Games for Windows marketplace relaunches

Microsoft opens new browser-based shop for digitally distributed PC titles; new storefront gets aesthetic overhaul, new features.


No Caption Provided Mega digital distribution outlet Steam recently tallied its 30 millionth user, and Forbes is calling the service's boss, Gabe Newell, a "name you need to know in 2011." However, Microsoft isn't conceding the PC digital distribution fight just yet.

Today Microsoft relaunched its digital distribution PC marketplace. The new Games for Windows storefront is browser-based and sports a new aesthetic. The site's landing page displays four new and prominent titles. Additionally, tabs lower down on the page categorize titles in four ways: New Releases, Top Downloads, Live Enabled, and All Games.

The new landing page of the Games for Windows marketplace.
The new landing page of the Games for Windows marketplace.

The storefront boasts a title library 136 deep that includes games like Batman: Arkham Asylum, James Bond 007: Blood Stone, Dead Rising 2, and Lego Universe. Further, the online marketplace sports Deal of the Day and Deal of the Week promotions, with this week's deals being Borderlands ($10) and Osmos ($2.50) respectively.

Accepted methods of payment in the new Games for Windows marketplace include credit or debit card as well as Microsoft points. As mentioned, the new marketplace runs within a browser. However, to download purchased titles, users must first download and install the Games for Windows client.

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Avatar image for deathstream

@raichou PC game sales are a fraction of what they used to be. MMOs and strategy games are just about the only genres left where the PC version isn't a port of the console game, with a few notable exceptions. You may not agree with the terms dead or dying, but it is undeniable that PC gaming is a shadow of what it used to be. And, please, grow up and learn to disagree with someone without name-calling.

Avatar image for raichou

@deathstream PC gaming isn't dying or dead u fool.

Avatar image for Death_Masta187

I really hate it when MS doesn't get the hit. PC is not a console. if I wanted that XBL experience I would dust off my 360 and get it that way. I'm all for the "games for windows" standards. but GFWL can die already. I'm just say'n. I'll stick with steam and for my DD games.

Avatar image for evaneself

Microsoft, go to work, not to stretched hand. Make a GOOOOD game at first.

Avatar image for pidow

I hope it has support, STEAM sucks, no support I've found, luckily, I don't pay for its service, or will I buy from STEAM again period. So if MS is better, time will tell.

Avatar image for MetaMods

reading @stakex007 comments makes me wondering does he know how gaming business work? making few dollars? wow that all I am saying

Avatar image for Caldrin

Microsoft dont want the PC to die in any way.. Do you realise how much extra profit they made from the windows 7 release alone.. Hell the amonut of money microsof make from licencing their producs to people around the world is mind blowing.. I would say that mcirosoft want the PC market to grow and grow as much as possible, its why they still develop stuff like DX specifically for games. As for the new look marketplace every game sold on there microsoft will get a bit of the cash just like steam does so of course Microsoft will want to sell as much as possible on there. I also believe microsoft make a loss on every xbox they sell.. profits are from games only with the xbox. Anyway what Im saying is that the PC marketplace is a lot more profitable for microsoft than the xbox so im not sure where stakex007 was gonig with his post..

Avatar image for andrew_ribbons

"Steam on consoles, since it is yet to arrive on the PS3, so I shouldn't be talking about it yet." The PS3 as far as i'm aware isn't getting Steam, it's getting SteamWorks, which means you can use your steam account to purchase DLC for your PS3 games. It would make no sense to release Steam on PS3, considering the entire library it boasts as it's key selling point, won't function.

Avatar image for Rudorlf

@stakex007 I kinda agree with you on your comment, along with the disagreement on Steam on consoles, since it is yet to arrive on the PS3, so I shouldn't be talking about it yet. @Kleeyook Yeah. And BTW Lego Universe wasn't that bad, just that the MMO doesn't have enough contents to justify its price.

Avatar image for Toysoldier34

@EtherUnion I just installed an EVGA GTX 460 SC in my in my system today, and console gaming still has a couple years to catch up on. The PS3 had some great looking games, but its got nothing on my PC now.

Avatar image for Kleeyook

And it shows Lego Universe as their homepage, the mediocre MMO. :(

Avatar image for stakex007

@Rudorlf - Steam has nothing what so ever to do with I really don't know how it can have balance between PC and consoles. Unless of course you are talking about Valve (Steam is a service created by Valve), and then I'll strait up tell you the reason Microsoft doesn't pay attention to the PC like Valve does (or at all) is because they would love for the PC to die. When you buy a PC, MS only makes a few bucks for your copy of Windows (most people who don't game on the PC own a Windows computer anyway). They don't get a piece of the PC sale, or royalty payments from games that are sold on the PC. So they would MUCH rather you be buying a 360 and playing all your games there. Its the only logical conclusion to draw from a business point of view. Any show of support for the PC platform from MS is simply lip service... thats why the Games for Windows marketplace is a POS. They don't really care if it succeeds. In fact, they would probably rahter it fail.

