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Microsoft Launching Steam Rival

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Back in 2007, Microsoft Launched “Games for Windows Live,” a service intended to give PC gamers a unified system for multiplayer games – much like Xbox Live – and give the Pc gaming scene a much needed shot in the arm.

It has, to date, been a disappointment, specifically with regards to content delivery. Microsoft plan to change that – by relaunching the Games for Windows Marketplace; and making it a direct competitor to services like Steam and Direct 2 Drive.

The relaunch is scheduled for 15th November, with the aim to turn the marketplace in to  "a destination for games for PC gamers". It will include GFWL titles, as well as other games that haven’t quite aligned with the branding. "Sure, we’re going to have Live-enabled titles, and we love those, but that’s not all you’ll find here," said Peter Orullian, a group product manager, to Joystiq.

It won’t have all the features users of more mature platforms like Steam currently enjoy – like rating systems – so they’re offering up incentives for the curious. "Definitely you should show up on day one, because we’re going to have a great pre-order on a title you may care about." Fable 3, mayhaps?

It also looks like MS points will work across platforms; not that they’ll be necessary.

"What’s cool is if you happen to be a console game and you have MS Points in your Xbox Live account, or you could be a Zune Pass Subscriber, or you could just have a Hotmail account – any of those will work to sign in, and then you can spend those points if you have them or you could buy more points," he said."But one of the other things that’s new about Games for Windows Marketplace is that won’t be necessary. If you don’t have those or don’t want to do it that way, you’ll also be able to purchase games with a debit or credit card."

It’s an interesting path for the company to take, considering the proliferation of Valve’s digital store. Good luck, Microsoft. You’re going to need it.

Source : Joystiq

Last Updated: October 22, 2010

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