Sunday, January 17, 2010

Xbox Live Game Room

Official Xbox Live Arcade Game Room Site
XBLA Game Room Site (Unofficial)

- Xbox Live Game Room Suggestion Box
- Xbox 360 Arcade Sticks
- Konami Arcade Compilations

Microsoft Details Game Room Titles and Pricing Jan 7, 2010
Excerpt from Gamespot;
"Centipede, Crystal Castles, Tempest among some 30 coin-op classics headed to new social hub for 360, PC this spring; cost ranges from $5 to own to $0.50 per play.

The Game Room goes live this spring.
Microsoft has now offered additional details on the Game Room, which was developed by Krome Studios and will be available through Xbox Live and the Games for Windows - Live PC client this spring. As part of an announcement trailer, below, the publisher rattled off some 30 games that will initially be available. Games on the docket include such Atari and Intellivision classics as Centipede, Crystal Castles, Red Baron, Yars' Revenge, and Tempest. A full list can be found below. With plans to expand the Game Room to more than 1,000 titles, Microsoft intends to release additional offerings on a weekly basis. An average of 7 new games will be added to the service every week, starting in late April.

The publisher also announced a pricing structure for the downloadable classics. Games can be purchased for play on both the Xbox 360 and PC for MSP 400 ($5), or for an individual platform at MSP 240 ($3) apiece. Alternatively, gamers can carry on in the coin-op tradition by purchasing single rounds of any individual game for MSP 40 ($.50). Players can also sample games purchased by their friends for free by visiting their game rooms.

Up to two players can compete in online or local multiplayer in games that support competitive or cooperative action. The Game Room will also support Xbox Live Avatars, as well as voice chat, 1080p graphics, cross-platform leaderboards, and achievements."
Note: That last sentence is a bit misleading.
You have no control over your Avatar within the Game Room application, the games themselves are boxed-in and presented in their native aspect-ratio (as opposed to upscaled), and the achievements are not on a game by game basis, but are "logged against the Game Room application instead." "Basically, each arcade game will reward you medals and these will count towards your overall achievements."

Hands-On Video From

While this is pretty big news for fans of retro games and the potential is exciting, I do fear this has the possibility of deterring companies from compiling and releasing affordable compilations (on physical media) in the future, and instead releasing games from their library singularly into Game Room for a higher profit-margin.

1) Will they import golden age arcade titles which have been previously released on Xbox Live, into Game Room?
No. XBLA games are not interchangeable with Game Room.
2)Will you be able to play music off your Xbox hard drive while in Game Room?
Yes you can. Both while in the Game Room environment and while playing games within Game Room.
3) Can you stream music from Last FM while in Game Room? Streaming an eighties station into Game Room would be fitting.
The ability to stream Last FM while playing a game was stripped from the Xbox application, and that carries over to the Game Room environment and it's game emulations as well.
4) In pictures of Game Room you see Avatar's playing machines, will you have to line up virtual quarters in order to secure your place in line just like back in the day?
This was not meant as a serious question, though I found the question was infact asked in one of the video's and the answer is of course, no.
5) When customizing my own Game Room, how many unique machines can I fit in?
[Courtesy of Mansquito XL] There are currently 12 rooms with capacity for 8 machines per room. If you wanted to have 96 unique machines at the current price of 240 points each, it would cost 23,040 Microsoft points (or $288)!
6) How many achievement points can I get from Game Room without purchasing anything?
Answer: 80 Achievement Points. See Game Room Achievement Guide/Roadmap
7) What would be the bare minimum cost to get all the Game Room achievements?
[Courtesy of FunkDog] The two determining achievements are "Reaching Level 20" and the "Have Your Whole Arcade Use Unique Themes."

It takes 20 "points" to rank up a level. The most you can get on a single game that offers three gold medals is 15 points. The fewest amount of games you would need to buy, assuming they all offer three gold medals (some of the console titles only offer 1 gold) would be 27 titles (400 points for level 20 divided by 15 points per game equals 26.7). Assuming each title is $3.00, 27x3 = $81.00.

Next is the unique theme achievement. This is dependent on whether or not themes are included for free in future game packs. If so, then this achievement is a non issue. Just wait long enough for enough free themes to be released. However, if you don't get any for free and are forced to unlock themes, then it looks like you will need to play until you get your level into the 40s or 50. In order to do that, you would most likely have to spend over $160 to purchase enough games so that you could get your level up high enough to unlock all the themes (getting to level 40 would cost you $162.00, getting to level 50 would $202.50).

Of course this is assuming you BUY all the games. You could cut this cost down dramatically if you use the 50 cents per play option and can unlock two golds in one or two plays.

FYI, if you buy all the titles initially released with Game Room, and get all golds on all of them, you will end up mid way between level 18 and 19.

