Xbox Live Marketplace, Arcade pricing finalized

Microsoft's online store will sell themes for $1.87, pictures for $0.25-$0.75, Arcade games for $5-$15.

With exactly one week to go until the Xbox 360 launches, Microsoft has finalized the pricing structure for the Xbox Live Marketplace. Going all the way back to the 2005 Game Developers Conference, Microsoft has hyped this new service, which will allow gamers to buy online items via "microtransactions." These small purchases will also provide new revenue streams, theoretically making the Xbox 360 more attractive to publishers and developers than its rivals.

But while online retailers have been selling cards of 1,600 Xbox Live Marketplace points for $19.99 for weeks, it was unclear exactly what 360 owners could get for their money. Today, Microsoft finalized the pricing structure for the content available on the Marketplace, which can be accessed by subscribers to both the free Xbox Live Silver and the paid Xbox Live Gold services.

Starting November 22, the Xbox Live Marketplace will hawk both 360 dashboard personalization features and Xbox Live Arcade games. Using the exchange rate of 1 point = $0.01249375 set by the $19.99, 1,600-point card, the cost of 360 personalization features seems slightly higher than the nickel-and-dime price points anticipated by many.

Pictures for 360 gamer profiles will begin at 20 points ($0.25) for games such as Amped 3, Call of Duty 2, and Gun. However, gamers who want logos from their favorite NFL and FIFA teams on their profile will have to pay three times as much, or 60 points ($0.75) a pop. Madden NFL 06 will offer a collection of team-logo game pictures for 500 points ($6.25), while various non-sports titles will feature bundles of five pictures for 80 points ($1).

Gamers who want to personalize their entire 360 dashboard will have to pay a premium for the privilege. Game-specific dashboard themes will cost 150 points ($1.87) each, as will those sporting the logo of a single NFL or FIFA team.

Also on Microsoft's Xbox Live Marketplace menu was a "Winter Warrior Pack" for Kameo: Elements of Power. Though the title sounds like some sort of content update, the price--just 200 points ($2.49)--is more in line with some sort of personalization feature. Requests for clarification from Microsoft were unanswered as of press time.

Microsoft also revealed a three-tiered pricing plan for Xbox Live Arcade games. As of November 22, the service will offer eight 400-point ($5) games, including traditional tabletop games (Hardwood Backgammon, Hardwood Hearts, Hardwood Spades), arcade classics (Gauntlet, Joust, Robotron 2084, Smash TV), and others (Geometry Wars Evolved). For 800 points ($10), gamers can buy the newer titles Bejeweled 2, Mutant Storm Reloaded, Outpost Kaloki, Wik: Fable of Souls, and Zuma. Only one game, PixelStorm's Bankshot Billiards 2, will sell at the highest XBL Arcade price level of 1,200 points ($15). To download any of the Xbox Live Arcade games or Xbox Live Marketplace content, players must have an Xbox 360 equipped with a hard drive.

Not everything available on Xbox Live Marketplace will cost money. Microsoft will offer trailers for all launch games for free, along with four demos (FIFA Soccer 06, Kameo: Elements of Power, Need for Speed Most Wanted, and Peter Jackson's King Kong). Also, each 360 hard drive comes with the XBL Arcade game Hexic preinstalled for free.

Microsoft also said a variety of other content, including high-definition movie trailers (Aeon Flux and Pulse) and music videos (Franz Ferdinand's "Do You Want To" and Audioslave's "Show Me How to Live") will be downloadable via the Xbox Live Marketplace. The service will also offer a variety of gamer-specific content, including gamer pictures and desktop themes from popular online comic-fan site Penny Arcade, as well as selections from the Red vs. Blue Halo machinima series. No pricing for any of the non-game-related content was announced.

