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Microsoft opens Xbox Live Marketplace to web-browsing

Microsoft has launched a website that allows gamers to explore Xbox Live Marketplace without having to turn on their Xbox 360.

Microsoft has launched a website that allows gamers to explore Xbox Live Marketplace without having to turn on their Xbox 360.

Xbox Live Pipeline allows anybody to browse the listings for demos, trailers, themes and other downloadable content.

Although it's impossible to buy content using the web service, it's likely to prove popular with gamers frustrated by the console's own rather clunky browsing interface.

As well as listing all the service's content, Microsoft also uses it to push Xbox 360-related wares through an "Editor's Choice" panel, where new releases like the Xbox Live Vision camera are promoted next to adverts telling you where you can buy Microsoft points.

There are some drawbacks though. There is currently no way to list content by the date it was added, making it difficult to establish what's new, while the demos page also includes Xbox Live Arcade titles, cluttering the listing.

As with the console's own interface, which receives biannual upgrades, Microsoft is expected to refine Pipeline as consumers offer feedback.

It's also possible that the Pipeline service will one day allow PC owners to download software as well as browsing it - Microsoft has made a big show in recent months of its intention to offer cross-platform gaming experiences between Xbox 360, PC and mobile, under a campaign called "Live Anywhere".

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Tom Bramwell

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Tom worked at Eurogamer from early 2000 to late 2014, including seven years as Editor-in-Chief.

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