The Windows 10 Store 'Games' section has seen a few (positive) changes

In my criticism of the Windows 10 Store for PC, I talked about how the recommended games section was filled with poor Windows 8.1 touch titles, abandonware, and awful gambling games. I also wrote about how the lack of digital gifting, curation, filters, and various other features we all love about Steam simply aren't present.

Many others have been calling Microsoft out for this for a long time, across social media and Microsoft's own Insider Feedback Hub. It finally looks as though the message is getting through. We just heard today about how digital gifting is on the horizon, and the storefront itself has received a couple of updates to make the games section a little more bearable.

The "Recommended" list has been removed entirely, presumably since there's not enough quality content in the store to build up credible recommendations right now. It means you'll no longer see a row that recommends that you play Resident Evil 7 alongside Candy Crush.

The Casino apps and "best rated" games I complained about seem to have been given less visibility, shoved down to the bottom of the page. The ratings on the Windows 10 Store aren't particularly useful right now, as the games' publishers have either brigaded the reviews using bots or other nefarious means, or the reviews are leftover from the Windows 8 era when Microsoft was pushing mobile.

Microsoft now emphasizes the most popular paid games at the top, and while this does include a couple of touch-focused games like Plague Inc, they're at least high-quality premium games you're more likely to play sitting at your PC. The vast majority are AAA games you'd sooner expect to see trending on Steam or Xbox.

Below that, there's now a "New PC games" section, which eliminates touch titles entirely. This is far more useful for PC gamers than previously available rows and should serve to highlight those PC devs that actually are supporting the Windows 10 Store.

There's still some work to do, however. Many of the genre tabs located at the bottom of the store are completely (embarrassingly) empty. There's still a total lack of consistency between thumbnails on different titles (some have an Xbox Live banner, some don't, despite being Xbox Live enabled), and the overall design and functionality of the store are still subpar compared to Steam, in my opinion. But progress is definitely being made. Huzzah!

If you were in charge of the Games section of the Windows Store, what would you change first? Let us know in the comments.

Jez Corden
Managing Editor

Jez Corden is the Managing Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

  • They've also actually done some visual changes and some new additions to the actual games pages too.
  • Yes, the New visual change is good.
  • You mean updating the descriptions page look way better
  • Wish list and notifications on price changes to your wish list is a big one for me.
  • This!
  • Wish lists (tagging games) is coming.  This was mentioned a while back
  • There's been a lot of shake-up in the windows store recently, across the board. Doesn't suprise me. Especially now that play anywhere is building up to a more respectable level, where the store can position itself as a place to buy PC games. And makes sense those should have focus on PC. The listing order for top paid games on mobile seems better too (and obviously they have parallax as well). Be nice to see 'top paid games' also get the prime listing in the mobile version.   IDK what algorythmn they are using to sort these in order, but it's MUCH better. Leo's fortune, every single go game, machinarium, dream machince, all the gameloft games are now near the top. I could actually pick a decent selection of touch titles for tablet or mobile from this list.  Actually that leaves the awkward in between doesn't it? Good there's still a mixture on the PC version, or it would be hell on touch preferring tablet users.     
  • I second the favourites suggestion. I'd like to be able to earmark games so i can come back and buy them later (especially if they go on special)
  • 1) Wish list
    2) Seperate tablet games and PC games
    3) Discount category
    4) Live tiles on store
    5) Remove the thing that phone apps and games appear on pc store and you can't check em. Or else, they should put an app that emulates the phone apps on tablets or computers.
    6) And also a good feature: They should put on store a selection were you can put your device specs and then only apps and games (specially games) that can run on your device would appear on each users store
  • Yeah it would be real nice if there was "touch" games and "mouse/keyboard" games seperated somehow. 
    Tablet users seem neglected in the store. 
  • They used to have a Collection for discounts (Red Tag Deals or something) but it's been missing for at least 6 months. I really don't understand why I can't just see a list of all discounted items in one go.
  • Wish I could see these changes. The store seems to be broken where I live. Games section has 1 title on top (the big boxes) while all the other ones are just empty and have nothing in it. 
  • Maybe try to reset the store from settings-->apps
  • All my live tiles are broken all sudden. 
  • will be great if it's specified all controll scheme the game supports, like touch, xbox controller and keyboard with mouse. now it's hard to guess. also it would be great to have better categories, for example now in "shooter" we have both fps and scrolling shooters, which are totally different.
  • Yes, control scheme and not just platform desktop/xbox/mobile. THIS! Also if we could filter control scheme, and platform manually!  
  • Still has weird quirks where Xbox-enabled games like Stealth Inc 2 and #IDARB never show up in the Xbox Games section of the Store (or, really, any of the featured games sections of the Store). I'd be very frustrated if I was an indie developer who took the extra time and costs to make my game Xbox-enabled and Microsoft, even years after release, still hasn't figured out how to make the games show up in the proper filtering sections.
  • A million times this!!!! When you click on the Xbox Live games section, every Xbox Live game available on the PC should show up, not just a random selection with new games at the top.
  • I need a section for PC games that is compatible with Xbox Controller.
  • They are all compatible with Xbox controller
  • One simple thing they could do is stop hiding ratings from other regions. I'm in a small country so there are usually no ratings at all. They should just show everything like Google does. 
  • The main thing that annoys me in the store is that everything is shown in portrait mode, so you see two words of something with the rest ellipsed out. This is really annoying when looking at DLC where everything starts with the same words. The end user should be able to choose how the store is displayed. I would prefer a plain list in most cases
  • 1) Wish list
    2) Seperate tablet games and PC games
    3) Discount category
    4) Live tiles on store
    5) Backwards compatible games (emulator) 6) GoG, uPlay, EA games 7) Show all Xbox titles when you click on show all, there is a lot missing, iDarb, Stealth Inc, Tiny  Troopers 2, Wreckless Racing Ultimate for example 8) The whole Xbox catalogue, there is no reason they shouldn't be on the Windows Store.