Microsoft working on Xbox 360 Avatar arcade?

Source: Joystiq reports that Microsoft is looking into creating a virtual arcade for players' Avatar characters, citing a consumer survey sent in by a tipster. What we heard: There isn't much to go on in the Joystiq report, aside from a couple of pictures of the supposed Avatar arcade and a...

Source: Joystiq reports that Microsoft is looking into creating a virtual arcade for players' Avatar characters, citing a consumer survey sent in by a tipster.

What we heard: There isn't much to go on in the Joystiq report, aside from a couple of pictures of the supposed Avatar arcade and a question asking users to pick a name that would most encourage them "to purchase the product."

Fortunately, the pictures themselves offer some clues as to what's going on. They show a handful of Avatars standing at Atari-branded arcade cabinets, similar to the virtual game parlors in PlayStation Home. However, instead of containing joysticks and buttons, the control panels on each of the cabinets have been replaced by Atari 2600 machines. All but one of the marquees on the cabinets are unreadable, with the lone legible title being Baseball.

It isn't just Atari on display in the Avatar arcade, however. Partially obscured banners hanging from the wall suggest that Intellivision games like Shark! Shark! and Star Strike will also be available for play in the Avatar arcade. (A version of Star Strike was also released for the Atari 2600.)

Along the bottom of the screenshots are a series of nearly unreadable button prompts, apparently indicating that players will be able to customize their own arcades, change themes, and edit which machines are in the room.

The significance of an Avatar arcade is debatable. Even if everything in the Joystiq article is accurate, this could be something as mundane as a shell from which players can buy other games (like Hasbro Family Game Night), or as big as a virtual space for Avatars to congregate, Microsoft's answer to PlayStation Home.

The official story: An inquiry to Atari wasn't returned as of press time, but a Microsoft rep said the company "can't comment on rumor or speculation."

Bogus or not bogus?: Looks a little complex to be completely bogus. The fact that Sony is already doing something in Home provides motivation for the move, as does the chance to remonetize old Atari 2600 games. (With its listing revenues, the publisher could use the cash.) And with Microsoft already selling Avatar toys, a virtual arcade would be a logical next step down microstransaction lane.

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Discussion

127 comments
chiefenator
chiefenator

Seriously, whats the point of them damn avatars anyway.

majere613
majere613

Meh. Frankly I find Home to be pretty much a waste of time and HD space and I only got NXE the other week because a mate wanted to try out his newly-bought ODST and it was on the disc. I'm sure all this fluff sells consoles to someone, but not me.

OF-5
OF-5

All these stupid mii avatar things are stupid anyway they should just focus on the games dammit:P

retospectre
retospectre

GREAT THATS ALL WE NEED. MICRO$OFT CHARGING US FOR SOMETHING PS3 OWNERS ALREADY GET FOR FREE.

dockholidaiy
dockholidaiy

Avatar home would be cool if they used the unreal engine and made the graphics great. Give are avatars weapons and let us go at it splinter cell style.

Glade_Gnarr
Glade_Gnarr

Avatars suck! Miis can be fun for a while though, like 5 minutes, but home and avatars were boring since the second they came up with (read "ripped off) them.

Joshua250
Joshua250

You're a playstation fan but home isn't good. Well, this is Microsoft and for the past couple of years they've been keeping their gaming promises. I wish I could say the same the same about Windows. Oh well, Ubuntu and XP is all I need anyway.

snakes3425
snakes3425

And thus the one up manship continues

dkpunk
dkpunk

"Im a playstation fan" all you had so say punch ;)

chikahiro94
chikahiro94

Well, all I know is I want to see SNK games in that format. Old ones like King of the Monsters, Nam, etc. PSN and XBL, of course.

punchultimate
punchultimate

plus home is free and knowing microsoft this will cost a little to a marginal amount of money

punchultimate
punchultimate

its funny how all the 360 fans bash home and some/a lot of them are excited about this. Im a playstation fan but home isn't very good. the new update made it sound cool because now you can launch games with friends directly from home but still its not that special and this doesn't look that cool either

joshboy101
joshboy101

meh w/e whose actually gonna buy this?

frazzle00
frazzle00

@kamizuka Cool. I was just replying to his nonsense :P.

Manatassi
Manatassi

@deadkingdg I dont mind complaints its the endless stream of negativity on these comments. I would hardly call the vast majority of it anything like constructive. It it also clear that most of it comes from the younger users of the site who still live under the impression that negativity is cool somehow. Complaining wont change anything if it isn't constructive, and the people I am talking about simply make the ones who have a valid point look like part of a childish group of spoilt brats who mouth of to look cool. This gets any genuine sentiment dismissed out f hand as part of the dross. The point is mute however as the complaints on here have been whining and abuse that other people don't like the same thing the complainers do. Thats just childish.