Avatar image for Rudorlf

Microsoft really need to stop obsessing on the console section and start working hard on the PC section if they want to make this work. Steam were successful because they have balance on their concentration on both PC and consoles, then why can't MS?

Avatar image for remysola

OH Yes Microsoft.. the company that has not released an AAA exclusive game for PC on years and has closed all studios with PC heritage also the company that doesn't want share with their own OS blockbuster titles like Halo 3 or Gears Of War... Ahh so kindly without care about the platform wants a pice of the pie.

Avatar image for Zloth2

Games for Windows has an awfully bad name but we *really* need some kind of serious competition for Steam to deal with or there will be.... trouble.

Avatar image for chibi-acer

@mike12431 Can you read? You can pay without using Microsoft points. The option is still there for folks without a credit card.

Avatar image for mike12431

OH MY GOD!!!! Just get rid of that stupid Microsoft points already!

Avatar image for foxfire0666

and its still as annoying as ever, damn thing still cant auto update

Avatar image for Icehearted

Well said, SolidTy. I'm not really all that impressed with their games or their "service", but I will say it's about damned time they eased off the MS points garbage. It stunk from the start.

Avatar image for Falmar

I hate games for windows! its horrible that it insists to have all the xbox limits impossed to the pc, no custom avatars, crappy gamercard, horrible servers, lame looks, and it even eats resources as if that crappy software would cooperate with your internet fee. What is M$ thinkin? that service is going to the sewer if they insist to think pc is an extension of the 360, and yes, steam has better offers.

Avatar image for KillerJuan77

Daily Deals = Win Great move Microsoft.

Avatar image for EtherUnion

I hope... my PC dont transform into Console >.

Avatar image for eriktkire

I'd like to think this would help Steam come up with even more attractive specials than they already have... but I doubt it. My auto update doesn't seem to want to install the new marketplace. Yet another example of how Microsoft's intrusive integrating of software has failed to even work on release. I'm sure I'm not the only one. Plus there are 2 new files running in the Processes that reload within seconds each time you stop them. A game platform that insists on sucking up some of your RAM even when it's not running. Genius! Way to give us more reasons to hate the Games for Windows client.

Avatar image for Moloch121

Oh and for people with ATI card and Steam we can easily update our drivers. That's just pure win. I

Avatar image for Moloch121

First off, Microsoft must feel stupid for turning down Valve when they were approached with Steam. Second, Valve has such amazing deals and idk about you guys but when I think of Microsoft and gaming I think about how much they like to rip off their 360 users (ones with XBL gold) If they want to compete with Valve fine, I welcome that, just first they have to start with their prices. Third, I read on some forum somewhere that GWL had a subscription service and then I saw someone else post that its free. If they this sort of confusion on whether GWL is free or not then they need to send the word out to people. Can anyone clear that up I really don't know. Third, Probably the most important the community. Steam has a large community, free online, IM style chatting, groups, etc. Steam userbase makes its such a big competitor that Microsoft will be forced to help build a community. And this isn't really important but the game library in Steam looks nice and pretty! I can't give it up...

Avatar image for solidsnake726

It has potential. I really didnt like that add-ons are displayed alongside game titles. They should have put all content within the page of the game its related to.

Avatar image for skullomania2

No Gears2, No Halo 3? BOOOOO!!! Long live Steam!!!!

Avatar image for Diebye

While competition for Valve and the steam service can only be a good thing for us digital consumers the fact of the matter is Microsoft would have to dump alot of time and money into this service to get it up to the same level of service that steam provides. Either that or provide exclusive releases like gears 2, fable 3, or alan wake.

Avatar image for ionusX

@deathstream you see big guy thatd make sense except i DO have windows 7 i also use linux (fedora core 8, strictly for managing my LAN, and for looking after a small data storage server) its jsut that 40% of pc users still use xp.. 56 % is 7 and the rest are either running true legacy or windows vista now 40% is a minority and its falling like snow all the time but until i see it fall to legacy/vista levels i WONT be discouraging the use of it or stop troubleshooting it. i have a pc on my me network with xp.. its mainly for office work.. you got a beef with xp fine.. just stop QQing because you got vista :P

Avatar image for S2333

You still need the client to download and play. That wasn't a smart idea.

