E3: XBLA continues to outpace competitors

xbox live e3Microsoft marched out more than a couple of their major blockbusters onto the stage today, but it wasn’t just the big names that were catching eyes. Xbox Live Arcade also held it’s own with an impressive showing.

The first change was the new implementation of avatars into the Live environment. These will, in practice, be exactly like a mish-mashing of all the best ideas from Sony’s Home avatars and Nintendo’s Miis.

Apparently, the new avatars will be playable in upcoming games like a Mii, but players will also be able to customize them and buy it clothes and whatnot, like a Home avatar.

Also on the announcement list was the first true sequel to Galaga in twenty years, coming to Xbox Live soon. Geometry Wars 2: Retro Evolved will also be coming to Xbox Live Arcade soon, and was revealed to be hitting the service about a month from now.

It won’t just be retro styled games, though. As we already reported, Portal: Still Alive, an evolution of sorts of the original game, will be coming out with new levels and a "challenge mode." The other newer style game being released will be the original version of the Nintendo 64 Rare Classic Banjo Kazooie.

Then there is the inclusion of the new Live Party mode. In this mode, an Xbox Live user and 8 friends can get in a room and chat, share pictures, or watch a movie together. We’re unsure right now how the "watch a movie together" mechanic will work. Will the entire party pay a smaller fee? Will one user pay the fee and the rest be able to mooch off the purchase? This could potentially be a very interesting little addition for Live.

Adding to the excitement of the last bit of info is the big announcement that Microsoft will be partnering with Netflix to bring their entire film library to the access of Xbox Live users. The millions of movies available through Netflix are now accessible rather than being forced to watch whatever three movies Microsoft had released that month.


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Author: Andy Groen View all posts by

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