Microsoft details Games on Demand, Avatar Marketplace

E3 2009: Over 30 games available at launch, including Mass Effect and Assassin's Creed; games re-downloadable for free on any machine, Halo, Fable, and Gears of War avatar costumes coming.

LOS ANGELES--On Monday, Microsoft announced a host of new Xbox Live services during its E3 2009 press conference. Today we had a chance to take a closer look at the most important changes coming to the Xbox Live Marketplace.

Soon avatars will get game-themed outfits from Fable and Gears of War.

As reported earlier this week, the Games on Demand feature will let Xbox 360 owners buy and download full games to their consoles using a credit or debit card, as well as Microsoft points. The service will launch with a library of more than 30 titles, including Mass Effect, BioShock, Assassin's Creed, Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga, and Sonic the Hedgehog. Today, Microsoft revealed it will be updating the Games on Demand store every week following launch, with prices "comparable" to retail. Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga was the only one priced, though, at $19.99.

However, the best part of Games on Demand is that the games players download--around 6GBs per game--will remain playable on any machine that can log in to the account on which the purchase was made. If a 360 gets damaged or lost, players can re-download them again on any machine at any time free of charge. This also applies to Xbox 360 owners who find they don't have enough space on their machines--they will simply be able to delete the downloaded games and re-download them at another time, also free of charge.

Microsoft also went into more detail about the new Avatar Marketplace, which will let 360 owners purchase clothing and interactive props for their avatars. There is a whole range that has been specifically designed with game content, including Halo, Fable II, and Gears of War 2, as well as third-party content, such as Splinter Cell. Owners can purchase T-shirts and caps with logos, as well as props relating to the games--we were shown a remote control Warthog from the Halo games. Microsoft is also working with real clothing labels to design avatar outfits that fit fashion trends, such as steampunk or "street." The cost of these items is about 80 Microsoft points ($1) for a T-shirt and 320 points ($4) for an interactive prop.

Stay tuned for more Microsoft news and updates during GameSpot's ongoing coverage of the Electronic Entertainment Expo.

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Discussion

234 comments
n8th8n
n8th8n

At least i wont have to leave my house to pick up a classic anymore :)

Sagacious_Tien
Sagacious_Tien

Games on Demand sounds great, but this literally kills of the Xbox Originals program, doesn't it?

tomcrole
tomcrole

what you guy dont seem to realise is microsft is a businces, there here to make money. so for all those who are leavin stupid comments micrsoft is not you frend who is doing this to make you happy there doing this to make MONEY

ztron370
ztron370

games on demand sounds awesome!

batmanboy11
batmanboy11

The games on demand sounds cool but I'd rather have a disc and the avatar thing is sweet (hopefully I can look like a Spartan II, ODST or Sam Fisher/ other Splinter Cells) but $1 for just one item and $4 for one prop ticks me off.

Aaron_Knuts1
Aaron_Knuts1

They should give all avatar outfits free to xbox LIVE gold customers or at least just $1 for a pack of clothes rather than just for one. Yah. I copy and pasted.

CheezeCrackerz
CheezeCrackerz

What!? I'm not gonna pay to put clothes on my avatar! They should have game-specific clothing become unlocked through the game's achievements! If they were smart and not greedy bastards that's what they would do!

Kiro92
Kiro92

They should give all avatar outfits free to xbox LIVE gold customers or at least just $1 for a pack of clothes rather than just for one.

undelicious
undelicious

Too bad 360 doesn't let you use externals like ps3 does. And believe me, I hate ps3. One major flaw that Microsoft just let slip away..

neutralbias
neutralbias

The thing I don't like about buying games direct to hard drive is that when I'm done with it, I can't trade it in for store credit...can I delete my games for D/L credit please?

Fodpea
Fodpea

I will get a few avatar clothing for T-Shirts but i say props should be $2 or $3 not $4

causticjones7
causticjones7

If you don't want Avatar clothes then don't buy them, should be an option to have naked avatars for those who wish to show there reluctance. Would make more sence if you could buy them with game points instead, so they were worth more than braggin' rights.

cluelesspug
cluelesspug

Gears clothes! I would be excited for the games on demand thing too, but considering that I only have 5GB left I won't be downloading any games.

firefrekypsycho
firefrekypsycho

and if you live in the middle of no-where (like me) and can only get live at a friends house... u cant u ANY dlc :(

4themob1
4themob1

Are none of you guys aware that Sony charges for just about every piece of content for your avatar or home space in home? This isn't new. Frankly, I'm surprised that MS gives anything for the avatars away. The best way to voice your approval or dismay, however, is to buy or not buy said content.

mpeg3s
mpeg3s

We need more hard drive space MS!

bigal1972
bigal1972

money, money, money!!! what are ya'll at microsoft going to do next, charge us to turn our systems on?and by the way; downloading full games to you're hdd is a bad idea because of the amount of space some of us have. how about rental on demand? that way we could rent them before we decide to buy them. but other than that i love the 360!!!

msudude211
msudude211

Good concept for the download on demand, but my HD wouldn't be able to hold a full game right now - I can barely save as it is. :P

sleepyj327
sleepyj327

Hold on... buy clothes for my Avatar? I still need to buy clothes for myself! I guess it will give me something to spend those extra 100 MS points on after buying with a points card

gmax
gmax

That could get pretty bandwidth intensive. Bandwidth caps from ISPs could really have an impact. And paying for virtual clothes... Don't get me started.

