As we see Microsoft starting to center itself around the Xbox brand and make all of their products link to and from each other, we learned last week of Xbox Live popping up in Windows 8. At E3, we also saw the Xbox gaining the search functionality of Bing. This week, Microsoft announced it was merging another one of their products, Games for Windows.
Games for Windows Marketplace will fully transition over to Xbox.com. Now you can get all of your gaming needs in one place. It's convenient, it's concentrated, and it's a whole lot of great games.
It makes sense that two gaming services be merged into the more popular one. One place for all things gaming. The Path to gaming starts at Xbox.com now. I see where they're going with this, and hopefully soon everyone else will, too.
Not everyone is in support of this change though, and we have users' comments after the break.
You'd think combining services to make all Microsoft's product more centralized would make everyone happy and make perfect sense, right? Not so much on the forums, where Microsoft made the mistake of starting a conversation thread about it (see source link) and the trolls were allowed to do their trollin' thing with the keyboard.
While not picking on the grammar of some of these people, we have some comments from the thread.
User Tyrell Android ridiculously comments with,
Buying a game once to play across multiple platforms would be wonderful, but aside from Valve's very decent gesture with Portal 2 on PS3 / PC / Mac, I very much doubt this is ever going to happen on a regular basis. Sadly.
Why should I want to visit Xbox.com as a PC gamer? So I can see adverts for all the games that aren't available for my PC because MS has decided they can make more money out of franchises like Gears of War and Halo if they just release the first one or two titles on PC, then cut the series dead in order to give their console a few genuine exclusives to brag about?
I actually see this more as an indication of Microsoft pretty much giving up on PC gaming altogether. And I'm not even that surprised by it because there are others that do a far superior job on the PC platform i.e. Steam, D2D, GOG, Gamersgate, Impulse, Greenman Gaming, EA Store, etc.
There's huge amounts of competition on the PC for digital titles, hence why MS is struggling with GFWL.
Forum member Jazonish weighs in on both sides and has some intelligent things to say.
This is... shocking, to be honest. On the one hand, this is a much needed step in the right direction. It strengthens the LIVE brand, will prevent questions pertaining to whether GfWL and XboxL are the same service, maybe that means MS will finally start treating all of its LIVE branches equally and that there'll be more cross-platform content coming, it means less confusion and so on.
On the other hand, this merger will only make the brand "Games for Windows" less exposed. Just look at this forum, omnipresent green and xbox name everywhere. Is that such a big problem? Maybe not, if the Marketplace will be clearly visible here on the site.
By the way, what will happen to the Marketplace application now? Will it undergo major changes, too? Or will it simply direct buyers to the Marketplace website? What about making the content available for all LIVE supported countries, when can we expect that to happen?
Finally, LeetAmerico breaks through with some sense, and agrees with me thinking that this is a great thing for everyone involved.
I actually like GFWL. Sure, it needs improvements in key areas like supporting party chat with Xbox Live users being able to check messages from friends without having to start up a game, but overall it works (roughly 80% of the time) for me.
I'm all for consolidation if it means more reliable services and Microsoft has been making a big @@@ effort trying to win people back. It's definitely working. People resist at first (just because Microsoft is apparently the big bad in the PC world), but people eventually come around.
Seriously, Microsoft Office and Xbox Live on Windows Phone 7? Genius. Bing being integrated into all Microsoft websites, Xbox 360, and WP7s? Awesome. The Metro UI used on Xbox 360, WP7, and soon Windows 8? Fantastic. Hell, even the Xbox 360 has been getting Silverlight added to it little by little. Easier porting of games and apps between PC, 360, and WP7 is alright by me.
So everyone just needs to relax and give GFWL a chance blossom on Xbox.com. If nothing big happens within 6 months, THEN you can start freaking out.
If you like it or not, however, you don't get much of a choice. It's happening and I do believe it's going to benefit Microsoft, as they keep trying to stay ahead of the competition and make the right moves. What do you all think, though? We want to know in the comments section below.
Article image courtesy of Xbox Forum user ICptJackSparrow.