E3: Microsoft Announces Games-on-Demand for Xbox Live

Ready to purchase and receive dozens of Xbox 360 games without leaving your house?

Is it end of days for storefront retailers like Gamestop? Just after its boisterous, much-ballyhooed E3 press conference, Microsoft dropped another zinger: Games-on-demand for the Xbox 360. As in if you want it, you can buy it, then download it, directly from Xbox Live.

The service is queued to launch in August with 30 games, including popular titles like Assassin's Creed, BioShock, Call of Duty 2, Crackdown, Mass Effect, and Oblivion. (Time to upgrade those hard drives, people!) Prices should be about what you'd pay at retail, and to buy something, all you'll need is a credit card, or a sufficient number of Microsoft Points.

Like most online sales portals, the new service will include an option for users to tag games with star ratings, extending Microsoft's community-centric philosophy. No word whether those ratings will plug into their just-announced Facebook hookup, but it's a reasonable guess they might.

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