PC gamers may have been let down with the failure of Microsoft’s Games for Windows campaign, but things might be looking up again. According to Cnet, Microsoft will be offering an app store-like platform to purchase PC games online from the browser. The main purpose of this portal is to get rid of the need for a separate client for the Games for Windows Marketplace. According to Xbox group product manager Peter Orullian, consumer feedback has shown that general dissatisfaction with the client software. “It’s just extra work” to have to go through the hoops that a separate software client necessitates. He warns, though, that large game files will still require the use of the client to download.
However, this isn’t the only thing that’s changing. Microsoft will also be forgoing the requirement to use Microsoft or Zune points to purchase content. They will still be a payment option, but many casual buyers will be pleased to know that they are no longer required to purchase preset packages of points in order to only spend some of it on your purchase.
Information delivery about the games will also get an overhaul. When you buy a game, you’re also shown any and all of the optional downloadable content available for the title, and it utilizes RSS feeds from developers to display recent news and updates about the games.
It looks like Microsoft is finally starting to pull together their successful Xbox Live platform and their not as successful Games for Windows platform into a cohesive unit. With easy access to games, downloadable content and latest news, the Games for Windows Marketplace experience is probably going to feel a lot like the Xbox Live Marketplace experience when this is all over. This would be a good move for Microsoft, and other digital software distribution platforms, like Valve and Stardock, better watch their backs. If the overhaul of Games for Windows really is anything like the Xbox Live platform, this will likely be a success. The site will go live November 15.
Image Credit: Cnet