Games for Windows

Games for Windows was a gaming platform and marketing campaign by Microsoft, which is started in 2005 and is set to 2014. Games for this platform should meet certain certification standards, compliance with which is no longer being reviewed by Microsoft. The aim of the campaign was to make computer games for the Windows operating system more accessible and user-friendly.

The advertising campaign was funded by booths at fairs and other events since 2005.

On 22 August 2013, the Games for Windows Marketplace has been set. Until 1 July 2014, Games for Windows Live will shut down completely. Whether previous games with GFWL support continue to be playable, is not known.

Platform standards

Games that want to be part of the Games for Windows platform should meet certain requirements provided by Microsoft. These include, among others:

  • An "Easy Install" option, which makes it possible to install the product in as few steps and with as few clicks as possible on the PC.
  • Compatibility with the Windows Game Explorer ( see below)
  • The game needs to be installed in x64 versions of Windows Vista and Windows 7 and play and are compatible with 64 -bit processors (even if the game can be a 32 -bit application )
  • The game needs to support normal and wide-screen resolutions, such as an aspect ratio of 4:3 ( 800 x 600, 1024 x 768), 16:9 (1280 x 720, 1920 x 1080), and 16:10 (1280 x 800, 1440 x 900, 1680 x 1050, 1920 x 1200)
  • Support of youth protection settings in Windows Vista and Windows 7
  • Start option from the Windows Media Center
  • Support for the Xbox 360 controller, if the game supports such input devices

Meanwhile, however, manufacturers can make their products even with Games for Windows " certified ", which is why some games do not meet these requirements.

Also, the logo, Games for Windows, mean that only an Xbox 360 controller gamepad works for the control of the PC game. Current game titles such as Blur or Mafia 2 only support the Microsoft Xbox 360 controller. All other gamepads only with the help of additional software, such as be the Xinput Driver, controlled, or to play with the keyboard.

Online platform

Since 31 May 2007, some games -for- windows tracks have access to Microsoft's Live network, a network for online games, further, a message function and friend lists provides voice chat. For the Log-In an Xbox Live user name is required, some games support cross-platform multiplayer modes. However, these were only available if an appropriate service is subscribed to.

On July 22, 2008, Microsoft announced at the Game Fest 2008, that the use of live network should be free. In addition, Microsoft announced an online distribution named Games for Windows Live Marketplace. Similar to the counterpart for the console market, the Xbox Live Marketplace, it should be possible to download game content such as demos and add- ons. In addition, it was announced that the live -Interface PC - friendly and the technical requirements to be reduced for developers. This is Microsoft in direct competition with the leading online distribution platform Steam from Valve.

Windows Games Explorer

The Windows Games Explorer is included in all versions of Windows Vista and Windows 7. This special folder displays installed on the computer games. If a compatible match installed on the computer, the operating system adds a shortcut in Games Explorer and also invites the cover and info on the rating guide ( eg ESRB, PEGI, CERO, etc.).

Compatibility depends on the age and the level of awareness of the Games. Should a game be incompatible with the Games Explorer, the user may manually enter, but this does not guarantee that the appropriate cover and the rating can be downloaded.

The Windows Games Explorer is fully compatible in the parental control feature of Vista and Windows 7, so parents can limit how long you can play their child and which games can play it (based on the age level, or select specific games).

Tray and Play

In Tray and Play is a technology developed by Microsoft for Windows Vista technology, which allows users to start right after inserting the CD playing. The game installs itself while in the background itself and loads the required data from the CD to play with minimal caching, similar to games consoles. The first and so far (as of September 2009) only game that supports this technology is the Windows version of Halo 2


Published on the platform games appear in standardized Games- for-Windows - packaging. A striking feature is the logo with the logo on the front of the box.

In a message to the progress of the campaign in December 2006, Microsoft told IGN that the Games for Windows logo will be printed on all game boxes of the partners of the program. Sales of games in connection with the marketing campaign had increased particularly at the dealers that would have concentrated more on these games, so it was planned to Apply reinforces the brand.


Games for Windows: The Official Magazine was the title of a computer games magazine from Ziff Davis Media and the Microsoft. The first issue appeared in November 2006. 'Game for Windows Magazine was the new edition of the magazine Computer Gaming World. Since the April-/Mai-Ausgabe 2008, the magazine is no longer printed, the staff has been integrated as a PC Division at