A complete list of Xbox Live Marketplace and Xbox Live Arcade prices is below:

XBOX LIVE MARKETPLACE

Amped 3 (2K Sports)
--Game Trailer (free)
--10 Gamer Pictures (20 points each = $0.25 each)
--1 Theme (150 points = $1.87)

Call of Duty 2 (Activision)
--Game Trailer (free)
--7 Gamer Pictures (20 points each = $0.25 each)
--2 Gamer Picture Bundles (40-80 points each = $0.50-$1 each)
--1 Theme (150 points = $1.87)

Condemned: Criminal Origins (Sega)
--Game Trailer (free)
--10 Gamer Pictures (20 points each = $0.25 each)
--1 Theme (150 points = $1.87)

FIFA 06: Road to 2006 FIFA World Cup (Electronic Arts)
--Game Trailer (free)
--EA Sports Trailer (free)
--Game Demo (free)
--FIFA Team Logo Gamer Pictures (60 points each = $0.75 each)
--FIFA Team Logo Themes (150 points each = $1.87 each)

Gun (Activision)
--Game Trailer (free)
--5 Gamer Pictures (20 points each = $0.25 each)
--1 Gamer Picture Bundle (80 points = $1)
--1 Theme (150 points = $1.87)

Kameo: Elements of Power (Microsoft Game Studios/Rare)
--Winter Warrior Pack (200 points = $2.50)
--Game Trailer (free)
--Game Demo (free)
--4 Gamer Pictures (20 points each = $0.25 each)
--2 Gamer Picture 5-pack Bundles (80 points each = $1 each)
--7 Themes (150 points each = $1.87 each)

Madden NFL 06 (Electronic Arts)
--Game Trailer (free)
--EA Sports Trailer (free)
--NFL Logo Gamer Pictures (60 points each = $0.75 each)
--Collection of All NFL Logo Gamer Pictures (500 points = $6.25)
--NFL Logo Themes (150 points each = $1.87 each)

NBA 2K6 (2K Sports)
--Game Trailer (free)

NBA Live 06 (Electronic Arts)
--EA Sports Trailer (free)
--Game Demo (free)

Need for Speed Most Wanted (Electronic Arts)
--Game Trailer (free)
--Game Demo (free)

NHL 2K6 (2K Sports)
--Game Trailer (free)

Perfect Dark Zero (Microsoft Game Studios / Rare)
--Game Trailer (free)

Peter Jackson’s King Kong (Ubisoft)
--Game Demo (free)
--Game Trailer (free)

Project Gotham Racing 3 (Microsoft Game Studios and Bizarre Creations Ltd.)
--Game Trailer (free)

Quake 4 (Activision / id / Raven)
--Game Trailer (free)
--7 Gamer Pictures (20 points each = $0.25 each)
--1 Theme (150 points = $1.87)

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 (Electronic Arts)
--EA Sports Trailer (free)

Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland (Activision)
--Game Trailer (free)
--10 Gamer Pictures (20 points each = $0.25 each)
--1 Gamer Picture Bundle (80 points = $1)
--1 Theme (150 points = $1.87)

XBOX LIVE ARCADE

--Bankshot Billiards 2 (1,200 points = $12.50)--PixelStorm
--Bejeweled 2 (800 points = $10)--Popcap
--Gauntlet (400 points = $5)--Midway
--Geometry Wars Evolved (400 points = $5)--Bizzare Creations
--Hardwood Backgammon (400 points = $5)--Silver Creek
--Hardwood Hearts (400 points = $5)--Silver Creek
--Hardwood Spades (400 points = $5)--Silver Creek
--Joust (400 points = $5)--Midway Home Entertainment
--Mutant Storm Reloaded (800 points = $10)--PomPom
--Outpost Kaloki (800 points = $10)--Wahoo
--Robotron 2084 (400 points = $5)--Midway
--Smash TV (400 points = $5)--Midway
--Wik: Fable of Souls (800 points = $10--Reflexive
--Zuma (800 points = $10)--Popcap

