This has been a long time coming. Microsoft Play
has (see update below) 15 Xbox Live Arcade games to Windows 8 and RT through the Windows Store. And it's about time.
When the Windows Store launched, its ability to unify games across computers made it seem like a natural fit for XBLA titles. But the fragmentation between Microsoft's various stores quickly because apparent through missteps like the Mature rating flub. This is an encouraging step toward getting all of Microsoft's stores (Windows, Xbox, Windows Phone) on the same page.
It's also possibly a heads up about the platform that the Xbox 720/Durango will be built on. It would make perfect sense to start this migration now, and then build the next Xbox as either a Windows 8 box, or at least on the Windows 8 kernel.
Here's the full list of games added in this first wave of Microsoft Play:
Skulls of the Shogun.
The Gunstringer: Dead Man Running.
Toy Soldiers: Cold War.
Rocket Riot 3D.
Reckless Racing Ultimate.
Microsoft Solitaire Collection.
Hydro Thunder Hurricane.
4 Elements II Special Edition.
Update: This is not the "launch" we originally framed it as. The games listed have largely been available for a while—there are a few new ones—and this is merely the launch of Microsoft talking about how XBLA titles have been migrated. It seems like more of a statement of intent for more titles going forward, which is still notable, but not as important as we made it out to be. We apologize for any confusion.