Microsoft rolling out Xbox Live Arcade

In an attempt to get casual gamers to try Xbox Live, the company will offer cheap downloads of classic arcade games.


With 1 million subscribers, Xbox Live has proven popular among dedicated gamers--even before Electronic Arts signed on earlier today. However, the company has also announced a plan to attract more-casual gamers.

Starting this fall, Microsoft will launch the Xbox Live Arcade, an online service that will allow users to download a variety of "poker, card, trivia, and classic arcade games," according to Xbox Group Chief J Allard.

Saying it was targeted at more-casual gamers, Allard presented the Arcade at tonight's Microsoft E3 conference. Though he didn’t display any of the trivia or card games he alluded to, he did show off one of Arcade's retro games catalog, which will feature Namco classics like Dig Dug and Galaxian and PopCap Games' classic Bejeweled. Lesser-known, more-modern games, like Big Fish Games' Alien Sky and Feeding Frenzy, will also be featured, as will selections from Garage Games' catalog.

According to Xbox business and marketing manager Aaron Greenberg, Xbox Live Arcade games will cost around $10 each to download. To help generate interest during the holidays, Greenberg told GameSpot that Microsoft plans on giving away discs that will allow Xbox Live subscribers to sample Arcade titles for free.

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