Earlier this year, Microsoft announced details at the CES convention of their plans to develop an Xbox Live Game Room where your Avatar can actually walk around, wonder and explore different classic arcade titles from the 70’s and 80’s as well as virtual spaces that contain art and sounds from the original arcade cabinets for each game purchased. If you have already purchased some arcade classics from the Marketplace, then unfortunately to play them in the Game Room you will need to purchase them again!
A Microsoft representative has stated to GameInformer that they consider the Game Room Arcade titles different from their XBLA counterparts because they are original versions and not “revamped” like those on XBLA as a reason for the need to re-purchase. It was also revealed that the Game Room titles will cost between 240 and 400 MS points each. Another downside is that due to ratings issues, no mature content games can ever be included since Microsoft has had the Game Room itself classified as an E10 rating. This means Microsoft can release as many games as they like on the service as often as it likes without having to submit each title to the ESRB only on the understanding it will contain no Arcade games suitable for anyone over the 10+ rating.
Now for the good news is that Game Room will launch on both Xbox 360 and Windows PC’s later in the Spring this year. When you purchase any Arcade classic you will be able to play that game on both your Xbox360 & your Windows PC. Initially the service will launch with an estimated 30 games from Activision, Atari, Konami, amongst others and will receive new games every week with a suggested 1,000+ titles already planned for release! If you want to play any arcade title without purchasing it, you will be able to have a pay-per-play option just like in a real arcade for around 40 MS points per play.
Would you consider re-purchasing titles for the Game Room, and are you even interested in such a service? Exact release date details and any possible achievements have not been released.