Microsoft finally sells Windows games online


About time! On November 15, Microsoft will start selling about 100 Windows PC games directly online.


Today, Microsoft Games for Windows Marketplace is weird: an online site that requires you to download special software before you can download games.

It focuses on a handful of Windows games that can connect to the Xbox Live service. The one-on-one game scenario between PC and Xbox users is interesting in theory, but requires special PC software and is burdened by the absolutely awful name “Games for Windows – LIVE”. As a result, many gaming enthusiasts don’t even know the service exists.

The Games for Windows Marketplace update will allow users to purchase and download games with their web browser, as you would expect to be able to. It will launch with titles like Grand Theft Auto III and eventually become the primary online distribution point for the PC version of game franchises like Halo, Fable, and Flight Simulator (which still has its die-hard fans). Game publishers can also get dedicated special pages on the site, so users can check out their favorite games from publishers like Rockstar.

Microsoft doesn’t make a lot of money selling PC games, and it’s spent a lot of money and energy building the Xbox business. But hardcore PC gamers tend to buy high-end boxes running the latest versions of Windows. Promoting PC games is therefore always a good business decision.

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