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Digital Game Distribution Coming To Games For Windows Live

Resident Evil 5, Red Faction: Guerrilla to be among available titles for new storefront launch.

 Now you'll have to decide whether you want Osmos with Steam achievements or GFWL achievements. Surely the end of the world can't be far behind.
I've often wondered by Microsoft didn't directly go after the other PC-based digital distribution portals out there with its own setup, especially after the launch of its Games for Windows Live platform. Today, Microsoft is more directly entering the fray by announcing plans to do exactly that.

The Games on Demand side of the Games for Windows Live client won't roll out until December 15, but it'll launch with a handful of games, including Resident Evil 5, Red Faction: Guerrilla, Battlestations: Pacific, and new GFWL-enabled versions of World of Goo and Osmos. A free game--a GFWL-enabled version of Tinker--will also be offered. The process sounds an awful lot like the on-demand offerings that were recently added to the Xbox 360, with payment options that include straight-up credit card purchases as well as Microsoft Points transactions, and the ability to redownload anything at any time.

Not a bad idea, really, but with the GFWL client acting more like a simple storefront and less like a social network, they're still missing the key part of what makes Steam work so well. Every time you log into Steam to see what your friends are doing, you're hit over the head with new releases and HOT DEALZ. It's like they're daring you to get to the community tab without at least clicking through to one or two store pages. I don't know about you, but I usually end up setting my eyeballs on two or three different "add to cart" buttons before seeing what's up with my friends list. Devious.     Jeff Gerstmann on Google+
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Posted by Jeff
 Now you'll have to decide whether you want Osmos with Steam achievements or GFWL achievements. Surely the end of the world can't be far behind.
I've often wondered by Microsoft didn't directly go after the other PC-based digital distribution portals out there with its own setup, especially after the launch of its Games for Windows Live platform. Today, Microsoft is more directly entering the fray by announcing plans to do exactly that.

The Games on Demand side of the Games for Windows Live client won't roll out until December 15, but it'll launch with a handful of games, including Resident Evil 5, Red Faction: Guerrilla, Battlestations: Pacific, and new GFWL-enabled versions of World of Goo and Osmos. A free game--a GFWL-enabled version of Tinker--will also be offered. The process sounds an awful lot like the on-demand offerings that were recently added to the Xbox 360, with payment options that include straight-up credit card purchases as well as Microsoft Points transactions, and the ability to redownload anything at any time.

Not a bad idea, really, but with the GFWL client acting more like a simple storefront and less like a social network, they're still missing the key part of what makes Steam work so well. Every time you log into Steam to see what your friends are doing, you're hit over the head with new releases and HOT DEALZ. It's like they're daring you to get to the community tab without at least clicking through to one or two store pages. I don't know about you, but I usually end up setting my eyeballs on two or three different "add to cart" buttons before seeing what's up with my friends list. Devious.    
Edited by Baillie

Awesome, this makes things easier but most games that are worthwhile for GFWL are on Steam...

Edited by punkxblaze

Do they seriously think they can compete with Steam on a PC market? Really? Between getting RE5 on Steam and GFWL, I'll take Steam.

Posted by RIDEBIRD

Huh. GFWL is just that horrible that you just try to avoid it as best as possible. This doesn't seem to change this.
 
If they don't have crazy deals or maybe, you know, the same currency world wide (I wub my 90 USD Steam-games <3). That would make me buy a game, but seriously, Impulse, Steam and everyone else is likely to be alot better.

Posted by KuribosShoe

I'm sorry but if I can get more games to add to my gamerscore then GFWL just beat the hell out of steam

Posted by wolf_blitzer85

Steam still wins in my book. It's nice to see that they are actually doing something with the barren wasteland that is GFWL.

Posted by pause422

Steam > GFW...understand this MS. Pointless move.

Posted by ToxicFruit

well it is good for windows live users who want to buy Microsoft developed games  or people who don't know steam exist.

Edited by Xeiphyer

Games on Demand... so.. GoD? Interesting. Does steam have God on their side? I dont think so.
 
