What to expect from the Games for Windows Live Marketplace


One part of the new (Improved? You decide.) Games for Windows Live is, well, live. That would be the in-game interface we covered yesterday. It's fast, functional, and even swaps Windows UI elements out for 360 controller button icons when you connect a 360 controller to your PC (a nice touch).

The next element of the GFWL reset is due next month: the Marketplace. We got to go hands-on with this standalone app and ... it's very much what you would expect. The Marketplace app will become available once the first GFWL DLC rolls out; load up a GFWL game and it will auto-download. Similarly, GFWL games will check upon starting up if there are any title updates – just like 360 games – and download / install them with no muss, no fuss.

The Marketplace app runs in a small, tabbed window. The main screen has options for add-on content, trailers and demos – again, pretty much what you'd expect. Right on the main screen is a display of your current MS point balance, with an option immediately below it to purchase more.

Also on the main screen is a spotlight on new DLC, demos, videos, etc. and a listing of content available related to your most recently played games. Clicking through the other tabs provides direct access to a full screen for DLC, the media you've downloaded, and a screen for launching demos.

The app doesn't need to be running while playing GFWL titles, but will load when you select it from the in-game interface (or a title's menu). We asked if it's skinnable and were told no; what you see is what you get. There also aren't any full game downloads yet, but MS says they're definitely on the way – as are the very long-awaited Games for Windows Live Arcade titles. These are on the Games For Windows team's roadmap ... it just hasn't been unfolded to reveal exactly where they're at yet.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.