NuKkU
NuKkU

cool i guess

kca89
kca89

Looks cool, but odds are it will cost yet even more Microsoft points to the simplest things like customizing your arcade machine. If the price is low enough and the games decent, I may take a look at this, otherwise I'll be enjoying other games.

squidracerX
squidracerX

Maybe SONY can see what they do and fix HOME, I was excited about home, went on once said WTF!? and have never touched it again (except a few time i clicked it by accident had to wait for it to load and then exited wasting my time!) But yeah a feature where all your DLC games would be set up like an arcade or something, that would be really cool. SONY dont be modest, if they do anything cool with this copy the heck out of it!!!!

PixelAddict
PixelAddict

Sounds fine to me. Not saying I'll ever pay for a play at invisible-bank-shot-tanks a la the Atari 2600, but I like having the option. Just in case I get all impulsive and retro one night.

GunzaBlazing
GunzaBlazing

i took a survey and it talked about this.

-Celeste-
-Celeste-

Unless they give me an ability to jack into XBL ala matrix style, i'm not going to partake in this ...

Richkat
Richkat

I’m willing to pay a small sum of money, anything up to $30 to have a Xbox Lite OS where it switch my xbox back to the pre-avatar OS where live account never took 30+ seconds on a bad day to go from selecting something to the detail blades.

Get_Shorty
Get_Shorty

*rolles eyes* Whyyy? I guess they figure we gotta do more with our Avatars.

Gameboy2k
Gameboy2k

Bout time. It made sense the moment we were able to create them. However... I'd like to see them in interactive items, like a Mario-kartesque type environment. Note to Microsoft....Make gaming fun... why do you think the Wii is winning? I love fragging, but I love Mario-kart too. Billions of dollars and you guys cant figure this out. Shame.

Generalmojo
Generalmojo

they might aswell make Home like Sony did, instead of creating crap bit by bit!

another_drew
another_drew

I personally think this is a pretty good idea. But in my opinion, (and don't call me fanboy I wwwwaaayy prefer the 360 over ps3), Playstation Home is alot better than Live's avatars. I mean comon what are they really except little characters that stand there on your screen doing nothing. Sure some games implement them but theres really no freedom with them. At least with Home you can explore, have an "apartment", go tothe mall play some chess with stranger, bowl with some friends, have a good game of pool, or hey even play the arcade machines at the bowling alley. This is what MS should strive for with their avatars in my opinion.

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

I wouldn't pay for this service. Depending on the games and if there are full-purchase options, I pay 1 MSP per play as stated by @HFViking55. I really don't predict that being the case for me, though. Playstation Home is much more than an arcade. The games in home can be fun and are unique. They're not all re-hashes of 20-year-old games. That's not to say that service is the greatest. But Home is free and has a lot more to it than is suggested in this rumor. _

Gen007
Gen007

i dont see why people are so upset over this its about time MS starting ripping off the other 2. I mean they have stolen plenty from MS and its not like your forced to use this stuff it it only adds to your possibilities. If you dont like it dont use it simple but im sure it will be huge if this is real.

HFViking55
HFViking55

@Ovirew I wouldn't mind paying one or two microsoft points (especially for those who have to spend 79 pts on a song on their Zunes) to play a "credit's" worth of an old arcade game. It would be much more feasible than buying a game for 800 pts and only playing it a couple times every month or so, not to mention the HDD space it would occupy.ww

Ovirew
Ovirew

It doesn't really sound that appealing to me. We have XBLA, we have games where avatars can be used to play the game, so what good could an avatar hub-world really be?

xDjEpYOnx
xDjEpYOnx

I could into this if they flesh it out more, PS Home is similar if that's all MS is gonna dp with their 'Avatar Arcade'. I would like to see something develop into the avatars as a MMORPG or Sims-like experience with my avatar, maybe with your live friends you can get together and do objectives or missions. I like the avatars, as cheesy as they can be, its all about creating a space for gamers to interact and be a community, so what's wrong with that?

enoslives7
enoslives7

I cant believe suckers actually pay monthly fees for this crap.

deadkingdg
deadkingdg

@Manatassi I get your point. I also have a good income and pay for a lot of ridiculous stuff. I bought a lot of DLC content, such as the VS mode of RE5. Played it for an hour or two then never played it again. But unlike avatar content, I can actually do something with it. That it is good or not is a different story, but it doesn't just stand there looking pretty. I don't buy those sort of things for my appartment and I won't for my avatar. And about people liking to complain, that's half true. Yes, a lot of people complain for nothing, but on the other side, they shouldn't just eat everything just because they are told to. If something doesn't make us happy, you have the right to complain. Complaints are what brings improvements. If no one complains about certain stuff missing or certain stuff not being done right, then nothing will be done about it. Yes, chances are that they'll listen are extremely small, but a chance is better than not.

