Games for Windows Live adds 'Games on Demand' downloads

Microsoft's tragically under-supported Games for Windows LIVE service gets full game downloads

I feel bad for Microsoft's Games for Windows, a really great idea that for one reason or another has yet to blossom. I've previously grumped about it here and here, so I'll summarize: Launched in May 2007 with the Windows version of Halo 2, just 29 official LIVE-enabled titles since, and dozens more GFW-branded games that have Xbox 360 analogues, but no corresponding Games for Windows LIVE support, thus: No GFW-based matchmaking, achievements, and gamertag tracking.

Since Microsoft's done relatively little to promote the service, you probably haven't heard of Games on Demand, the company's cough-in-a-hand response to digital download services like Impulse and Gamersgate. It launched today--no I'm not making this up -- with a grand total of...

13 games!

Okay, there's a spot of good news to follow that towering anticlimax: Microsoft's using the service to give away Tinker, a puzzler originally included with Windows Vista. They're also offering 50 percent discounts on Shadowrun, a decent online-only shooter that never got the support it deserved, and Viva Pinata, a game about raising adorable little animals that look like those candy-filled things most people beat with a stick.

The launch list with US prices:

Fallout 3 - $49.99, Resident Evil 5 - $49.99, DiRT 2 - $39.99, Street Fighter IV - $39.99, Red Faction: Guerrilla - $39.99, Battlestations: Pacific - $34.99, Kane & Lynch: Dead Men - $20 Viva Pinata - $9.99, FUEL - $39.99, Shadowrun - $9.99, Section 8 - $49.99, Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights - $19.99, Tinker - Free

You can download the Games for Windows LIVE client here (existing users will need to update to the latest version, 3.2). You can buy the games using a credit card or by redeeming Microsoft Points.

Missing in action? Osmos and World of Goo, previously promised as part of the launch. I'd wager they'll follow shortly, bring the total up to 15. Steam, by comparison, offers around 800 games. Until Microsoft can offer somewhere in that ballpark and add some compelling reasons to pick them over any of the other guys (Impulse, Direct2Drive, Gamersgate, etc.), Games for Windows, GFW LIVE, and this new Games on Demand service aren't going -- or growing -- anywhere.

Follow me on Twitter @game_on

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Peckham

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Bang and Olufsen Beosound Stage - Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System

Learn more >

ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14

Learn more >

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush

Learn more >

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String

Learn more >

Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers


This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang


It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries


As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr


The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?