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XBox (Games)

Microsoft To Offer Xbox 1 Games For Download, Celebrates Live Anniversary 127

Posted by Zonk
from the freebies-and-faves dept.
Joystiq is reporting that Microsoft's Xbox Live service will be offering some great party favors soon, as the company celebrates the service's second birthday. Starting at 12:01 a.m. EST on November 15th, and lasting for 48 hours, users will be able to download the most-excellent board game Carcassonne for free. They've also announced their intent to allow us to download original Xbox titles to the 360 console. "In its press release, Microsoft explicitly named Halo, Psychonauts, Crimson Skies and Fable as titles for the Xbox Originals initiative, but did not confirm exactly which games will serve as the jumpoff: 'This new service will launch with an array of blockbuster titles spanning the most popular genres from action-adventure to classic role-playing games.' Third-party reports claim the preliminary lineup will also include ... Indigo Prophecy ... Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath Of Cortex and Burnout 3."
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Microsoft To Offer Xbox 1 Games For Download, Celebrates Live Anniversary

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  • Question (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kingrames (858416) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @02:40PM (#21339325)
    Does this include the games that don't work on the 360 from the disc?
    That would be nice.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      It potentially could but it probably wont.

      By offering them for download they can tweak and recompile the games to run natively on the 360's architecture so it definitely opens the potential to offer games that don't run from the disc. However considering they went for the most popular titles first when deciding what to add for Backward Compatibility it will likely be the same set of games they offer for download.

      In all likelihood the Xbox 1 games you download will run much better than those played fro
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by zuvembi (30889)
        But will Barbie Horse Adventures [penny-arcade.com] be available to download?
      • by homer_ca (144738)
        In all likelyhood, the existing Xbox1 backward compatibility uses recompiled executables while reading graphics and game data off the original DVD. Look at the huge disk usage of the backward compatibility updates. Emulation shouldn't use so much space.
      • by HTH NE1 (675604)

        However considering they went for the most popular titles first when deciding what to add for Backward Compatibility
        Like Drake of the 99 Dragons [wikipedia.org]? (OK, so maybe Drake was compatible only by consequence of making a more popular title compatible.)

        IIRC, Psychonauts was not initially XBOX 360 compatible, first appearing on the December 12, 2006 list.
        • IIRC, Psychonauts was not initially XBOX 360 compatible, first appearing on the December 12, 2006 list.

          That's true, it wasn't, though I think that's mainly because they went by sales figures to determine "popularity" and neglected the fact that while games like Psychonauts didn't have the enormous sales figures of some other games they had a large cult following that wanted to see BC available. It took them a while to realize it but I think MS has now understood that the popular games for BC aren't always

          • by donaldm (919619)
            I have the PS2 version of Psychonauts and it is a very unusual game. It IMHO is funny, has great graphics, challenging without being frustrating to play just to name a few traits so I can see why it got a large cult following. Unfortunately the game sort of slipped passed most people even though it got very good reviews.

            The only problem I can see in downloading a game is "do you really own this game"? It is an interesting question to answer and equally applies to the PS3 the Wii and Xbox360 because I woul
    • by rwven (663186)
      I'd REALLY like to see the oddworld games on 360, esp the most recent one. :-/
      • by hidannik (1085061)
        Munch's Oddysee is (mostly) compatible, Stranger's Wrath isn't. Munch's Oddysee can be had for as little as $5 USD, which is less than what Microsoft is charging for the downloadables.

        So there's half your wish. Granted, the one that isn't compatible is the one you most wanted, but that could change in the next compatibility update.

        Hans.
    • by 77Punker (673758)
      Looks like it. I'm pretty sure Psychonauts doesn't work on 360 right now, and that's one of the titles that was announced. What I'd really like to see happen with this is to copy my existing Xbox games to my hard drive. I've got 105 free gigs for no reason at the moment!
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by hidannik (1085061)
        Psychonauts was added to the compatibility list in the latest update. I know, I've played it on the 360.

