By Jared Newman | Friday, October 23, 2009 at 4:38 pm
The Microsoft Store stole plenty of ideas from Apple, but you definitely won’t find services for gamers in the Apple Store.
Destructoid’s Conrad Zimmerman was close by for the Microsoft Store’s grand opening yesterday, and he scoped out a few features for Xbox 360 and Games for Windows customers.
The neatest thing he found was on-demand printing of PC games. It works exactly like it sounds: Use a touch screen kiosk to browse Microsoft’s PC software catalog, toss the ones you want into a virtual kart and alert one of the store’s roving, Apple-esque minions. All the printing’s done in the back, and four minutes later, you’ve got a disc and box, complete with labels, cover and instruction manual.
The system allows Microsoft to carry an unlimited stock, and, well, it sounds kind of fun. I wish there was a similar system for Xbox 360 games, but unfortunately the store is sticking with boxes on a shelf for those (though Zimmerman says the selection is healthy).
Another service that should be appreciated, but not loved, is the ability to bring in your Xbox 360 for repairs. If it’s a basic problem, such as a faulty power brick, Microsoft’s service techs will repair it on-site. Otherwise, you’re at least saved the hassle of finding or paying for an appropriate shipping vessel when suffering the Red Ring of Death.
The store also has five demo stations for Xbox 360 games, with their video projected onto the walls. Not revolutionary, but essential. Zimmerman wrote that roughly 15 percent of the store is dedicated to video games. So I guess only 85 percent of the Microsoft Store is an Apple Store clone.