With little (no?) fanfare, Microsoft has rolled out an update to its also-ran Games for Windows Live service, ready to shed some of that bad name just in time for this holiday's GFW-branded lineup (think Fallout 3 and GTA IV). So what's in store for you, PC gamers? Mostly, a much needed UI refresh. Gone is the ill-advised, console-inspired Blades interface – in its stead is a much slicker (much quicker!) menu that pops down from the top of the display. All the features you'd expect to be there are there: gamertag, friends list, messaging, achievements. As announced earlier this year, they've also done away with the tiered subscription service for PC gamers. No more "Gold" service – all of this is free, including TrueSkill matchmaking.
Indeed, there isn't much new in the way of functionality with one notable exception: the Marketplace. Though it's not available just yet (we'll let you know when "in the next few weeks"), the standalone Marketplace app will be akin to its 360 counterpart, offering publishers and developers a place to host trailers, demos, and DLC – all integrated into the game. Available now: the ability for a game to alert you to patches, and then download them and seamlessly patch them into your game. Boot it up again and – voila! – you're running the latest release. No messy files to download or delete.
We'll have our writeup of the latest installment in the GFW Live saga tomorrow; however, for now, flip through some of these screenshots from yesteryear to see what's changed. If you've taken it for a spin, let us know what you think. Oh, hell with it: you'll let us know what you think regardless! (Full presser after the break).