Microsoft preps online game distribution service

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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    • Prospero424
    • 11 years ago

    But even if they’re not trying to compete directly with Steam through this particular service, I have no doubt that if it were not for the success of Steam, Microsoft never would have made their Games for Windows Live (kind of a mouthful, if you ask me) service free.

    • Usacomp2k3
    • 11 years ago

    I think this will likely succeed.

    • NeronetFi
    • 11 years ago

    If they are doing this, then are they still gonna stand by the plan to not push simultaneous releases of 360 and pc games? If so then by the time it is available on the “Games for Windows Market place” people will not be as interested to download and play b/c the hype will be gone.

    Reffering to this article: §[< https://techreport.com/discussions.x/15039<]§

    • deruberhanyok
    • 11 years ago

    /[

    • ihira
    • 11 years ago

    While were on this topic…
    How is Direct2Drive, anyone have opinions about that download service?
    It seems to have a lot more new & big titles compared to Steam, I wonder why

    • MarioJP
    • 11 years ago

    apparently gaming is a business out to make money especially EA lol.

    • greeny
    • 11 years ago

    it should’ve been free to start with.

    • MarioJP
    • 11 years ago

    Just remember steam is just a online distribution service third party games will still be supported on windows as usual. I heard you can run the steam client on linux but thats just the steam application and not that actual games. And steam does not own every game thats on there. Just the half life games

    • MarioJP
    • 11 years ago

    you are aware that you can backup steam games and settings that it does not requires installation if you backed it up properly. Personally i find steam the best way to go so with that said this is a good direction where pc gaming is heading. Considering that high speed broadband is getting well faster.

    If a game is available on steam and retail i prefer to get it off steam and avoid optical discs altogether. But unfortunately not all games are on steam so I will make those exceptions and will buy a retail box copy of the game.

    • Prospero424
    • 11 years ago

    Considering Microsoft’s history with their various online marketplace initiatives, I don’t think Valve has much to be worried about.

    Also, even if they, by some miracle, do design it and maintain it in a reasonable manner, I suspect the relative depth of their lineup with be pretty anemic compared to that of Steam.

    But I also doubt they’re trying to compete with Steam directly. Distributing MS games online may just make sense from an economic standpoint when compared to marketing packaged discs in brick-and-mortar outlets.

    I wish them luck if that’s the case.

    • Mystic-G
    • 11 years ago

    The fact that PC Gamers won’t take it as seriously as Steam already sets it up for failure.

    Fortunately, they cannot easily woo the PC gamer community like they have the console community.

    “Micro$oft, buying their way to victory one game at a time.”

      • clone
      • 11 years ago

      I can only hope MS offers all of their titles I’d go with getting a copy of Freelancer despite it’s age if I could.

    • Maddog
    • 11 years ago

    Never thought that “Barren’s chat” would make it to TR. Can MS ever win? Charge and get shot down in flames. Offer something free and get shot down in flames.

    I think sometimes people play games just so they have a forum to soapbox on.

    • Joerdgs
    • 11 years ago

    As long as it’s not going down the drain like EA store (which can’t even normally communicate with paypal in my case) it’s fine with me.

    • Forge
    • 11 years ago

    I’m with the ‘that ship sailed’ crowd.

    Valve has a very polished and functional package put together in Steam, and supposedly someday soon they’re going to open it up to Mac and Linux users.

    If they do that, MS ought to just plain quit the online software delivery business. No point throwing good money after bad.

    • Ricardo Dawkins
    • 11 years ago

    as long as they allow the free download of Games for Zune….I’m happy.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 11 years ago

    I’ve gotten a game or two off Steam when they were on sale but I still like getting physical media along with manuals etc. Steam is close in that the Steam account lets you reinstall the game but it’s not quite the same.

      • StashTheVampede
      • 11 years ago

      You can always use the backup functionality, in Steam, to make re-installations much less painful.

        • MadManOriginal
        • 11 years ago

        Thanks I’ll have to check that out. I don’t have a problem redownloading (yet – maybe Comcast will cap me) but it does take longer than installing from a local source.

      • BenBasson
      • 11 years ago

      I’m done with physical media. Having a bunch of DVDs laying around gathering dust and manuals that I don’t read is a pointless waste of raw materials and space. The desire to have a physical thing is just odd to me. I want to play the game, how I get it is of no concern, and the most efficient/least wasteful method is clearly the best one.

        • clone
        • 11 years ago

        I’m just the opposite I try to collect all of my games, I despise the idea of simply downloading them.

        their is no “wasteful” or “inefficient” way to get a game… you want to download it bully for you I prefer physical media bully for me… no wrong or right way to go about it, just numerous different ways.

        DVD’s or CD’s don’t take up space worth mention and can always wind up in a box if it’s so uncomfortable…. that said I regret the times I’ve gotten rid of any game.

        I gave away Mech Commander 1 along with Star Wars X-wing and I miss them both, I still have my Quake 3 limited edition aluminum box along with the original Diablo and StarCraft……… as I get older it’s nice to have a refreshing reminder of how far we’ve come and how good it was back in the day.

