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.
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