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Games for Windows Marketplace relaunches right on time


Just as planned, the new browser-based Games for Windows Marketplace launched today. "Definitely you should show up on day one, because we're going to have a great pre-order on a title you may care about," product manager Peter Orullian teased several weeks ago. Well, we're not seeing "it" aaand ... there's not even Call of Duty: Black Ops on offer (or even Modern Warfare 2 for that matter). A Steam-killer this not -- not yet, at least.

What the Marketplace does have going for it is a relatively user-friendly, if (for now) bare-bones interface, anchored by Live integration (squint and you'll see your faded-out, cross-platform Gamerscore in the upper right when you log in). Of course, Microsoft has stated its intent to vastly expand the site's catalog by offering plenty -- and there are plenty -- of PC games that are not Live-enabled. The new design also wisely highlights both the Deal of the Week (Osmos for $2.50) and new "DailyDeal" (GTA IV for $12), which are going to be key aspects of the new Marketplace.

Additionally, there's an option on the site to add Microsoft Points to your Gamertag (Windows Live ID) account, and, while not obvious until you proceed to "checkout," you can use points as a payment method to purchase Games for Windows content -- already a dangerous aspect of the new Marketplace.

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