 
Of course this is a clever ruse by microsoft to hide that they are infact Satan (too lazy to make abbreviation.)

Posted by CL60

i don't see why GFWL get's so much hate. Sure it has it's problems, but it's generally new. Remember the problems steam used to have? The only thing REALLY bad about GFWL right now that i can see is it isn't supported by very many games.

Posted by dbz1995

Steam is better because:
 
A) I have an account on it
B) Steam is a better name
C) GWFL IS FOR N00BZ
D) Steam has awesome adverts flashing across your screen
E) RIIIIIDGE RAACER

Posted by Alphazero
@punkxblaze said:
" Do they seriously think they can compete with Steam on a PC market? Really? "
It's pretty much their M.O. in a nutshell: enter an established market and use the brute strength of their billions to get some cash out of it. They're in a good position to do so because they already have relationships with the major publishers through Xbox, something it takes a smaller digital distribution channel a long while to cultivate.
 
Those Microsoft guys... they're gonna make it big one of these days.
Edited by Afroman269

I don't have a real problem with GFW Live but Steam has just become so big that I don't feel the need to go for a new client.

Posted by EpicSteve

Another outlet for achievements is always cool, I guess.

Posted by zombie2011

I have a Mac. 
 
I'm such a loser.  : (

Posted by JeffGoldblum
@zombie2011 said:
"I have a Mac.  I'm such a loser.  : ( "

Well at least you can take solace in the fact that macs are better in every other category.
Posted by Origina1Penguin

I'm really disappointed with how little they've been pushing GFWL. Hopefully this is an indication that Microsoft will really ramp up its efforts. I might be slightly ashamed to say it, but it's true that I would definitely buy more PC games if they were Live-enabled.

Posted by Tarakun

I bought 3 games (2 for me, one for a gift)  for just over $20 during the pre-holiday sale, and I bought Zeno Clash  last night for $5. 
 
Microsoft aint got nothing on Steam. 

Posted by monster9999

Steam doesn't even even need to worry bout this. Steam is an unstoppable juggernaut

Edited by TheKidNixon

I'm kinda surprised so many people seem so offended by this. Yes, Steam is clearly superior at this point, but I can't help but see GFWL pushing towards feature parity as ultimately good. Competition is good, especially good for the consumer, and offering more options (even if its from the Evil eM$pire...that didn't really work, did it?) is always positive for making both sides innovate. I'm just not sure what Microsoft's ace up their sleeve is going to be to differentiate themselves from Steam, other than the whole Live Anywhere thing that seems less and less important. Plus it seems to miss the larger point that a large portion of PC gamers exist largely in their own sub-culture, rather than in tandem with their console gaming.

Posted by vidiot
Posted by Royale

Steam for life.  I don't think now days I'd buy a PC game if it wasn't on steam.   I own probably 50 games on steam, can download them anytime I'd like, and the crazy midweek madness and weekend deals (not to mention the Thanksgiving and post Christmas sales) is something that I don't think MS will ever do with GFWL.  However, with GFWL they would have a viable platform to offer crazy discounts if they wanted to... we'll see how it pans out.  The only thing I don't want to see is MS bullying publishers to release their games on GFWL earlier than steam or exclusively on GFWL.  We will also now see the "pre-order bonus" madness that exists in retailers currently.
 
As for the achievements... GiantBomb tracks steam and XBL... so I'm good.

Posted by JJOR64

Hopefully they will get Street Fighter IV on there some time soon.  Also I didn't know that there was a Games for Windows Live edition of World a Goo.  Might have to get it to get some achievements.

Online
Posted by Royale
@TheKidNixon said:
but I can't help but see GFWL pushing towards feature parody as anything but good
ROFL that's exactly what they'll be doing... 
 
pssst... it's parity.
Posted by TheKidNixon
@Royale Gratzi, I always forget that spelling. Also edited my poorly constructed sentence: I think Microsoft working towards parity with Steam IS in fact a good thing.
Posted by AnEternalEnigma

I can't wait to see how much they overprice these games to match the overpriced games on the Xbox Live version.

