Games for Windows Takes on Steam, Set to Launch PC Digital Content Distribution Platform

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Microsoft today announced that its Games for Windows initiative is set to expand with the launch an online PC gaming marketplace this fall. The service will deliver free and paid downloadable game content, along with trailers, demos, and other content comparable to the company's Xbox Live offerings.

In addition to the added features, the Games for Windows Live interface will also be redesigned to be "much more PC friendly." Microsoft has not yet specified whether full games will be made available for purchase on the network.

The company further announced that all Games for Windows Live multiplayer features are now entirely free.

Games for Windows Gold offered achievements, matchmaking, cross-platform play, and other features at a monthly subscription of $7.99, or $49.99 yearly. While the same features carry similar charges on Microsoft's Xbox 360 platform, gamers often criticized Microsoft for offering them at the same price on the PC, as free programs have traditionally offered comparable functionality.

Shacknews will be speaking with Microsoft later today on the announcement, so check back later for more details.

From The Chatty
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    July 22, 2008 11:12 AM

    This is only on Vista right?

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      July 22, 2008 11:14 AM

      Works on XP, I believe.

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      July 22, 2008 11:15 AM

      There is nothing about GFW or GFW-Live that is tied to Vista.

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        July 22, 2008 11:30 AM

        ok, I think the confusion comes from when they launched it there were some GFW games that were Vista exclusive.. Halo 2 maybe.

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          July 22, 2008 11:35 AM

          Halo 2 was the only Vista exclusive game to use it.

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            July 22, 2008 11:41 AM

            shadowrun was also windows Vista only before the crack was released to play it on XP. Not that anyone cared

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            July 22, 2008 11:41 AM

            shadowrun as well

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              July 22, 2008 3:49 PM

              Yeah, see. That's how much I cared about Shadowrun. Forget it even existed. :P

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                July 22, 2008 4:26 PM

                Yeah play this mediocre game against people on a 360 with a severely crippled PC interface in the interest of fairness, sounds great. Windows for window lickers more like.

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          July 22, 2008 12:08 PM

          IIRC, the first version of the GFW client was Vista-only, part of that misguided attempt to force gamers to upgrade to Vista. Part of the backpedalling was to make it run on XP as well. Microsoft retroactively claimed it was a technical hurdle but they "found a way" - which is why Gears of War wasn't a Vista exclusive.