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Discussion

81 comments
blink-jfg
blink-jfg

I Liked All The Old Quake Games So I Should Definitely Like This

jtatfsu
jtatfsu

I think everyone is barking up the wrong tree with complaints about prices. The proper complaint isn't about "prices" it's about control. I got an XBOX 360 yesterday and I'm already pissed off about the extreme control MS has exerted over the interface to prevent free customization. Why can't I use my own f*#&$($ picture as an avatar? It's perfectly legitimate for MS to sell people lameass pictures to use in their gamertag for 25 cents, but to make paying MS the ONLY WAY to customize your screen is bound to piss people off. This is exactly the reason why I would never buy an I-pod. Thankfully there are other pmp's out there that do not require you to use proprietary encoding. XBOX 360, however, is the only next-gen game in town and a bargain at 400 bucks if you ask me. So does everyone get what I'm saying? Selling avatars on marketplace is OK, but you should at least allow users to manipulate their product that they own by using their own pictures. A related complaint I have is that the media extender capability requires MS Media Center. This is ridiculous. MS should just admit that creating an enitrely new operating system to do what one could already do by adding software to an existing operating system was a very stupid idea. In conclusion, there is nothing wrong with wanting to make as much possible: it's the american way! However, there comes a point when the attempt to coerce people for giving you more money becomes distasteful and in fact counterproductive. The best way to get people to like your product is to keep them from thinking about the money they're spending on it. With the XBOX 360, I can't but be reminded every time I play that I'm being marketed to at every instant I'm using it. Is the millions of quarters Microsoft is making off of avatars worth this result? In my opinion, no way. I eagerly look forward to the day when the XBOX 360 is hacked so I can take my rightful place as the master of the machine that I purchased. My house, my rules.

Sho-Down
Sho-Down

I hope not, it takes FOREVER just downloading the demos. There's no telling how long it would take to download a complete game.

GameGuru0426
GameGuru0426

Yeah well i have my own ideas.....i think that eventually we COULD have every game able to be bought DIRECTLY from xbox live and that could possibly remove game stores all together and you should be able to upgrade your xbox live subscription just by paying for it there at home.....just an idea

GameGuru0426
GameGuru0426

Yeah well i have my own ideas.....i think that eventually we COULD have every game able to be bought DIRECTLY from xbox live and that could possibly remove game stores all together and you should be able to upgrade your xbox live subscription just by paying for it there at home.....just an idea

CaptainCrazy
CaptainCrazy

This is great and all but all this stuff really has nothing to do with gaming and is basically a waste of money. They nickle and dime you to death selling pictures and themes. If you have a PC all this comes absolutely free. I guess its the price you pay for turning your console into a glorified PC.

Deezul
Deezul

Why does everyone keep saying "XBOX Live should be free." Um, Silver Live accounts are free. So extra games and extra content costs money. And this is new? Hello, companies release add on packs all the time, for $15-$20. I'll just be happy that there is regular fresh content on there periodically. A few more games have shown up since launch, but all the promised Demos and XBOX Live games haven't shown up yet.

dheuermann
dheuermann

Microsoft is setting up this pricing structure to prepare people for convergance when you must pay for everything. By that point we should be used to paying for everything. This is the start of it. Let the games begin.

shinobi6
shinobi6

How much are they charging you for xbox live on the xbox360?

comptech11
comptech11

You guys are retards, you think that the 360 is soo expencive but the truth is sony has sucky online gaming and the ps3 is $700 !!!!! thats where the mony goes. the 360 rocks

yoniatar56
yoniatar56

I think this is pretty amazing. They should also offer patches for games, to get new maps & guns for fps... bumpers, vinyls and side skirts (etc) for nfs series, basically ways to get a better gaming experience and never get bored of the game. If they offered that, the xbox live system would have been perfect :D But this is still good :)

ukspartan
ukspartan

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

metalman116
metalman116

All i hear is abunch of whiners, the marketplace is there for people who want to use it.. noone is forcing you to buy a .25 cent avatar. And.. the idea behind the marketplace is that you can sell stuff to other players.. create your own content.. like lets say you make a killer map for a shooter.. you can pop it on the marketplace and watch as people buy it left in right.. tell me if im wrong.. but thats what i was lead to believe.. now.. how the heck is that a bad thing?

Fantact
Fantact

Pay for pictures? Give me a f*ckn break! I do hope the pirates crack the system so we can transfer avatars and themes from a PC, think how cool it would be to design you own themes and post them on the internet!

R3B311I0N
R3B311I0N

Prices seem pretty steep, hopefully some stuff will go on "sale" after being out for a while...

stiker71
stiker71

and this is y im buying a ps3...

conkersbat
conkersbat

damn. games already cost less than a hundred dollars and now they charge for little things? how stupid. thank god I'm waiting a year after launch so everything's cheap. who's with me?

defyance3
defyance3

Free demos are always a plus:)

FirmW2
FirmW2

Will gauntlet be multiplayer over XBL? If so that would own hard.

