on the app tile in the Start Screen. The welcome screen of the app shows your Xbox avatar, if you have created it, and your profile details.

Here, you can create a new avatar, or customize an existing avatar. Also, you can edit your profile details like bio, motto, and location.

Following the suit of Modern-style app, this app, too, provides content horizontally, divided into several sections. Each section serves you different kind of content.

  • Friends section lists your Xbox and, perhaps, Windows Live Messengers friends. You may initiate a text, voice or video chat with a friend from this section.
  • Game Activity section provides a glimpse of the games that you have bought from Marketplace.
  • Windows Game Marketplace section lists the games of Marketplace that are exclusive for Windows.
  • Xbox Game Marketplace, similarly, provides the Marketplace games exclusive for Xbox consoles.

A Glimpse of Marketplace

Both the marketplace sections being similar, we will check only Xbox Game Marketplace. Clicking on the title will open the section covering the full screen.

Here, you can filter games based on various genres (action, indie, arcade, etc.), on-demand games and demo games.

Each tile represents a game. Click on a tile to open a snapshot of the game.

The snapshot provides a brief description of the game, its genre, creator and gaming platform (Xbox or PC). If you have bought the game, you can play it on Xbox directly from here, or get a demo for Xbox.

You can further view the details of the game by clicking on “Game Details”.

Game details further provides you the overview of the game, along with huge wallpaper and a list of extras that you can buy for the game, like videos, demos and add-ons.

If you have already bought the game, then you can view your game progress in percentage. Also, you can view the achievements that you have unlocked as the game progresses.

Search Charm

Xbox Live Games implements the Search Charm to provide search functionality.

It provides you results in the form of tiles, from the gaming section the Marketplace. You can further view details of the search results by clicking on their corresponding tiles.

Share Charm

If you like a game, then you can share its details using the Share Charm. For an example, I used the Mail app to share “Left 4 Dead 2” game to my friends.

The content shared is a linked to the game in Xbox Marketplace, so that one can see the details of the game, and buy it if they like it.

App Settings

This app provides its settings through Settings Charm.

  • Preferences – Here, you can manage your Microsoft Account settings for the app.

You can reset your app-related user account settings by clicking on “Forget Me” button. You may want to do it to either clear the settings or switch to a new user.

  • Account – This section manages the Xbox account settings.

You can change you Xbox account settings directly from the Settings Charm, like manage payment options, view billing history, customize privacy settings, change contact preferences, etc.

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