Microsoft opens up 360's Xbox Live Arcade

Launch games for console's pay-to-play games revealed; long list of publishers on board for support.

Microsoft has finally confirmed the launch games for the Xbox 360...sort of. Speaking at the Digital Life tech show in New York City, Microsoft corporate vice president Peter Moore announced the list of games that will be available on the Xbox Live Arcade service for the Xbox 360 through the holiday season.

The Xbox Live Arcade service lets gamers purchase and download arcade-style games directly to their hard drives. The service is part of the casual games movement, aimed at a broad audience. Pricing has not yet been announced, but most games are expected to sell for fewer than $20.

The titles range from games from the days of coin-op arcades to new content from up-and-coming developers. Classics such as Joust, Robotron 2084, and Smash TV will be available, as will remakes of simple yet addictive games like Crystal Quest (a popular Mac game) and Geometry Wars 2 (originally tucked away in Project Gotham Racing 2). Hexic HD, by Alexey Pajitnov, the creator of Tetris, will come preinstalled on every Xbox 360 with a hard drive.

The list of games is as follows:

Game Title – Publisher

Astropop – Popcap Games
Bankshot Billiards 2 – pixelStorm, Inc
Bejeweled 2 – Popcap Games
Crystal Quest – Stainless Games
Feeding Frenzy – Popcap Games
Gauntlet – Midway Home Entertainment
Geometry Wars 2 – Bizarre Creations
Hardwood Backgammon – Silver Creek Entertainment
Hardwood Hearts – Silver Creek Entertainment
Hardwood Spades – Silver Creek Entertainment
Hexic HD – Microsoft Game Studios
Hoopworld – Streamline Studios
Jewel Quest – iWin.com
Joust – Midway Home Entertainment
Marble Blast Ultra – GarageGames
Mutant Storm Reloaded – PomPom Games
Outpost Kaloki – Wahoo Studios
Robotron 2084 – Midway Home Entertainment
SmashTV – Midway Home Entertainment
Wik: Fable of Souls – Reflexive Entertainment
Zuma – Popcap Games

Each game will have a free playable demo for gamers to try out. Microsoft expects 35 more games to be available by next summer.

Moore also listed the publishers that will be contributing games to the Xbox Live Arcade service. They are:

Atari
Bizarre Creations
Capcom
Codemasters
CTXM
Digital Eclipse
Electronic Arts
Empire Interactive
Gaia Studios
GameHouse Studios
Garage Games
Gastronaut Studios
Hamster
Harmonix
HipSoft
Hudson Soft
iWin
Konami
Llamasoft
Load, Inc
Mad Doc Software
Majesco
Microsoft Game Studios
Midway Home Entertainment
Mumbo Jumbo (United Developers)
Naked Sky Entertainment
Namco
Oberon Media
Pick Up And Play
pixelStorm, Inc
PlayFirst
PomPom Games
Popcap Games
Q Entertainment
RealNetworks, Inc
Reflexive Entertainment
Secret Lair Studios
SEGA
Silver Creek Entertainment
SNK Playmore
Stainless Games
Streamline Studios
Tik Games
Ubisoft
uWink
Vivendi Universal Games
Wahoo Studios
Wanako Games
Wild Tangent

Xbox Live Arcade for the Xbox 360 will launch with the console on November 22. To access Xbox Live Arcade, 360 owners will need to have a working Xbox Live account.

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