Microsoft preps online game distribution service

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Microsoft today announced that its Games for Windows initiative is set to expand with the launch an online PC gaming marketplace this fall. The service will deliver free and paid downloadable game content, along with trailers, demos, and other content comparable to the company's Xbox Live offerings. In addition to the added features, the Games for Windows Live interface will also be redesigned to be "much more PC friendly." Microsoft has not yet specified whether full games will be made available for purchase on the network.

The company further announced that all Games for Windows Live multiplayer features are now entirely free.

Games for Windows Gold offered achievements, matchmaking, cross-platform play, and other features at a monthly subscription of $7.99, or $49.99 yearly. While the same features carry similar charges on Microsoft's Xbox 360 platform, gamers often criticized Microsoft for offering them at the same price on the PC, as free programs have traditionally offered comparable functionality.

Microsoft preps online game distribution service

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