Can Microsoft's New Online Store Compete With Steam?

Illustration for article titled Can Microsofts New Online Store Compete With Steam?

As expected, Microsoft's new online shopfront for PC games has gone live. We were promised a bigger, better store. So has it delivered?


I don't like it. Not yet, anyways. It certainly looks pretty, its minimal appearance a nice break from Steam's clutter of buttons and menus and buttons within menus within menus. This theme carries into the individual game information screens, as you get a few screenshots, a short information blurb and the button to buy the thing.


But as a functional store? As in, a place where you can browse things? It needs work. While you can sort games by things like price and release date, the store will only ever display ten games at a time, meaning you need to plough through page after page of search results to browse the entire catalogue. From beginning to end that's fourteen pages of games. While you can search by title, it needs options to break things down a little, like Steam's "show me everything under $5" menu.

It's also (in most cases) far too expensive. Age of Empires III for $40? If you pay more than $20 for that game, even at an online retailer, you're mad.

I like where it's going - especially compared to the old marketplace - but if Microsoft hopes to lure customers away from Valve's greatly superior service, it's going to have to do a lot better than just make everything look a little nicer.


[Games for Windows]

Illustration for article titled Can Microsofts New Online Store Compete With Steam?

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I don't understand why everyone wants Microsofts endeavour to fail. Look, at the end of the day, a monopoly is a monopoly, and a monopoly is bad. Sure, steam offers good deals now, but wouldn't it be great if Microsoft offered those same good deals? What if that game you want isn't on sale on Steam but it is on Games for Windows Live?

Guys, competition is good for the consumer, just try to embrace it. Steam used to be a fucking mess too if anybody remembers when it first came out (which I'm sure alot of you do)