Typically, Microsoft lets each Wednesday's Xbox Live Arcade launch plans remain a mystery until Monday morning. But when the company lays out a month's worth of releases at once--as it did with the original Xbox Live Arcade Wednesday program and last year's Summer of Arcade--it peppers the schedule with highly anticipated releases.
Xbox Live director of programming Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb today announced Microsoft's 2009 Summer of Arcade, a series of five games set to be released over five weeks in July and August. The promotion starts off July 22 with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time Re-shelled, a 3D remake of the four-player arcade game. The other revamped quarter gobbler in the lineup arrives July 29, as Marvel vs. Capcom 2 takes its 2D tag-team fighting online. (Capcom has yet to confirm the game's PlayStation 3 launch date.)
With both remakes out of the way, the August Summer of Arcade lineup will feature original titles, starting with Twisted Pixel Games' volatile platformer Splosion Man on August 5. The season will then draw to a close with the August 12 release of the motorcycle platformer Trials HD and August 19's Shadow Complex. Debuted during Microsoft's E3 press conference this year, Shadow Complex is a side-scrolling action adventure title developed by Chair Entertainment and Epic Games.
Notably absent from the list is Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment's The Watchmen: The End Is Nigh Part 2. When asked why that game was set to launch on the Xbox 360 August 26--a month after its PC and PS3 counterparts--a WBIE representative told GameSpot it was pushed back for the program.
[UPDATE]: Hryb updated his post with a schedule change. The release dates for Splosion Man and Turtles in Time Re-Shelled have been swapped. The updated schedule and prices for the second Summer of Arcade are listed below:
July 22--Splosion Man--800 Microsoft points ($10)
July 29--Marvel vs. Capcom 2--1,200 Microsoft points ($15)
August 5--Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time Re-shelled--1,200 Microsoft points ($15)
August 12--Trials HD--1,200 Microsoft points ($15)
August 19--Shadow Complex--1,200 Microsoft points ($15)