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Microsoft Plans Weekly Arcade Releases For Foreseeable Future

Following the recent launch of Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade Wednesdays, a new program that aims ...
Following the recent launch of Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade Wednesdays, a new program that aims to debut a new title for download over the Xbox 360's Xbox Live Marketplace each Wednesday, new comments posted in a recent interview indicate that the company has full intentions to continue its program and release a new title each week from here on out. In an interview with gaming weblog Joystiq, Ross Erickson, Worldwide Games Portfolio Manager for Xbox Live Arcade, noted that Microsoft has enough titles on deck to meet – or even exceed – company's executive Peter Moore's previous announcement of having 160 games for the Xbox 360 for the holidays, the bulk of which is expected to be made up of titles for Xbox Live Arcade. “We certainly have enough games in the pipeline – more than enough, in fact – to achieve that goal on a weekly basis,” commented Erikson. “We're not announcing anything in terms of what's beyond Pac-Man at this point; there are enough games in the pipeline to last for a very, very long time.” He added: “I'm glad Wednesdays have kicked off. Barring unforeseen development issues from the developers themselves -- our issue was to fill the pipeline with a lot of titles on the upfront because of the inevitable schedule delays we'll have -- we'll still have enough queued up in our certification process we'll always be able to have something coming out once a week.” Concerning the possibility of games being released over Xbox Live Arcade that exceed the current 50MB threshold, perhaps through the release of larger capacity memory units, Erikson told Joystiq that the company is “always evaluating” this as a possibility, not just regarding the memory units, but also concerning “the quality bar” that Microsoft expects from developers. He continued: “At this time and for the foreseeable future we're sticking to our position that 50MBs is what defines an Arcade title so that portability between system and system can work and so that those users who do not have a hard drive, don't think there's many of them, but for those that don't have a storage solution for getting their games onto their system.” Finally, when presented with the topic of Live Anywhere, which was first presented by Microsoft chairman Bill Gates at E3 and purports to align the company's mobile, Windows Vista, and Xbox 360 strategies by connecting the three platforms in various ways (a topic covered in more in depth in Gamasutra's interview with Chris Early at E3), Erickson responded that, with regards to Xbox Live Arcade, Microsoft is “looking at how certain game mechanics and game types lend themselves to bringing games that are potentially cross platform playable.” He also added that an Arcade title is essentially no different than a traditional retail Xbox 360 title, and as such could conceivably take advantage of the achievements and systems presented at E3 regarding the Live Anywhere solution.

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