Junior_AIN
Junior_AIN

I still need a disc, I wouldn't buy like this. Hope this doesn't turn average. If I could I'd buy XBLA game at a store coming in a disc.

TheMisfits1829
TheMisfits1829

I would rather by a disc at gamestop or something. I just dont like the idea of downloading them. Untrustworthy

IcemanX5
IcemanX5

Games on Demand sounds great!!!! If my avatar wants a t-shirt let him get a job & buy it himself. Am spending my money on...you guess it Games

BLuFAlc0n
BLuFAlc0n

Mann... what a rip-off, 1-4$ for a virtual outfit... seriously.....that's very sad..... ...and fanvoys talks about gimmicky huh???

2fistsintheair
2fistsintheair

Gears, Fable and Halo gear sounds awesome. People rip on the avatars, but it's fun to make them and at least i can dress mine, unlike the mii's.

tyzwain
tyzwain

And knowing how much of a sucker I am for Fable stuff, I'll probably be getting the costumes. Sad...

jpsaply
jpsaply

I wonder how many people who posted here that are for the avatar outfits are actually women? :P If my wife was a gamer, she would probably be for it too, considering our closet is 90% hers.

gameking5000
gameking5000

"let 360 owners purchase clothing and interactive props for their avatars" I find it a rip off that you buy to buy new clothing and props

Stoneys_Rock
Stoneys_Rock

I think I'd spend a couple of MS points for a halo helmet for the avatar thing. :P Ideally I would have liked each game played on your machine unlocking a set piece of clothing related from that specific game but thats too much to work in.

Telekenesis123
Telekenesis123

I wont buy any of this stuff because I don't support this business model - it's not the way I want gaming to go. If you guys don't like it then please don't support it.

SSBFan12
SSBFan12

On demand thing sounds pretty cool!!!

Icehearted
Icehearted

Fist of all the first part of what you said is saying that we were saying what they said would happen all along. Now if we were surprised, you might have a point, but I don't think many of us were. Second, just because we do not like an idea doesn't mean we don't have the right to gripe about it. Nobody likes a swindler, but we all sure as heck like calling them on their jerk moves even when we're not falling for it. Third, I totally agree with you about not buying these clothes if we hate the idea so much. I'll say this though, and it really burns my buns, but I'll bet a lot of folks out there really will go for it. I hate that people will openly nickel and dime us and can get away with it, but I hate that people will willingly go for being nickel and dimed even more, which consequently gives credence to shenanigans like these.

mosesdg2001
mosesdg2001

I like how everyone on here is saying things like I knew Microsoft would start charging for clothes, when in fact from the start they said they would. Soooooooooo surprise!!!!......Wait no it actually was expected. haha!!! You guys crack me up talking, but not reading or in this case listening to what is happening. If you have a problem with paying for clothing for your avatars, guess what!? don't buy it. Crazy concept huh!!?

andalore
andalore

I hoped theyd give the option to buy clothing for games that you dont own and for the games you do own have the option to earn the clothes through achievements, Id like to earn my items, but from a buisness POV its not very good

brila
brila

I hope microsoft will make a bigger hdd to the x360, so we don't need to delete and download games again.

Icehearted
Icehearted

And so the Avatar cash grab begins.

pakhair
pakhair

Good News............

imprezawrx500
imprezawrx500

awesome finally some real downloadable games on consoles. This needs to grow till all new games are available through download like with steam. They are really going to need to release a bigger hdd though. 120gb wont last long.

Zloth2
Zloth2

So I guess these means our chances of, you know, making our OWN clothing instead of wearing advertisements is out of the question? Downloading games sounds OK but it still seems like it would be faster to just pop over to a real store and get the game. Might be good for old classics. What I really want to hear about is this Natal thing!

BrassMonkey
BrassMonkey

i'm not going to even use one anymore.

Gizmoduck213
Gizmoduck213

whoever buys clothing for their avatars must have no life

BrassMonkey
BrassMonkey

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

BrassMonkey
BrassMonkey

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Killer6b9
Killer6b9

It is starting....the next generation of gaming where you will download all your games. I can see it now. Gamestops not being able to resell games for twice what they paid for them and screwing the developer out of money. I am going to predict that the new game systems that come out will have massive hard drives and you will no longer go to your local game store to purchase that new game you have been waiting to play. Personally I am all for this as there will be chance to lose, damage, or have your games stolen.