Avatar image for Cobretti1818

New release section is a joke. C'mon MS, if you're gonna launch a new game service, give us some new and decent games to go with it! How about launching it with Alan Wake, or Gears 2, Halo 2&3 pack? Oh, and ever hear of opening day specials to really pull people in?

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat

If Games for Windows doesn't offer periodic discounts, I don't see why I would want to use this clunker over Valve's own clunker - especially more so if GFWL have the same irritating "must log-on to online account first" DRM that Steam has.

Avatar image for tajirinere

@Toysoldier34 enjoy some facts: games are cheaper i.e on average games that are not on sale are cheaper. you've got achievements: if you're like me and you own a 360, its all good. i didn't say steam lacked them. there is always Live: ok that i dont care about, since i dont play online that often. If i played pc games is just me voicing my opinion. GAWD. PS: i run crysis on a dv6, i just dont care for the platform

Avatar image for pogswarts

Browser-based = BAD

Avatar image for EdenProxy

@Bangerman14 Sounds like you need Raptr

Avatar image for Elann2008

It's a bit too late for me... Microsoft would have to come up with something substantial to sway me. Right now, I prefer STEAM over all, not GFWL that lags and stutters up my games while I play.. And before you say anything, it's not my PC, because they run smooth on STEAM

Avatar image for MERGATROYDER

People need to move away from XP. It isn't the perfect OS. People shell out six hundred dollars for a GPU, and stick with XP, and it is laughable. Stop looking at porn on your Vista based system and you wont have any problems. Oh, and make sure to properly utilize tools built into the Vista OS to keep your PC running solid. Just sayin'.

Avatar image for savestheday510

I could care less where I get my games from. Whoever offers the game I want the cheapest is getting my money.

Avatar image for Bangerman15

i like steam, but i prefer MS and xbox live or windows live more, just wish they would make a dashboard pop out in game while playign thats like the xbox 360's but wit ha built in web browser too. but steam has too many good deals it would be hard for them to compete with steam. but MS can easily compete with them if they start releasing big games for windows live only titles that will sell well on pc.. (fable 3, halo3, gears)... just a few to name off but if they start making some of the xbox games for pc they will sell like hotcakes. but they cant be treating us like crap not even giving us an actual release for fable 3 pc :/

Avatar image for EA_LOVER

i mean the x360 games if they sell good numbers on pc

Avatar image for EA_LOVER

maybe they will start to make the xbox 360 for pc

Avatar image for dakan45

@deathstream People who use still xp are not to blame. Gamedevelopers that are console focused and dont bother with dx10 or dx11 are too blame.

Avatar image for deathstream

@ionusX So, it is bad because it doesn't support an operating system that is two generations old? The people who refused to upgrade from XP are as much to blame for the death of PC gaming as DRM is. Windows 7 is phenomenal. Join the party so we can maybe start seeing DX 11 as the new standard for gaming, not a perk in games with big budgets.

Avatar image for Leozt

I love Steam!!!

Avatar image for rock_solid

competition between companies is good, but i love valve. so i'm rooting for Steam.

Avatar image for deathstream

What about 3rd party DRM? It doesn't matter how cheap Borderlands is if it comes with SecuRom bundled with it. Steam struggled with the issue early, but now notes on every game if it uses 3rd party DRM. That is one of the reasons that I trust Steam more than retail when it comes to PC games. (Although 2K still managed to screw over Steam users by releasing Borderlands without DRM then adding SecuRom to the DLC.) SecuRom has all but killed PC gaming. I used to be almost exclusively a PC gamer. Now, I have serious doubts that I will ever do more than dabble in PC gaming now and again. I'll play inferior versions on consoles before I intentionally install malware on my computer. Microsoft needs to answer this question immediately if they want the new Marketplace to really thrive.

Avatar image for dakan45

After all those years that MS crapped on pc gamers by directing them to xbox live page in order to create a account to play games on PC, they decided thats its time to stop crapping pc gamers with that crap and piracy crap claims and take action to make their pc gaming activities, REAL and not a sub part of xbox live crap. Took them a while but they cant be like steam.

Avatar image for lilboicookie

ill check it out....but steam for the win

Avatar image for Toysoldier34

@aermeus They abandoned PC gaming because they don't make as much. By releasing Gears 2 only on 360. It is cheaper to make since no porting. Also, they get the money from each console sold. Microsoft has proven they can make very greedy decisions, other than their OS I don't care for them much.

Avatar image for Toysoldier34

@tajirinere Live on PC isn't the same Live Xbox gamers know. I don't know any other company that puts up games at 80% off weekly like Steam. Also, Steam has achievements and for games that Live doesn't even have. You should know the facts yourself. You aren't even a PC gamer, and like I said Live on PC is much different from Live on Xbox 360s.

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