XBLA Unplugged unveiled

Microsoft releases lineup for in-store collection of downloadable 360; package ready to hit stores next month.

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Since the Xbox 360 launched last November, Xbox Live Arcade has been one of the system's biggest success stories. Microsoft has said it hadn't anticipated the popularity of the service, which allows gamers to download retro games and smaller-scale new titles to their system, typically for about $5 or $10.

Now Microsoft is going to find out if the same content will be as popular when presented to consumers in a different format. The publisher has announced a worldwide September 5 release for Xbox Live Arcade Unplugged, a $39.99 collection of original XBLA titles that includes a free one-month subscription to Xbox Live Gold and a few demos. The compilation and lineup had been hinted at months ago in leaked box art, but now the six included titles are set in stone.

The full lineup for Unplugged consists of the relentless shooter Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved, fairytale platformer Wik: Fable of Souls, space-station strategy game Outpost Kaloki X, gem-swapping puzzler Bejeweled 2 Deluxe, and a pair of classic diversions converted for digital fun, Hardwood Backgammon and Texas Hold 'Em. The demos included Uno, Feeding Frenzy, and Marble Blast Ultra. If one were to download all of these from the Xbox Live Marketplace, it would cost roughly $50 in Marketplace points.

All of the games and demos in the collection are rated E for Everyone, with the exception of Texas Hold 'Em. That title is rated T for Teen due to simulated gambling.

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