In the better late than never category comes news that Microsoft's Games for Windows Live service now will offer downloadable versions of LIVE Enabled titles on demand for the service. From the sound of it, as of now, only Games for Windows LIVE enabled titles will be available.
The launch lineup will include Resident Evil 5, Red Faction: Guerilla and Battlestations: Pacific as well as exclusive versions of World of Goo and Osmos.
Let me take a moment to editorialize on the press release from this, and use it as an example of just how broken and wrong these things can be. Here's a direct quote from the General Manager of LIVE Engagement Services.
“With Games on Demand, we didn’t just want to create a cut-and-paste version of existing digital distribution services. We challenged ourselves to deliver an integrated platform that takes full advantage of the unique capabilities offered by the LIVE service. Our goal has always been to create a seamless online gaming experience for the Windows community, and Games on Demand is a great step toward that end.”
And what exactly did they deliver that took full advantage of the unique capabilities? A digital distribution service that launched with five games.
Let's hope Microsoft has more tricks up their sleeve for this, because I'd really like to see some more competition in the digital distribution market. Right now Steam really seems to have a firm foothold, and Microsoft actually has the bucks to challenge them.
Full press release:
On December 15, Games for Windows – LIVE will evolve beyond LIVE gaming and include a portal for accessing and downloading your favorite LIVE-enabled titles…courtesy of Games on Demand. Games on Demand for Windows lets you easily purchase and download great titles from the Games for Windows – LIVE library right from your computer, and re-install your games whenever you want, wherever you want. Games for Windows – LIVE now gives you the flexibility to access and play your games where and when you want, all straight from your PC.
“With Games on Demand, we didn’t just want to create a cut-and-paste version of existing digital distribution services,” said Mike Ybarra, general manager of LIVE Engagement Services. “We challenged ourselves to deliver an integrated platform that takes full advantage of the unique capabilities offered by the LIVE service. Our goal has always been to create a seamless online gaming experience for the Windows community, and Games on Demand is a great step toward that end.”
The launch lineup will include recent hits like “Resident Evil 5” (Capcom), “Red Faction: Guerilla” (THQ), and “Battlestations: Pacific” (EIDOS), as well as new exclusive LIVE-enabled versions of popular digital games such as “World of Goo” and “Osmos,” distributed by Microsoft Game Studios. All games can be purchased either by credit card or with Microsoft Points. Games on Demand for Windows will be available in markets that currently have the Games for Windows – LIVE service. Microsoft is also offering an updated LIVE-enabled version of “Tinker,” formerly an exclusive Windows Vista Ultimate Extra, as a completely free download from the Games for Windows – LIVE client.
“Connected digital experiences are defining the continued growth of Windows as a gaming platform,” said Chuck Osieja, creative director of Games for Windows – LIVE. “Today marks Microsoft’s return to delivering Windows games built on unique LIVE experiences.”
Games for Windows – LIVE delivers a truly connected experience for PC gamers, letting you enjoy a common Gamertag, Gamerscore and unified friends list that carries across both supported PC games and the Xbox 360 console. The service also offers single and multiplayer Achievements, voice chat, text messaging and TruSkill online matchmaking. To download the Games for Windows – LIVE client visit www.gamesforwindows.com/live.