XBL Arcade info leaked?

Source: UK/US gaming, anime, manga Web site Clubskill.com, which got hold of an unidentified magazine scan. The official story: "Microsoft does not comment on rumors of speculation."--Microsoft rep. What we heard: Xbox Live Arcade games like Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved and Uno have been a hit...

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Source: UK/US gaming, anime, manga Web site Clubskill.com, which got hold of an unidentified magazine scan.

The official story: "Microsoft does not comment on rumors of speculation."--Microsoft rep.

No Caption Provided

What we heard: Xbox Live Arcade games like Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved and Uno have been a hit because they appeal to the masses. More specifically, the budget-conscious masses who don't want to leave the comfort of their couches to play new games. Having said that, any news on Microsoft's online gaming store regularly gets Xbox 360 owners' attention.

Gamers perked up this morning after reading an article on Clubskill.com, which claims to have gotten their hands on a "leaked magazine article that details some of the upcoming content on the Xbox Live Marketplace." The magazine that the article is from was not identified, but given that Clubskill is UK-based, it's likely a periodical from across the pond.

A scan of said article (pictured--click to zoom) reveals a list of content set for release through September, and contains 13 individual downloads. None of the files are unannounced games, but there is plenty of new information, such as release dates and prices, regarding games we've already known about.

One of the noteworthy downloads featured is the much anticipated (and strangely punctuated) Street Fighter II' Hyper Fighting, which the scan says will hit Marketplace in June for 400 points ($5). The game's release date has been in question for some time now, since it missed its initial "early 2006" date.

Other highlights from the scan include a few new modes for Project Gotham Racing 3 ("Cat and Mouse" and "Proximity Based Racing"), a hardcore package for Kameo featuring a new difficulty level for single and cooperative play, and Lumines Live in August/September for *gulp* 1200 points ($15). However, some of the content has already been released, indicating that the scan is dated.

But what of the scan's authenticity? Microsoft would not comment on the article, staying mum on the whole "rumors and speculation" thing. Clubskill never says whether or not they physically have the article, or just managed to rummage up a scan. Given the fact that the screenshot cuts off the entire page, it's presumable that they have just a scan. And if that's the case, it makes it a prime candidate for a Photoshop phake.

However, if someone did fake the scan, they're pretty tapped into the gaming scene, particularly the trends with which XBL Arcade games have been priced. Nothing seems out of the ordinary here, with most games following Marketplace's pricing according to past releases. The first-party content packs are in Microsoft's preferred 500 point ($6.25) increments, whereas the third-party packs are all in 400 point ($5) increments. Also, remakes of classic arcade games (Frogger, Pac-Man, Street Fighter II) are all 400 points ($5), just as Joust, Gauntlet, Smash TV, and Robotron 2084 are (though SFII for 400 points seems cheap).

Unfortunately, there's no way to really say whether this information is legitimate--only time will tell. But because the scan isn't exactly up to date, prices and release dates could very well have changed since. However, it's a good starting point and likely not too far-fetched.

Bogus or not bogus?: We're going with Not Bogus--even if it's fake, it's not far off.

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