Microsoft today announced that 40 Xbox LIVE games will be available for Windows 8 beginning on October 26, the day that OS launches. This massive launch lineup includes 29 games from Microsoft Studios, some which are exclusive to Windows 8, and 11 from companies such as Rovio, Miniclip, Gameloft, ZeptoLab, Glu Mobile, Halfbrick Studios, which are porting Xbox 360 games to the Metro environment in Windows 8.

The Microsoft announcement comes in the form of a blog post, First wave of Xbox games for Windows 8 unveiled, that’s notable in that it completely ignores a key question: Which of these games will also work in Windows RT? I assume all or most of them will, but Microsoft remains as cryptic as ever in its corporate communications.

In case it’s not obvious, Xbox LIVE games for Windows 8, like Xbox LIVE games for Xbox 360 and Windows Phone, and Games for Windows LIVE games for Windows, provide interaction with key Xbox LIVE services such as achievements, leaderboards, multiplayer modes, and a friends list. Unlike on the Xbox 360, you do not need an Xbox LIVE Gold account to access these features in Windows 8 (or in Windows Phone).

You can browse for Xbox LIVE games specifically through the new Xbox Games app in Windows 8, but all Windows 8 app and game downloads occur through the Windows Store app. Today, only five incomplete Xbox LIVE games are available there: Pinball FX2, Microsoft Mahjong, Microsoft Minesweeper, Microsoft Solitaire, and Wordament, and only some of these offer a few achievements. (More will come online at launch, I’m told.)

windows-game-store

Here’s the full list of games:

1.4 Elements II Special Edition

2.A World of Keflings

3.Adera: Episode 1

4.Adera: Episode 2

5.Adera: Episode 3

6.Angry Birds

7.Angry Birds Space

8.Big Buck Hunter Pro

9.BlazBlue Calamity Trigger

10.Collateral Damage

11.Crash Course GO

12.Cut the Rope

13.Disney Fairies

14.Dragon's Lair

15.Field & Stream Fishing

16.Fruit Ninja

17.Gravity Guy

18.Gunstringer: Dead Man Running

19.Hydro Thunder Hurricane

20.IloMilo

21.iStunt 2

22.Jetpack Joyride

23.Kinectimals Unleashed

24.Microsoft Mahjong

25.Microsoft Minesweeper

26.Microsoft Solitaire Collection

27.Monster Island

28.PAC-MAN Championship Edition DX

29.Pinball FX 2

30.Reckless Racing Ultimate

31.Rocket Riot 3D

32.Shark Dash

33.Shuffle Party

34.Skulls of the Shogun

35.Taptiles

36.Team Crossword

37.The Harvest HD

38.Toy Soldiers Cold War

39.Wordament

40.Zombies!!!