Get your game on with Windows 8

It is hardly surprising that everyone has been talking about Windows 8 lately. A whole new Microsoft family of desktops, laptops, tablets and other devices are now on the shelves, with more coming soon. In general, the products are faster, have touchscreen capabilities and are more energy-efficient than previous models. The portable and ultraportable devices are thinner and lighter, with better performance and battery life. And the gaming experience for Windows 8 seems to be just as impressive.

A new feature to go along with Windows 8 is the Windows Store where users can download a variety of apps for work and play on up to five Windows 8 devices. From classic games like Solitaire and Minesweeper to current favorites like Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja, the gaming options at the Windows Store are vast and affordable.

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Users can also find and buy games with the Xbox Games app that is built into Windows 8. Even if you don’t own an Xbox 360, you can still use this app to get popular games and interact with your friends. You can view your game progress, earn awards and achievements and see which Xbox friends are online and what they’re playing. And if you want, you can let your friends know what you’re up to by using the Share charm – a feature where you can share files and information with people you know, or send info to another app without leaving the app you’re in. Through this you are able to send links of your favorite games, your profile and achievements to others.

If you do have an Xbox 360, you can get games for your console with the Xbox Games app and enhance your experience on the Xbox 360 with the Xbox SmartGlass app. Basically, Xbox SmartGlass turns your Windows 8 device into a remote control for the Xbox 360. You can use your device to interact with your Xbox 360, so you’re immersed in the movies you watch and the games you play. Interactive companion guides, behind-the scenes commentary and real-time game strategy are just a few examples you can unlock with Xbox SmartGlass.

Another big gaming app to look for is GameZen by Agawi, a cloud-gaming service provider. The app has the ability to stream hundreds of mid-to-hardcore social and massively multiplayer online games to Windows 8 devices, such as Marvel Avengers Alliance. On a side note, Agawi, as well as Windows 8 itself, delivers the opportunity for users just like you to create and submit engaging games that reach the broadest audience and run across a wide range of devices.

Most of the games users have installed and played on earlier versions of Windows should also work with Windows 8, but there is a possibility that some older games might not. To see if your favorite game works with Windows 8, go to the Compatibility Center for Windows 8 at www.microsoft.com.

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