Microsoft launches Games on Demand

As reported on Kotaku, Microsoft has officially launched their latest effort to deliver PC games directly to users via the Internet. After creating a Gamertag and downloading the Games for Windows – LIVE software, you will have instant access to many popular titles.

These are the games which are currently featured:

1. Shadowrun
2. Viva Piñata
3. Battlestations: Pacific
4. DiRT 2
5. Fallout 3
6. Red Faction: Guerilla
7. Resident Evil 5
8. Street Fighter IV

NOTE: For a limited time, Shadowrun and Viva Piñata are on sale for 50% off.

Other titles, such as Section 8 and Hot Import Nights, are said to be available as well. As the program picks up more "steam" there are sure to be plenty more popular titles thrown into the mix. Halo 1 and 2 seem like obvious assumptions. It will be interesting to see if this changes the landscape of online video game delivery... most likely not.

Click here to visit the official site.

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43 Comments

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I wonder if you can stil install mods for games (Fallout 3) when games are downloaded through this.

Sheesh, why can't anyone make a digital distribution service where you pay and they give you an .iso and a CDKey. That would rock.

Not bad, prices are similar which is expected with publishers having the final say. It will be interesting to see if they can increase the library quickly. One plus and a negative is that they must all be Games For Windows Live titles whereas Steam just sells whatever the publisher uses. Good and bad in the end.

I would like to see a name change to something shorter and a new makeover. It might not actually be half bad if they get the DRM right and a decent library compared to Steam. Hope they follow Steams way of having good sales, keeps the service thriving.

Does anyone know if this lets you install games where YOU want them to go? That's the one thing about Steam that REALLY annoys the hell out of me...

FloatingFatMan said,
Does anyone know if this lets you install games where YOU want them to go? That's the one thing about Steam that REALLY annoys the hell out of me...

You can - sort of - for example i've got steam on it's own partition which means it's data dir is also there. I get what you're saying though but this is enough for me.

FloatingFatMan said,
Does anyone know if this lets you install games where YOU want them to go? That's the one thing about Steam that REALLY annoys the hell out of me...

Just use an NTFS junction point to move the game folder wherever you want. Problem solved.

And what if I want some games on one drive, and some games on another, hmm? I have 3 HD's in my system, with 5 partitions in total. My Steam dedicated one is getting kinda full these days so I need to start putting Steam games on another partition.

FloatingFatMan said,
And what if I want some games on one drive, and some games on another, hmm? I have 3 HD's in my system, with 5 partitions in total. My Steam dedicated one is getting kinda full these days so I need to start putting Steam games on another partition.

As I said, an NTFS Junction point will let you move the folder containing your game anywhere you want on any hard disk.

You move the folder, then put a junction in the location it used to occupy. Steam wont know the difference.

Ok so now we have yet another online distribution for games that seems to offer nothing new. We don't need online delivery of games, most computers have optical drives these days and CD/DVD remains the best distribution method for games.

"Steam exclusive" games are severely limiting their potential sales.

C_Guy said,
Ok so now we have yet another online distribution for games that seems to offer nothing new. We don't need online delivery of games, most computers have optical drives these days and CD/DVD remains the best distribution method for games.

"Steam exclusive" games are severely limiting their potential sales.

Well i'll go the other way - I really like the digital distribution model and steam works really well for me - I like steam cloud, the autopatching, the preloading etc

It's called choice C-Guy, and thank god we have it and you're not in charge. I buy all my pc games almost exclusively via Steam and other DD methods.

I cannot get Tinker. It keeps saying error transaction cannot be completed or some BS. It got my profile fine, has my points from my account etc, so it is just not working downloading Tinker. Everything else is fine.

Hmm it require credit card info to download Tinker though Games On Demand although it said free version.How come?

lflashl said,
ill never give microsoft my cedit card details over trying to get them off xbox live!


I'm pretty sure you can just log in to xbox.com and delete your card details.

Also you can click on the 'use microsoft points' button, that way no need for credit card details.

Shayla said,
Hmm it require credit card info to download Tinker though Games On Demand although it said free version.How come?

Just select "Microsoft Points" instead of "Credit Card." It's towards the top, it took me a while to find it too. It actually didn't work when I tried to complete the purchase on the credit card page. I had to switch over to points, then click purchase.

I'm sure it'll be a while before they can catch up with Steam. Steam has been so good (with the Friends feature, invite and all)

That interface has been around for awhile for games for windows live titles (besides actually buying stuff). It's pretty cool in that you can see all your achievements and talk to xblive friends.

InsaneNutter said,
Installed and downloaded my profile fine.

Tinker from the Vista Ultimate extras is on there too, its free and updated with achievements :)


No Tinker for Windows 7? :-(

(not on Steam)
Shadowrun is on sale for $9.99 US, while Amazon.com shows ~$13.16.
Viva Pinata seems to be about $9-10 on both.


DiRT 2, RE5, Street Fighter IV, Red Faction: Guerrilla,
Fallout 3, FUEL, Section 8, Battlestations Pacific - Same price as Steam

Juiced 2 - Slightly higher than Steam

Kane & Lynch is $19.99 on Steam and 1600 Phantasm balls (Microsoft points?)
on GWFL Marketplace. (Even if that's $1.00 it's probably a bit high.)

Tinker is on GFWL now free. :)

Not bad, actually.

Resident Evil 5 on Steam: $49.99, Games on Demand: $49.99 and Street Fighter 4 on Steam: $39.99, Games on Demand: $39.99

Just two to compare but they're the same ^.^ I was hoping for a bit of a better interface as im not too fond of the Games for Windows Live look. Think i'll be sticking with Steam personally but I guess more competition might be nice =]

Biggest benefit to buying on one service or the other is where you have bought the majority of your games from.

I pretty much buy games nowadays only if they are on steam.

Frogboy said,
Quickly comparing:
Unless there's some benefit to buying it on one service or the other, it's about price I think. I'm not sure what MS is hoping to do here.

Promote the PC gaming platform? Impulse is nice for buying stuff, but it doesn't hold a candle to the community features of the xblive/live and steam community features, nor does it have the popularity.

I know a games for windows live enabled title will work the same from impulse as it does steam and Microsoft, but I honestly believe this is needed with the increasingly pervasive push by valve and others to shove their crap on all competitors (including you). I imagine Microsoft has enough weight to tell other developers to keep that crap off their games. Lets face it, the PC front needs a unified front end to be appealing to more and more people out there. Even blizzard is getting into this with battle.net, yet another cross title system for digitial distribution and chat upon its completion.

When I get on my 360, it doesn't matter what game I'm playing I can talk with friends and see what they're up to. With my PC, i get all these different systems going and I just don't want it. Valve has some great features in steam, but its still just one of many. I know you're planning on adding it to Impulse in the future, but again, I don't want it. I think Microsoft is going about it in a...poor direction, and doubt its going to yield the intended results, but to answer your question, I believe they're trying to take back some control (which they properly guided before, lessons learned from 360 I suppose) over a bunch of clients fragmenting the PC userbase of a community all the consoles have.