Posted by fallen_elite
If they can manage to integrate their new service into Windows I might be more interested, otherwise I don't really see any benefits to using their service. 

@JeffGoldblum said:
" @zombie2011 said:
"I have a Mac.  I'm such a loser.  : ( "
Well at least you can take solace in the fact that macs are better in a landfill. "
fixed
Posted by lhaymehr

I hope they get rid of the damn .Net framework!. That's the last thing I need when booting up a game. A 60 second delay!

Posted by ThatFrood

I like Valve to much to use it, even if it turns out to be better.
Doubt it though, Steam has character.

Posted by Jimbo

Typical price of a brand new PC game on Steam: £35
Typical price to have a physical copy delivered to my house: £25
 
It's not like I feel any loyalty toward Steam.  If Microsoft (or anybody) can beat the delivered price then I'll consider switching to digital distrubution, until then I don't see the point for anything other than the mega-cheap deals.

Edited by Teirdome

I think MS's biggest hurdle to get over is their own internal bureaucracy.  It seems like there is simply too much red tape to get updates out for GFWL games (similar to the archaic processes used on the consoles).  Steam seems to allow a much more agile method of support.
 
Personally I've always wished that it was MS that had the big digital distribution network ala Steam.  As essentially the owners of the PC platform, I've felt it was their responsibility.  Because they failed to step up to the task, the void was filled by the market which has been good in the end.  We still encounter situations like what Pitchford brought up and have arisen from the MW2 controversy from the market's solution, but it hasn't necessarily hurt gamers... Yet.

Posted by MattyFTM

About Fucking time. This was one of the features the they promised when the service launched. I doubt I'll use it much (if at all) but it's about time it's there.

Moderator
Posted by Cerza

Another Digital Distribution platform... So now we have Steam, Impulse, Game Tap, and ...GFWL? Wait I think I missed one. Why are they still pushing this crap anyway? I don't get it. GFWL has been so poorly executed at every step of the process I can't take it seriously, or see it as anything other than a huge failure if it a serious attempt.

Posted by AndrewB

This is all fine and well as long as they don't pay for exclusivity. The only download service I use is Steam, because I've already gotten so many games through them, I like almost everything about the way it works, and I don't want to have to remember which service I used to download what game (nor have to worry about what happens when they go out of business, as many of the lesser-used services would seem sketchy).
 
If the GFWL service ends up splitting the PC community even further, I'm going to stop buying PC games. Then, even worse for Microsoft, I'd have little to no reason to use their operating system, as I find a decent Linux distro or, one better, Mac OS X, better as a day-to-day operating system.
 
If anything, my argument is that the thing holding back gaming on PCs is a lack of unity. Microsoft has the most half-assed in-built support for it in Windows, as if they don't realize how lucky they are to have such exclusivity when it comes to the majority of games releases. The potential for money is the only reason I see Microsoft competing against Steam. Since Gabe is a former Microsoft employee, and the relationship between companies seems pretty good, it would seem like a good idea to partner up and integrate the service directly into the OS, were it not for the money (and possibly some ridiculous anti-trust lawsuit shite).

Posted by ultrarobotninja

Whats funny is that Red Faction: Guerrilla doesnt even support windows 7 yet. I bought the game on the steam sale (THQ Pack) and after it kept crashing due to windows live, i went to the support forums on THQ that states the game doesnt support the newest Microsoft OS yet...

Posted by ace22b

So if I buy a game on GFWL instead of Steam, does that mean my gf can't watch netflix on 360 while I play the game on PC?
 
No thanks.    

Posted by UnrulyRuffian

Seems like a relatively low risk gamble for Microsoft. Aside from a bit of bandwidth I don't suppose this attempt to dabble in the digital download market will cost them anything. You have to wonder why they've not tried it sooner though???

Posted by Lowbrow

Awesome. Instead of improving functionality of the system as a whole, just add shit that will make them money.
 
I think I'll stick to steam.

