To celebrate the (sad) merging of Games for Windows Marketplace and Xbox.com, Microsoft is giving away 1,000,000 free Microsoft Points starting July 25 and ending August 1. The only requirement is to make a Games for Windows online purchase between those dates. Consumers will then receive an email code for 400 Microsoft Points.
"Games for Windows Marketplace is open to millions of Xbox LIVE gamers around the world," Microsoft states. "Log in with your Xbox LIVE account and enjoy a single unified identity across Xbox LIVE and Games for Windows — LIVE. It’s the same gamertag, friends list, achievements and gamerscore on both platforms. Games for Windows Marketplace delivers great games at great prices and gives you access to Games for Windows – LIVE, a free online gaming service that lets you connect and play with your friends and millions of Xbox LIVE members!"
Microsoft moved the Games for Windows Marketplace over to Xbox.com back on July 11. "All of the same content from GamesForWindows.com will be available on Xbox.com so members of communities across Xbox 360 and Games for Windows can purchase and get details on their favorite games, all in one place," explained a spokesperson. "All account information will remain the same and community members can still take advantage of their Xbox Live profile in their Windows games and stay connected to friends who are playing on the PC."
Although it somewhat makes sense to consolidate the two, the move is speculated to be part of Microsoft's overall plan to offer one service across multiple platforms. The move definitely makes sense if reports are true that LIVE will be incorporated into Windows 8 when it goes live next year. As it stands now, the Games for Windows Marketplace stand-alone client remains unaltered although that's likely to change soon.
Now that Microsoft has crammed its PC games into Xbox.com, consumers can purchase digital copes by clicking on the Games + Marketplace category and the PC Games sub-category under the Xbox Downloads listing. The current "Deal of the Week" is Section 8: Prejudice for $7.49 USD. Given that it's a Games for Windows title, it should qualify for the 400 MS Points. Not a bad deal.