Hey, remember PlayStation Home? Remember how Sony pushed it for months on end? Remember how it then just kind of came out and didn’t really serve any singular, discernible function? Remember that?
Well, word on the CES 2009 street is that Microsoft will be throwing their hat into the avatars-awkwardly-interacting-with-one-another ring this Spring with Game Room, a sort of Xbox Live Arcade arcade. Except it’s limited primarily to classic arcade games, so in that sense, I guess it’s more of an arcade-game arcade for Xbox Live Arcade.
Wait. You know what? This trailer explains it much better than I ever could:
The service will will be available for both the Xbox 360 and PCs running the Games for Windows Live client. As far as pricing goes, you can choose to pay either $3 (240 points) for an individual game on an individual platform or $5 for the same game on both platforms. Conversely, you’ll be able to pay $0.50 (40 points) for a single round of the game of your choice, giving you the chance to play these old classics the way you were meant to: by emptying your wallet one (or in this case, two) quarters at a time.
Truth be told, I find the single round concept kind of interesting. Yeah, I know, microtransactions, horse armor, yada yada, but the option to play just one consecutive round of Centipede is an intriguing one, especially considering I never find myself wanting to play more than one round of Centipede in the first place. Honestly, though, I can’t think of an arcade game that can be completed on fewer than 6 tokens, so value-wise, buying for keeps is probably the way to go here. Either way, it’s better than the $5 Microsoft currently charges for these old games. Bonus!
The really crazy part, though? Microsoft announced at their press conference last night that they will have over 1,000 games available in Game Room within three years of its launch. That’s one thousand games. Like, damn. I didn’t even know there were 1,000 games.
Microsoft has already announced that new titles for Game Room will be released weekly, but with only 30 games and 3 companies onboard at launch, it sounds like Microsoft has some serious work ahead of them. Let’s see how this goes!
Readers! How do you see Game Room: a neat attempt to out-Home Home, or a shrewd move by Microsoft to reignite interest in lazy classic-era ports? Let us know in the comments!