NEWS - Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Xbox Live Arcade Interview

June 21, 2004 - The announcement of Xbox Live Arcade at E3 2004 was overshadowed by the big news of EA signing on to Xbox Live and a firm November 9 release date for Halo 2. Now that we have some distance from E3, it’s time to get serious about some of the other big stories from the show and give Xbox Live Arcade its due. In a way, Live Arcade is what Xbox Live was built for. Okay, so it was built for Halo 2 online, but it was also made to be a foundation for a gaming community. That’s why everyone has a sole Gamertag that identifies them for all time. Nothing says community like playing retro games or an unfriendly game of poker. With Live Arcade you can do that and a lot more. Coming this fall, Xbox Live Arcade will come as a free disc you can pick up at your local retailer and will also come packaged in with the Xbox Live Starter Kit. Though there will be some samplers on the disc, the majority of Live Arcade will require downloaded bundles or some cool titles -- some classics, others brand new. We spoke with Greg Canessa, Group Manager Xbox Casual Games, about the upcoming Xbox Live Arcade. What bundles can we expect? Will everything be playable head-to-head online? Can Hamsterball replace your love for Halo 2? Read our interview to find answers to all of these questions (minus the silly one about Hamsterball) and more. IGN Xbox: Why did Microsoft decide to create Xbox Live Arcade? Greg Canessa: There’s a lot to this question. We’re extremely proud of the success we’ve had with Xbox Live, but we think we’ve just scratched the surface of what’s possible in terms of appealing to the mass market. We see Xbox Live Arcade as an important strategic step in broadening the target audience for Live and the Xbox console. Additionally, I think that it has the potential to attract whole new types of users to console online gaming that aren’t otherwise online today. People who like playing games online but can’t commit the time to playing deeper retail titles, people who like playing more casual fare that isn’t really represented at retail, people who are looking for quick games to play on Live between their matches of Halo 2, people who like playing casual games on their PC but would like to play in the living room on their big screen with their family and friends -- these are all examples of folks who will be attracted to Xbox Live Arcade’s game offering. Our game portfolio will include classic stuff like retro arcade, old-school genres you can’t find anymore (like side scrolling shoot-em-ups and 2D platformers), and games like poker and pool -- games that even hard core gamers will think are cool, as well as broader appeal stuff that parents, girlfriends, wives, brothers, sisters, etc. will want to play. Be sure to read the rest of the interview here


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