[UPDATE] SAN FRANCISCO--Tonight, Microsoft threw a bash for the San Francisco games press at the half-swanky, half-funky Bambuddha Lounge in the city's Tenderloin district. The reason was to "kick off the Summer of Xbox Live" and show off the Xbox Live Arcade editions of several beloved arcade classics.
Though it was somewhat upstaged by a preemptively e-mailed press release earlier in the day, the party gave Microsoft a showcase to launch its summer Xbox promotion, "Xbox Live Arcade Wednesdays." Starting tonight at midnight PDT with the launch of Frogger, Digital Eclipse's reworking of the Konami arcade classic, a new Xbox Live Arcade game will debut on Marketplace each Wednesday until August 9.
July 19 will reportedly see the release of an all-new game, the 3D adventure/puzzle hybrid Cloning Clyde from NinjaBee. Then it's back to the old school with Namco's seminal space shooter Galaga, due July 26.
The following week will see one of the most anticipated Xbox Live Arcade releases yet. Both Microsoft and Capcom have confirmed that Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting will finally hit Marketplace on August 2. Capcom had originally indicated that the game would arrive in "early 2006." It is the first title from the publisher for Xbox Live Arcade and is a reworking of the early-'90s arcade classic Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting. If Hyper Fighting isn't old-school enough, August 9 will reportedly see one of the elder statesmen of the game world, Pac-Man, begin gobbling up ghosts on Marketplace.
Microsoft also used the San Francisco event to answer another question in the front of gamers' minds: How much will the latest wave of Xbox Live games cost? As expected, Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting will be pricier than its brethren, weighing in at 800 Marketplace points, or around $10. Cloning Clyde will bear the same price point, most likely due to the fact that it is a brand-new title.
However, old-school gamers present at the event breathed a sigh of relief when they heard that the other three Xbox Live Arcade games in the summer's first wave of releases--Galaga, Frogger, and Pac-Man--will cost just 400 Marketplace points (approximately $5).
So what happens after August 9? Microsoft reps on hand at tonight's event said that though they won't be able to guarantee a new Xbox Live Arcade game each Wednesday, the day will become the traditional launch day for any new titles on Marketplace.
XBOX LIVE WEDNESDAY RELEASES--all games become available at midnight PDT.
July 12 - Frogger, 400 points ($5)
July 19 - Cloning Clyde, 800 points ($10)
July 26 - Galaga, 400 points ($5)
August 2 - Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting, 800 points ($10)
August 9 - Pac-Man, 400 points ($5)