Microsoft has announced that Games for Windows Live will launch in the UK on May 18 - with a spokesperson confirming to GamesIndustry.biz that the service will only work with Vista PCs.
Games for Windows Live will launch in North America on May 8 alongside the Vista version of Halo 2, with a UK release following ten days later. From June onwards, Windows gamers will be able to compete against Xbox Live players for the first time as cross-platform support for Shadowrun and Uno is introduced.
As with the Xbox 360 service, PC gamers will be offered two subscription options. Silver membership is free, and offers profile, voice chat, friends list, online status and progress comparison features, plus the opportunity to compete for single player achievements.
Gold membership costs GBP 39.99 / USD 49.95 per year, and gives users the additional option to invite friends into multiplayer games, unlock multiplayer achievements, search for gamers of an equivalent skill level and compete on either platform in supported games.
Both memberships include a multiplayer game browser so users can track down servers supported by Games for Windows Live titles.
As confirmed by Microsoft this morning, the service will only be available to PC owners using the new Vista operating system.
"Five years ago, we began building a service that now defines the bar for online gameplay," said interactive entertainment boss Peter Moore.
"Weâre proud to be extending the best-in-class Xbox Live service to include Games for Windows Live, which will connect more than six million Xbox Live gamers together with the millions of online Windows gamers under a single online service."