Games for Windows Live adds 'Games on Demand' downloads

Microsoft's tragically under-supported Games for Windows LIVE service gets full game downloads

I feel bad for Microsoft's Games for Windows, a really great idea that for one reason or another has yet to blossom. I've previously grumped about it here and here, so I'll summarize: Launched in May 2007 with the Windows version of Halo 2, just 29 official LIVE-enabled titles since, and dozens more GFW-branded games that have Xbox 360 analogues, but no corresponding Games for Windows LIVE support, thus: No GFW-based matchmaking, achievements, and gamertag tracking.

Since Microsoft's done relatively little to promote the service, you probably haven't heard of Games on Demand, the company's cough-in-a-hand response to digital download services like Impulse and Gamersgate. It launched today--no I'm not making this up -- with a grand total of...

13 games!

Okay, there's a spot of good news to follow that towering anticlimax: Microsoft's using the service to give away Tinker, a puzzler originally included with Windows Vista. They're also offering 50 percent discounts on Shadowrun, a decent online-only shooter that never got the support it deserved, and Viva Pinata, a game about raising adorable little animals that look like those candy-filled things most people beat with a stick.

The launch list with US prices:

Fallout 3 - $49.99, Resident Evil 5 - $49.99, DiRT 2 - $39.99, Street Fighter IV - $39.99, Red Faction: Guerrilla - $39.99, Battlestations: Pacific - $34.99, Kane & Lynch: Dead Men - $20 Viva Pinata - $9.99, FUEL - $39.99, Shadowrun - $9.99, Section 8 - $49.99, Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights - $19.99, Tinker - Free

You can download the Games for Windows LIVE client here (existing users will need to update to the latest version, 3.2). You can buy the games using a credit card or by redeeming Microsoft Points.

Missing in action? Osmos and World of Goo, previously promised as part of the launch. I'd wager they'll follow shortly, bring the total up to 15. Steam, by comparison, offers around 800 games. Until Microsoft can offer somewhere in that ballpark and add some compelling reasons to pick them over any of the other guys (Impulse, Direct2Drive, Gamersgate, etc.), Games for Windows, GFW LIVE, and this new Games on Demand service aren't going -- or growing -- anywhere.

Follow me on Twitter @game_on

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Peckham

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?