Game portal Direct2Drive has launched a “new and improved” casual games store with the ability to download free demos and try before you buy for up to 60 minutes each. Owned by core gaming outlet IGN Entertainment, Direct2Drive has traditionally catered to fans of MMOs, first-person shooters and other hardcore genres, but clearly now wants a piece of the $2 billion casual gaming pie too.

“We’ve worked directly with our casual gaming audience over the past several months to identify the chief complaints they have across the casual space, from the onslaught of in-game ads to the cluttered site designs making it difficult to navigate and explore,” said Tim DaRosa, Sr. Director, Digital Distribution, IGN Entertainment. “We’ve leveraged this feedback to re-launch a casual offering on D2D that we feel is much more in sync with what our users are expecting from their casual gaming experience.”

A browse through Direct2Drive’s casual games channel turns up top casual game titles like Build-a-lot, Plants vs. Zombies, Westward, Jewel Quest, and Virtual Villagers, although overall pickings are still pretty slim. There are only 7 games in the time management category, and only 11 games in the hidden object category.

Of note to bargain hunters, Direct2Drive’s new Casual Games Channel will play host each week to “$2 Tuesdays,” offering a selection of popular casual titles for $2 each.

Also, the casual channel with honor Direct2Drive’s Low Price Match Guarantee program, which states that “gamers finding a lower price on any digital PC or Mac game on a qualifying site will be rewarded with store credit for the difference in price.” So far, the three qualifying sites are Gamestop, GamersGate, and Steam.