T_Souza
T_Souza

i have a job at 8 bucks an hour, and i'm still scraping all i own together to get this system. luckily, a couple of the game demos will be free, so i can actually play something on this system when i get it. and the themes idea sounds pretty kick-a**

aja_mzc
aja_mzc

No offense but maybe Bill G. forgot what It was like to be a normal person, (finacially). I like the free demo's but the old games and the other high priced things I don't like. I hate to rag on Micro but all I'm hearing is money. I'm still going to buy a 360 but only because I think that games are going to be worth it in the future. I think they might be taking advantage of the hardcore gamers out there that they know are willing to pay for the online services and who knows what, in order to get a great gaming experiance. I myself am not a hardcore gamer, but I do like to play, especially with my friend and family. But, I'm not falling for the high priced goods, except maybe XBL.

LiliShake
LiliShake

And Xbox Live, that's one of their money-makers too.

LiliShake
LiliShake

I love all of the people in here who are talking about the 360 being "SOO expensive." The PS3 won't be expensive? The games won't be $60? The PS3's free online experience won't be substandard when compared to Live? Merrill Lynch released an estimated breakdown of the costs of the components which will make up the 360 and the PS3. Each 360 WITH an HDD costs about $340 to make. Each PS3 will cost $495 to make WITHOUT an HDD. In order to price the PS3 competitively, Sony will have to take SIGNIFICANT losses on each system sold. Given Sony's current financial system, it seems doubtful they would risk losing that money. Controller costs are not included in the figures. The PS3's production cost is likely to change from that but I doubt significantly. Ownage. Oh, and about the marketplace: it's business, the point is to make money, and considering all the Doo-dads that the 360 premium pack comes with (the HDD only costs $25 to make causing the core to be at a loss too) there is definitely a loss there. It's left to the games and the marketplace. I want avatars, I've got quite a few quarters, cool. Themes seem reasonable. I spend more at McDonald's way too often. Free demos and trailers. Sweet. Arcade games? Meh, I might pick up 1 or two, who knows. Geometry Wars sounds cool.

mythrol
mythrol

When I first read the game pricing I thought it was a bit high, but now that I think about it, I don't think so. How much does it cost to buy Bejeweled 2 for your cell phone? $7.99+ not counting the transfer fees. While $15 for pool I think is still a bit high, to someone that really likes the game, they'll pay it. Also, "ps3 online service is free." Shut up. How many online gaming services are good that are free? Diablo 2 was free to play online, and it got hacked pretty bad. PSO was free, and it got hacked pretty bad. Socom was free, and it lagged out the ass. I'm sorry but I'd rather pay $70 A YEAR and get QUALITY service, than not pay anything and get CRAP. Plus, not ALL PS games were free to play online. FFXI costs $12.50 a month. Stupid Fan Boy's don't even know their own system. They didn't say anything about whether or not you'd beable to load your own custom avatars and themes or not, so why are people speculating already saying that you can't? They could very well allow you to do just that.

doggymon
doggymon

can't wait to try out the demos... very good idea to offer demos for free. i hope they'll keep doing that!

tiny_spartan
tiny_spartan

Man, SmashTV for $5... oh well at least its not 15, good thing demos are free

Headhunter01
Headhunter01

I must say, the arcade game prices seem a little high but I wouldn't want to play them anyway, so I don't really care. Every thing else seems fairly priced though. And if you don't want to fork over 25 cents for personalization, then don't, but at least they leave the option open for you. I think it's a really cool idea with a fair price. Why do people worry about whether or not Microsoft will "go down" anyway? If you buy the system and like it then play the damn thing. Who cares about the welfare of the developer? You shouldn't because they don't really care about you.

grunt188
grunt188

what about a Halo 2 theme or gamer pictures???

Jarlaxle0204
Jarlaxle0204

They have the price for Bankshot Billiards 2 wrong in the lower section. If 400 points = $5.00 then 1200 points should equal $15.00. Instead they have it listed as $12.50. I'd also like to add that, that price is a little ridiculous.

