Microsoft has released a press release
with the announcement of Games for Windows Marketplace - a new online store of computer games. The store will combine the capabilities of the old Games On Demand service (it was not available in Russia) with the previously inaccessible opportunity to buy games on the web through a browser.
The store will be closely integrated with the services of Windows Live and Xbox Live. From the first will get a single identifier and authorization system, and the second achievement, the 25 millionth community of players and Gamer Tag. Another feature of the store will be the system Deal of the Week with weekly discounts on a particular game, which is familiar to owners of XBox.
At the start of the store, players will be offered 100 games, among them the old and new hits: Fable, GTA III, Dead Raising 2, Gears of War, Flight Simulator, Halo and others. Microsoft will distribute its highly anticipated games in the Games for Windows Marketplace: Fable III, Age of Empires Online and Microsoft Flight. In addition, it is expected that the store will be constantly added indie games, such as those presented in a huge assortment of XBox Live.
The launch of the store is scheduled for November 15 at http://www.gamesforwindows.com/
The new store, in my opinion, is unlikely to compete with the recognized leader of Steam. However, games from Microsoft Games can only be bought here, there will be integration with Xbox Live and there will be an opportunity to buy games at a discount (this also exists on Steam, but two sources of discounts are even better). So the launch of a new store from Microsoft can be successful.
Another issue is regional availability. Will the store be launched for the USA or for the whole world too? Most importantly, will it be available in Russia? The question is still open.