        • MadManOriginal
        • 11 years ago

        Like the other replier said, it’s preference. I do find myself reading manuals in .pdf format often enough but when playing it’s nice to have a hard copy. I also print out the ‘hotkeys/control’ page if there is no manual. Then again manuals today are a bit of a farce compared to back in the day. I grew up playing Microprose simulation games – they came with what could be described better as a military training guide than a mere game manual.

        Now, if the games were sold at a less expensive price because they were download versions I might be more swayed, but if it’s the same I’d just as soon get it physically.

      • MarioJP
      • 11 years ago

      you are aware that you can backup steam games and settings that it does not requires installation if you backed it up properly. Personally i find steam the best way to go so with that said this is a good direction where pc gaming is heading. Considering that high speed broadband is getting well faster.

        • clone
        • 11 years ago

        if Steam goes out of business where does the game you paid for go?

        no I doubt they will go out of business of course but never say never especially when this type of game distribution goes mainstream and more than just Valve and MS are using it.

        personally I prefer physical although their is a strong arguement that we don’t buy finnished games nowadays given how alot of games are released only 95% finnished or in the case of Valve you have to download key components in order to play.

          • BKA
          • 11 years ago

          Count me in for physical media too. Like someone else mentioned, if it was cheaper to download a file than to get a box, DVD and manual then maybe I would depending on the game. I understand they can’t undercut local stores though.

          I actually do read my manuals and wish they were still like back in the day. But as long as there is a choice I’ll pick physical media every time.

          • Corrado
          • 11 years ago

          They’ll probably do like another distribution service that went under did… either A) release a patch that removes the checks so you can back it up yourself and play it forever or B) send you a copy of the media like they did with Prey.

    • no51
    • 11 years ago

    Sorry Microsoft, you shunned the PC for the Xbox. Now that Xbox is old hat, you want to get back together with PC? I’m sorry, PC has moved on to bigger and better things.

      • eitje
      • 11 years ago

      Microsoft MADE the PC. The PC is NOTHING without Microsoft.

      the PC doesn’t want to get back with Microsoft? MICROSOFT WILL TEACH THE PC TO LOVE IT AGAIN.

        • pogsnet
        • 11 years ago
          • ludi
          • 11 years ago

          I has a replacement Thingermabob for yer Sarcasm Detector. Here, just let me —

          *click* /[

        • stmok
        • 11 years ago

        That was then, this is now.

        Who says the PC needs Microsoft nowadays?

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 11 years ago

    Filing this under “Too little, too late.”

    Steam offered all of these services years before, with a mostly bug-free and user-friendly interface, and for free. Free as in beer.

    • kvndoom
    • 11 years ago

    “Steam” was taken so Microsoft is gonna call it “Smoke.” Some marketing droid will be paid millions for this clever idea, then get fired when the venture fails miserably.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 11 years ago

      actually I think they’re going to call it “Games for Windows Live Marketplace” to match neatly with the Xbox Live Marketplace.

    • DancesWithLysol
    • 11 years ago

    bowman, why do you think Microsoft intends to put time limits on games you “buy” on their service? They don’t do this for Xbox Live (downloaded games), and Valve/Steam doesn’t do this on their online service either.

      • StashTheVampede
      • 11 years ago

      This is not an issue with MS or Valve, it’s a situation with the owner of that content.

      Valve (currently) is merely the middle man, enforcing the requirements set by the content owner. If the content owner says: no one buys it in England, then Valve has to enforce that right. The same can be said of multiple downloads, etc.

      If MS is smart, they’d mimic the same sets of rules: let the content owner decide how the content can be used.

    • Walkintarget
    • 11 years ago

    Yep, that Games for Windows Live PC thing built in Vista was a real winner !! I use that first and foremost when I wanna get my game on.
    *sarcasm alarm – 100%*

      • A_Pickle
      • 11 years ago

      Lulz, yeah. “Games for Windows – Live!” was, bar none, the dumbest PC gaming “effort” put forth by Microsoft that I’ve ever seen.

      I fire up Gears of War, and sign onto Games for Windows Live.
      It says it (Games for Windows Live — not Gears) needs an update.
      Downloading update… done. Exit Gears of War, install update.

      I fire up Gears of War, and sign onto Games for Windows Live.
      It says it (Games for Windows Live — not Gears) needs an update.
      Downloading update… done. Exit Gears of War, install update.

      I fire up Gears of War, and sign onto Games for Windows Live.
      It says it (Games for Windows Live — not Gears) needs an update.
      Downloading update… done. Exit Gears of War, install update.

      Fire up Gears of War, play game.

      That. Actually. Happened. Never again. Steam 100%.

    • bowman
    • 11 years ago

    Let me guess, akin to EA Store – ‘buy’ a game, you own it for six months. You can then pay for a two-year ‘extension’ for the game you purportedly ‘own’.

    No thanks, MS. You’re trying to consolify the PC, I’m afraid this platform is too open. You’ve gotten so used to your monopolistic grasp you’re taking it for granted. Guess what, we’re not going to accept just everything.

      • Pettytheft
      • 11 years ago

      Where does it say that they are going to do that? They also made GFWL free now.

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