JasonQ87
JasonQ87

MicroSoft is up poop creek. They are going down, (financially). If it wasn't for Billionaire Bill Gates, they'd be broke. Every XBox they sell they lose over 100 dollars. And now, the XBox 360 games will be from 60-90 dollars. So they need money and want to charge for every little thing. And to top it off, when PS3 comes out, they are even more dead.

GredegHeado-san
GredegHeado-san

$15 for an arcade game, eh? Ugh. And I don't think Nintendo will be any better with their old game downloads either. I hate paying for old games. My golden rule is 10 years. Any games older than that... I help myself.

foxxfella2000
foxxfella2000

.25 for an advatar!! 60 bucks for games. What next, you gonna charge me a nickle to turn on the thing! not to mention if you pay with a credit card your financing for thumbnaill picture? Keep feeding the jolly green giant while he's raping your pockets with his jolly green..............Oh forget it!

MechaLash
MechaLash

Well as long as the demos are free. I could care less about pictures, personalize etc.

trj156
trj156

btw TheAbbot, xbox magazine said that there is no way to transfer saved games from xbox to xbox360

trj156
trj156

woohoo demos no more waiting for my xbox magazine

MegaBeau
MegaBeau

as if $60 weren't enough..........hmmmm............................Smash tv $5? I hope nintendo prices it's downloadable games for revo cheaper than that. i think i have spades and hearts for free on my computer and i wont have to use a clunky controller to play them with. for christ's sake..........

PR3D4TOR2
PR3D4TOR2

coool system everyone :) :) am so impressed about Xbox360 it totaly rulzzzz i dont care about market things becuse many of you ppl will buy a card to play Xbox360 LIVE so if you buy a card you will get free points :) dont worry when you will see it will be AWSOME trust me :) omg omg omg this console is soooooooooooooooo AWSOME omg .........cooooool..........

TheAbbot
TheAbbot

Does anyone know if there will be a way to get XBox hard drive saves for games onto a xbox 360? Backwards compatibility is great but not as impressive if I can't take my saved games over

dude_12
dude_12

wow, what great prices now my rich ass can go buy a lot of stoopid pointless stuff that should be free...............lol

MegaJynx
MegaJynx

All I have to say is that Microsoft must be VERY cheap for charging just for simple theme and other modifications, dear god what a gyp! Oh well, it wont take long for someone to crack'n'hack it anyhow :P

SpeedFreak14
SpeedFreak14

You guys would pay for this crap? its rubbish, ps2/3 may not have a centralised service but its free, bill gates can afford to lost a bill and make his service free, its one of the richest companies in the world

ssj4_2004
ssj4_2004

They are making You pay $5 for gauntlet what the heck?

LinkXXX
LinkXXX

Im getting the xbox 360 release date, and a couple of games. I was hardcore PS2 fan and have decided to switch over to microsoft's new system because of the game line up (and because im too impatient to wait until 2006 for the PS3 lol). Im very happy that demos and trailers will be free, that would have upset me greatly if they werent. Im a little sad that I will now have to pay to play games online but I suppose the benefits are much more worth it. It is very cheap of microsoft however to charge $.25 per picture... like come on.. hundreds of billions of dollars isnt enough? You need more money and profit off of things that can easily be free? Bah I say.. I wont spend my money on a points card... better in my pocket than theirs.

electrikALIEN
electrikALIEN

This from a company that's noctorious for telling consumers exactly what they want instead of listening and adapting. It's not good marketing. It's poor use of liscences at a feeble attempt to squeeze every penny possible from a franchise or property. Why can't Microsoft give us the ability to upload our own avatars, a practice many forums allow users? Mainly because it will be abbused. So therefore, Microsoft is going to charge us for censorship with preselected "safe" digital facelifts? I don't get it. However, selling downloadable arcade-type games is a great idea.

chibi-acer
chibi-acer

I don't see my self playing any of the arcade games. Like people have mentioned, we already have PC emulators for most of that. Still, $0.25 avatars and $2 system themes don't seem too bad to me. Hopefully it will help promote some level of quality, and provide incentive for companies to produce mini bonus content. I'm kind of excited to see what the Penny Arcade theme looks like. =)