TripSe7en
TripSe7en

Well it can't get any worse than Home, although I am not completely sold on the need for an Avatar Arcade just yet...

Shawcross
Shawcross

This could be a great concept actually. Would be nice to be able to walk around and play games in a virtual arcade and even better if every other player in the "Arcade" was on a open mic so you could talk while playing (with the option to mute other players -_-") I hope that Microsoft doesn't try to make a "Home" style of online service since Home is pretty boring after like 10 minutes unless your chilling with a friend.

CodingGenius
CodingGenius moderator

Star Strike? What an odd choice for an Intellivision game. What about Astrosmash, Lock 'n' Chase, AD&D?

kamizuka
kamizuka

@frazzle00 dude you got me wrong you posted lots of comments to EVILD0GS and i am telling you that you should only prove your point to him ones

fps_d0minat0r
fps_d0minat0r

wont beat playstation home. these pathetic avatars keeps reminding me of the wii. i dont know why they make it look bad when the xbox has more capability then this and their charging for XBL, i wonder where the funds are going.......it doesnt show looking at the avatars.

Manatassi
Manatassi

You know, there is a reason I rarely comment on stories online. I happen to have bought the much maligned light saber for my avatar. Why? because i have that income to dispose of any way I feel like doing so and happen to like the way my guy looks standing there with it. The funny thing is that all you people who moan and whine are a tiny minority who linger in obscurity at the bottom of pages on sites like Gamespot and IGN, trying to be cool by hating everything. What you might find out a little later on when you have grown up and have to live in the real world with other adults is that being completely negative and judgemental about every popular Movie, Game or piece of music doesn't make you cool. It simply makes you a jerk who has a hard time making friends who aren't other jerks. Some people like to look for the best in things and enjoy things without having to be cynical for the sake of it, sometimes popular things or things that have no use other than to look pretty can be fun for people. I would rather live in a world where every time there is news on a games website the knee jerk response isn't "this is s*it we hate it." How can you expect anyone who is making the products to take you seriously when all you do is spout badly written abuse? If you really care then let people know in an informed and constructive form of criticism that doesn't involve attacking people's preferences or beliefs.

frazzle00
frazzle00

@kamizuka I have never claimed my opinion to be fact. If i have prove it. I agree with you that spending money on avatars is wasteful. That however is simply my opinion, as it is yours. It doesn't mean there aren't gamers out there who do think such transactions are worthwhile, and it also doesn't mean that we have the right to belittle them for not sharing our view. EVILD0GS thinks that there is "something wrong" with people who spend money on their avatars. What doesn't cross his narrow mind is that there are gamers out there, who do spend money on their avatars, who think exactly the same way about him and everyone else who doesn't invest in their avatar. So who is right? ;)

kamizuka
kamizuka

@frazzle00 of someone thinks thats his opinion is a fact you should only tell them ones I (ME) thinks it is stupit to spend money on your avatar or the crap in PSHome

jadefury27
jadefury27

Like many many things on xbox live this is a good idea...in theory. If the game selection is there then cool. As far as the avatars go they are simply personal expression. I can't lie i geeked out for the cog armor and carmine helmet but like 300 to 500 pts for a remote controlled warthog in nuts. these should've been things you unlock for completing certain achievements. live is already $50 a year, please stop nickel and diming us.

deadkingdg
deadkingdg

Yeah, I also hated that I HAD to make one. I couldn't just skip it and keeping the default one was even worse, so I had to make one up. I feel bad now. I just want to play some great games and talk with friends. If Nintendo's jump off a bridge, MS would follow, just because they can. Personally, they don't need to follow the competition's bad ideas.

taylormadederek
taylormadederek

Do people actually like these Avatars? They are f*!ng g@y. It is complete nonsense to have one. I really don't like it at all. I actually haven't heard of a single person who does like it. \ \ Thanks for a crap update and a crap idea Microsoft, that you MAKE everyone participate in. From my small, weak survey you have NO one that agrees with you.

frazzle00
frazzle00

@EVILD0GS I am not contradicting myself. Dude you seriously need to learn to read better. In your original post you said: "but if a person is entertained by the fact that they paid 5 bucks for a light saber so your avatar looks cool using it, there's got to be something wrong with that person, more so if they get angry about what i just said" Here you are abusing people for not sharing your opinion. This is why I made my comment directed at you. I have never said you're wrong to hate avatars. I don't care if you hate avatars (I don't really care about avatars either). You are WRONG to ASSUME that there is something WRONG with people who do LIKE them. For the last time little buddy, grow up,

Thorpe89
Thorpe89

I think this has the potential but sometimes I just like to jump right into a game without virtually walking over to it.