Microsoft has announced the launch of a new Games channel on its MSN portal, one that will focus on both casual gamers and an hardware audience; the move comes as Microsoft is reorganising its "tech and gadgets" channel with all gaming content being spun off as a separate channel altogether.
MSN Games Channel will therefore be covering the likes of GTA, Forza, Halo as well as more family-oriented titles such as Guitar Hero, Mario Kart, Animal Crossing and Sims. As expected, there's also a heavy dose of free games as well like Bejewelled and Mah Jong Tiles and adult-themed ones (Cash games, Bingo etc).
Note that the UK version of the site (here) is significantly different from the US version (here) and that the games do not appear to be compatible with Google Chrome browser (although the ads display perfectly well).
Microsoft has also enlisted the help of Celebrity gamer, Iain Lee, to produce a monthly podcast called GameCast and for MSN Games Channel exclusively. It is also days away from rolling out the much-vaunted Microsoft Kinect motion controller for the Xbox 360 gaming console.
The software giant is currently gearing up to Christmas and has just announced the launch of Games for Windows Marketplace which allows users to download games (from a hundred or so titles) through a client à la Steam.