Microsoft recently announced that its online market for PC games, “Games for Windows Marketplace”, will move to Xbox.com on July 11th of this year, consolidating Microsoft’s gaming platforms.
Games for Windows has been around for less than a year, and much of its inventory was originally released in the middle of the last decade. The site had been reworked last October after a rocky start. Responses to this new move have been mixed.
On the Games for Windows site, Microsoft claims, “now you can get all of your gaming needs in one place. It’s convenient, it’s concentrated, and it’s a whole lot of great games.” Concerns abound, however, as to the sensibility of using a console-oriented site to sell PC games. PC Magazine writer David Murphy sarcastically referred to Xbox.com as the “one place that naturally comes to mind when you think about downloading PC titles”.
Responses on the forum associated with Games for Windows were overall mildly positive, characterized by this comment by user “shintopig”: “If this lets us get more sales/deals and a wider selection then I guess this is fine.” The change will push PC gaming gently in the social direction that has dominated console gaming in recent years.
Time will tell if the consolidation is truly something that benefits the PC gaming community, or whether it is a sign of the impending collapse of the traditional model of computer games, which has long been giving way to massive multiplayer and casual games.
It certainly looks like the audience Games for Windows caters to is dwindling. A Slashdot user posted about today’s news in a post entitled “How many users will be impacted?”:
“both of them! /zing”