Xbox.com being the portal which Xbox owners can log onto with their Live account to purchase themes, games, DLC, download demos and so forth.
Microsoft announced the move on the GFW site, simply stating: “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.”
Exactly what the point of this merger is, we’re not quite sure yet. It would be great to think that games will be playable across multiple platforms from a purchase at the one source, but that’s unlikely to say the least. As is cross-platform play between Xboxers and PC gamers. We can but hope…
Some certainly see the shift as an indication that Microsoft has simply given up on Games for Windows, more or less. Effectively they’ve thrown the towel in against the might of Steam (and other digital PC outlets), and just slung GFW in with Xbox where it will be even further lost among the console content.
However, it’s more likely that this is simply preparation for the gathering of everything under the Live umbrella, with not just Xbox players, and mobile gamers who have been brought in with integrated Live on Windows Phone, but also future Windows 8 users (with the OS due to feature built-in Live).
The merger is expected to go ahead next week.