It was a great idea that was sadly let down by poor implementation and poor support. Games for Windows, which launched with Windows Vista, were meant to be the marker by which consumers would know that any game they purchased would happily run on their Microsoft Windows computer.
The seal of approval, which was carried on a banner at the top of the boxes for the games that participated in the program, was intended to convey that the game had been tested by Microsoft and would work happily, but also that it would be integrated with the games. Explorer in Windows Vista and Windows 7. Here it could be easily launched and the game explorer could also handle extras like parental controls, patches and updates.
It was sadly disappointed by the lack of support from the games industry, but today Microsoft is relaunching the brand, as reported by CNet, and wants gamers to know that Microsoft is serious about PC gaming.
A new Games for Windows Marketplace will let people buy games via Internet downloads. There are about 100 games available so far, but Microsoft is very keen to turn Games for Windows into a full game app store.
The store will also be integrated with the Xbox and Zune stores and will allow players to use the points they have accumulated in the new store to purchase content. People can also pay by credit and debit card if they wish.
To update: The new Games for Windows Marketplace is now available on the Xbox website.
The website lists all the PC games that have been released under the Games for Windows brand. You may notice that there are not many games available that are released under the brand, and most Windows PC games are not.