Chris Early, casual games product unit manager for Microsoft US, has highlighted the transition of Xbox Live to Vista as key to narrowing the gap between Microsoft's PC and console gaming platforms.
"Our theme at CES this year is 'connected experiences,' and clearly in the gaming space, when you think about what Bill announced with the bringing of Live to Windows, that's really going to get gamers together almost regardless of the platform now," said Early, speaking today at the Las Vegas electronics show.
"That's what's really exciting. To have one single Gamertag, to have one set of brands, to have both platformsâ¦ That really opens up gaming a lot."
Bill Gates confirmed that Live will be making its way to Vista this summer in his CES keynote earlier this week - and also had several other announcements to make regarding the newly tagged Games for Windows program and Xbox 360.
Early went so far as to say he didn't see Vista and Xbox 360 as separate gaming platforms, perhaps indicating the emergence of a new philosophy of gaming at Microsoft.
"I don't see them as separate, and that's what I'm most excited about, the concept of Live and your gaming being wherever you want it to be," he said.
As if to illustrate the point, a PC version of Bizarre Creations's Xbox Live smash Geometry Wars is being shown at CES for the first time, playable on an Xbox 360 pad. All Vista games must be playable with an Xbox 360 pad as part of the requirements of developing for the platform.
Unfortunately, Windows XP won't receive a version of Live - although Early didn't rule out the possibility entirely, stating, "At this point it's just for Vista."