Microsoft has announced a new PC game store – with a relaunched Games for Windows Marketplace representing a key move from the software giant.

Microsoft has been under considerable pressure from the PC gaming world to show its support of the platform, with the perception that its Xbox business had stolen focus.

With Fable 3 on the horizon, Microsoft has now announced that it is intending to 'make buying great PC games easier than ever' with the introduction of a new Games for Windows Marketplace.

Steamalike

The service will, of course, draw comparisons with Steam - the offering from Valve that has become a central hub for PC gaming whilst Microsoft snoozed.

"With Games for Windows Marketplace, we set out to create a digital store built for PC gamers end-to-end," said Kevin Unangst, Senior Global Director, PC and Mobile Gaming, at Microsoft.

"And by integrating with our existing Xbox LIVE and Windows Live services, we've made it easier than ever for millions of gamers to see for themselves how easy buying PC games can be."

Microsoft recently announced that its push for PCs would be spearheaded by Fable 3 (which will be released first on Xbox), Age of Empires Online and Microsoft Flight.

That announcement was greeted with a fair amount of scorn from the PC gaming world – so it remains to be seen if the US giant is already facing an uphill battle.

"After years of failing to turn Games for Windows Live into a useful service to gamers, people are going to be sceptical of anything Microsoft try to do in the same space, said PC Gamer's Graham Smith.

"It's nice that they're trying, but with Steam already at 30 million registered users, they've a long way to go to catch up."