Microsoft preps online game distribution service

— 2:11 PM on July 22, 2008

Look out, Valve. Another contender is about to enter the online game distribution stage, and it's no small fry. Shacknews says Microsoft has announced plans to expand its Games for Windows initiative with an "online PC gaming marketplace." This marketplace will open for business this fall, and it will reportedly deliver a mix of full games and free content like trailers and demos.

Microsoft's plan for new PC gaming goodies doesn't end there. Shacknews says Games for Windows Live multiplayer features are now "entirely free," and Microsoft intends to revamp the service's multiplayer interface to make it "much more PC friendly." Mirroring its Xbox Live subscriptions, Microsoft previously offered a Games for Windows Live Gold service for $7.99 a month. The paid service enabled features like multiplayer match-making, mutliplayer achievements, and cross-platform gameplay.

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