Microsoft Shows Gamers Some Love with Games for Windows Marketplace, Microsoft Game Hub
Article by George Norman
On 17 Nov 2010
Remember the Games for Windows Marketplace that was announced back in October? Well, Microsoft has now announced that Games for Windows Marketplace, the new PC game store that brings Games on Demand to the web and makes it easier for gamers to find and purchase games, has gone live. To get started with Games for Windows Marketplace just click here.

The Games for Windows Marketplace is home to more than 100 game titles from big name publishers such as Capcom Entertainment Inc., 2K Games, Square Enix Co. Ltd. and so on. Windows Communications Manager, Brandon LeBlanc, explains how easy it is to use the Games for Windows Marketplace:

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“Buying a game is incredibly simple and easy. As you browse the Games for Windows Marketplace, you can add games to your cart. After you are done browsing for games, you then proceed with checkout where you can use either Microsoft Points you might have on your account or your VISA. Once the purchase is complete, you can then proceed to download the game. You will need the latest Games for Windows client installed as that acts as your download manager for your games. If you have it installed, it will ask you to launch the client to begin your download.”

There is more good news for computer gamers: the Redmond-based software giant has launched the Microsoft Game Hub. Thanks to this hub casual gamers can play games and interact across MSN Games, Bing Games and Windows Live Messenger. What the hub does is it basically connects Microsoft’s three major social gaming portals into one.

“We’ve made it easier to find and play the games you love while connecting to the people who matter most to you,” said Michael Wolf, senior marketing manager for Xbox Product Marketing. “We’re driving that experience across multiple platforms so millions of players can share their experiences with their social circles.”

Wolf went on to say that anyone who uses MSN Games, Bing Games and Windows Live Messenger can play games, see friends’ status updates, and send someone a game challenge. Microsoft’s aim with the game hub is, as Wolf explained, to make non-hardcore gaming more social. Players can sign into the Microsoft Game Hub using their Windows Live Accounts or Facebook account, or both.

“It doesn’t matter where you play – on Messenger, on Bing, on your mobile device, or on your PC,” Wolf said. “You can have that sense of connectivity and competition regardless of platform, which is something no one’s ever really done before.”

There is even more good news for gamers. Microsoft has completely rebuilt the MSN Games site, rolled out Bing Games internationally into English-speaking markets (this means Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and New Zealand), and updated the games experience on Windows Live Messenger. In full view, Windows Live Messenger will see a new “Games” tab. Group Manager with Windows Live Messenger Piero Sierra explains:

“The games tab centralizes all your gaming activity on Messenger in one view, where you can connect to your Facebook and Messenger friends and add to your casual gaming with social elements like leaderboards, friend feeds, and game updates. Of course, your privacy is important to us, so we made sure that you can control what and how you share from within the gaming experience. You can invite friends to play with you side-by-side within the conversation window, or you can play solo, and then challenge your friends afterwards when you post your high score.”

Furthermore Windows Live Messenger users can see which friends are online playing, can see their friends’ favorite games, and can join friends in a game. Windows Live Messenger users can even video chat with one another while they play.



Tags: Microsoft, Games for Windows Marketplace, Microsoft Game Hub, Games, Bing Games, MSN Games, Windows Live Messnger
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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