Confirmed Microsoft Game Room Titles;
I'm going to preface this list by saying that so far, there's really nothing to get too excited about. EVERY Atari and Intellivision game can be found on Atari Anthology and Intellivision Lives! respectively. The only games to make note of are those from Konami, who has yet to release a gaming compilation on a non-handheld next-gen console. Of the confirmed Konami titles, only 3 of them have never before been released on a gaming compilation of any kind.
All following Atari titles, both Arcade and Atari 2600, are available on Atari Anthology, which was released on November 22, 2004 for the Xbox and PlayStation 2.
Asteroids Deluxe (November 28, 2007), Centipede & Millipede (May 2, 2007), and Tempest (December 19, 2007) have all been made available on Xbox Live, complete with classic and evolved versions.
Asteroids Deluxe [1981] Legacy/Arcade History Entry/KLOV Entry
Centipede [1980] Ports/Arcade History Entry/KLOV Entry
Crystal Castles [1983] Ports/Arcade History Entry/KLOV Entry
Lunar Lander [1979] Arcade History Entry/KLOV Entry
Millipede [1982] Ports/Arcade History Entry/KLOV Entry
Red Baron [1980] Arcade History Entry/KLOV Entry
Tempest [1981] Ports and Sequels/Arcade History Entry/KLOV Entry

Adventure [1979]
Combat [1977]
Football [1978]
Outlaw [1978]
Outlaw was originally released as an arcade game, but it's the Atari 2600 version that's in Game Room, as that was the version in Atari Anthology (which all confirmed Atari titles are culled from) and the fact that the arcade version was in black & white.
RealSports Tennis [1983]
Star Raiders [1982] List of adaptations, sequels and tie-ins
Yars' Revenge [1982]

All following Intellivison titles available on Intellivision Lives! (Intellivision site/Xbox site), which can be purchased through Xbox Live (Xbox Originals) for 1200 points (the equivalent of $15).
Armor Battle [1979]
Astrosmash [1981]
Mountain Madness: Super Pro Skiing [1988] (basically an updated rendition of U.S. Ski Team Skiing from 1980)
Sea Battle [1980]
Space Armada [1981]
Space Hawk [1981]
Sub Hunt [1981]

All following Konami titles are arcade games.
Battlantis [1987] Arcade History Entry/KLOV Entry
*Never made available on compilation
Finalizer [1985] Arcade History Entry/KLOV Entry
*Never made available on compilation
Jungler [1981] Arcade History Entry/KLOV Entry
*Never made available on compilation
Road Fighter [1984] Ports and Related Releases/Arcade History Entry/KLOV Entry
Available on; Konami Arcade Classics (PSOne) and Konami Classic Series (DS)
Scramble [1981] Legacy/Arcade History Entry/KLOV Entry
Available on; Konami Arcade Classics (PSOne), Konami Collector's Series: Arcade Advanced (GBA) and Konami Classic Series (DS), Xbox Live Arcade (Enhanced version lacking the option to play with original graphics. Released September 13, 2006)
Shao-Lin's Road [1985] Arcade History Entry/KLOV Entry
Available on; Konami Arcade Classics (PSOne) and Konami Classic Series (DS)
Super Cobra [1981] Wikipedia Entry/Arcade History Entry/KLOV Entry
Available on; Konami Arcade Classics (PSOne)
Tutankham [1982] Arcade History Entry/KLOV Entry
Available on; Konami Classic Series (DS) as "Horror Maze"

If you'd like to know everything that's been made available since launch, the Wikipedia Entry on Game Room seems to cover everything. I'm probably not going to edit this blog entry and insert every game that has been added to the service since, nor will I start up new blog entries on the subject. Honestly, nothing too exciting has come about, and really only the arcade games interest me. Activision has joined the fray with some of their Atari 2600 offerings, and Namco is slated to join the party sometime in the future with games like Galaxian and Pac-Man.


  1. Terrible. They don't have Mrs. Pac Man, Galaga, or Dig Dug! They need a deal with Namaco...

  2. If each game had its own challenging achievements, it would be much more appealing to most gamers, I'm sure.

    Seems like a failure from the beginning...

  3. There IS a Konami collection for the 360... it includes a collection of all of their XBLA titles. $20 I believe.

  4. I actually don't mind the lack of roaming with the avatar. I don't have time for Sony Home or Virtual Worlds like Second Life... just give me the menu and let me get on with it. Stop making me traverse maps for basic access.

    But alas, Game Room still sucks because honestly this game selection is horrible. I've played them all. Nostalgia alone isn't enough to get me to play them again.

    400 Pts for old, undesired games is absurd.

    They didn't think this one out.

  5. Will they be Releasing new titles for this because these games just arent good. the only two i will even play are Finalizer and Asteroids Deluxe. does anyone know?

  6. Paying for gold + a game + game add on + pts. wow thats a lot of $$$