Posted by Geno

I thought GFWL already sold games :/ 

Edited by Boiglenoight

Competition is good, but so's intention.  Valve, like Google, seems good at balancing the interests of the various parties that utilize their systems.  Steam doesn't seem to benefit the publisher any more than the consumer, and compared to the offerings on XBL and PSN, Steam feels a lot more price friendly toward the customer. 
 
Microsoft's strategy with Live on the 360 has seemed to be figuring out how to make the most money off of their player base without pissing the majority off.  Using Gold memberships to create artificial value over content and features that are free on other platforms.  Hamstringing publishers (including Valve and Epic) from releasing free content, insisting that gamers pay for something.  In other words, Microsoft isn't a company that started as a games developer and grew into a digital distribution powerhouse--they're a software publisher that is keen on securing as many ways to profit from the overall business as possible.  Their moves toward digital distribution might make Steam more competitive, but that's the only upside here that I see.   

Posted by Kenzo287

World of Goo with achievements? SOLD!

Posted by Impossibilium

who knows, by the time the update hits Reactor Zero might have actually patched some of the launch day bugs from September in Red Faction like broken 5.1 surround, running at hyper speed in Windows 7, 360 controller moving at different speeds, turret controls running at different speeds ...

Edited by crusnchill

I, more often than not, like to play RPG's on my PC. But if they have achievements and are still VERY playable on the Xbox 360, then I'll buy it for that platform. 
 
I hope GFWL get's Dragon age: Origin's in it's games catalogue. :-) 
 
@TheKidNixon:   I'm in tandem with both PC and Xbox 360. 
(Only because I had to send in my PC to get it fixed for whatever reason, and found out that I had to get my gaming fix in while I waited for it to come back. Then found out something even stranger... I was an elitist PC gamer betraying my sensbilities and friend's. Xbox Live is pretty damn cool aswell!)

Posted by gexecuter

This could be interesting, competition is always good tough i don't expect much from Microsoft, steam works pretty well and from i hear Windows Live not so much...
 
PS: Also Osmos is awesome buy it.

Posted by dr3day

They will overprice their games, I'm sure. It's a bit late to be throwing their hats into the market, with Steam, D2D and other dig dist sites years ahead of them. 
 
How bout fixing GFWL and making it something presentable instead of tacking on money making mini-features.

Posted by ShaunassNZ

Gosh I was just thinking yesterday why GFWL is fail, and the proves it more, they don't put shit loads of content there they have like 3 demos a little DLC for 5 games I think and now what 2 games on demand. This is outrageous and a waste of time.

Posted by Hamst3r

What I want more than this is for them to connect all their "Live" brand shit. Right now, the only way to check my 360 messages (voice and pictures) is to start up a GFWL game and use the in-game overlay thing. If I go to the xbox site it says I can't view the images or listen to the recordings. The GFWL desktop software doesn't support any of this. Windows Live Messenger doesn't either. Also, why isn't this stuff just going into my Hotmail account? The accounts are linked.
 
That's what bugs me more than anything about the "Live" stuff. Until my 360 friends list shows up in Live Messenger and my 360 messages go into my Hotmail - where I can look at the pics and listen to the voice messages - they're doing it wrong.

Posted by ShaunassNZ
@Jimbo said:
" Typical price of a brand new PC game on Steam: £35 Typical price to have a physical copy delivered to my house: £25  It's not like I feel any loyalty toward Steam.  If Microsoft (or anybody) can beat the delivered price then I'll consider switching to digital distrubution, until then I don't see the point for anything other than the mega-cheap deals. "
Oh sucks for UK aye I'm in NZ and a typical game here is $100NZD delivered and on Steam $58NZD I love not being in recession.
Posted by Xiemos2

Pass on that, rather stick with Steam. GFWL has been a shitty ass and dated service since its made its debut with DoW2, and it's barely even functional in the rest of the games.

Posted by septim

Considering they have botched nearly every aspect of GFWL I don't have high hopes. Yet increased competition in the digital distribution sector will only help drive down prices. So go for it!

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