        Hans
  • Funny did't the Wii do this when it was originally released? Maybe Microsoft has found out that customers like the old games, and the new games. Will the games cost money? Can they be backed up to an eternal hard drive like the Wii (flash card)?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by spyder913 (448266)
      Yes, probably, definitely, doubtful.
    • Re:After the Wii (Score:4, Insightful)

      by PixelScuba (686633) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @03:05PM (#21339759)
      Sort of. Nintendo and the Wii found a way to charge us $5-$10 for games we purchased 15-20 years ago. I don't think the Wii network has Gamecube games available... which would be the most accurate comparison to what Live is doing here. Incidently, for the sake of honesty, it's actually CLOSER to what Sony has been doing with the Playstation Network and PS1/PS2 games.
      • by Gravatron (716477)
        In Ninetndo's case, there is no backwards compatable way to play them, and many have been out of print for 15-20 years, making them difficult to find. On the ps3, so far all the playstation classic titles I can think of that are downloadable are ps1 titles, which at this point are abou a decade old themselves, and equally hard to find. What they need is to get more of the ps1 titles out that command those huge ebay prices, like Tobal, Klonoa, Einhander, etc. Also toss in some of the forgotten classics li
      • "Nintendo and the Wii found a way to charge us $5-$10 for games we purchased 15-20 years ago."

        That's odd. I've purchased games on the VC and never once have I been asked to show proof I've paid for it before. I think their proof-of-purchase system is busted!
      • by Bert64 (520050)
        But the Wii can also run gamecube games natively, without emulation...
        All of the gamecube games should run on it, i don't know of any that don't.
        • All of the gamecube games should run on it, i don't know of any that don't.
          Game Boy Player doesn't, because there's no place to plug in the GBA cart reader.
          • by trdrstv (986999)

            All of the gamecube games should run on it, i don't know of any that don't.

            Game Boy Player doesn't, because there's no place to plug in the GBA cart reader.

            Would you consider the Gameboy player a game? I always considered it a peripheral. If you REALLY enjoy changing the background patterns or scaling options I suppose you could make it a game...

      • by gravis777 (123605)
        True, but the Wii does not have a built-in hard drive. I mean, there is a big difference between downloading an 8k NES rom to your 512 meg SD gard, and trying to download a 1 gig Gamecube game to your SD card. Nintendo could prbably get around this if they came up with some kind of streaming content download system, where you only download the part of the game you are in at the time (for example, with Zelda, the Windwaker, you would download the current dugeon you are in, along with textures and models of e
    • by Itninja (937614)
      Not really sure what an 'eternal hard drive' is, but the 360's hard drive is also eXternal and portable - though not as tiny and portable as the Wii flash card system. If I recall the Wii downloads aren't backup to the flash card, but moved there. But I am not certain of that....
    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by brkello (642429)
      Wow. I know there is a bit of Wii spin on this site...but now the Wii has eternal hard drives? That's pretty impressive.
    • by Cheesey (70139)
      Can you backup Wii games to a memory card or hard drive? The T&C for the shop on my Wii says that games have to be saved in the built-in Flash memory, and are tied to that Wii. (Although I can redownload a game if I delete it.)
  • Carcassonne (Score:1, Troll)

    by ShakaUVM (157947)
    Uh, Carcassonne is not a great board game. If you had a "hand" of available tiles to play, it would be a lot more fun, but when you have to draw and play a tile in the same round, and there's often only one possible play... then it's not really that great a game.
    • Re:Carcassonne (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mythosaz (572040) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @02:48PM (#21339497)
      I'm forced to disagree. Carcassonne makes a GREAT 360 game. While you may like or dislike it for whatever reasons you may have, online play optimized by a computer scorekeeper and rule-manager is fantastic. No "mistakes" playing on a 360. You can't make an accident setting a follower on the wrong land, etc. It's good for a number of the reasons that UNO makes a good 360 game -- without the vastly higher luck factor in UNO.

      I'm only upset that they're not giving something ELSE to those of us who bought Carcassonne already...
      • by trdrstv (986999)

        I'm forced to disagree. Carcassonne makes a GREAT 360 game. While you may like or dislike it for whatever reasons you may have, online play optimized by a computer scorekeeper and rule-manager is fantastic. No "mistakes" playing on a 360. You can't make an accident setting a follower on the wrong land, etc. It's good for a number of the reasons that UNO makes a good 360 game -- without the vastly higher luck factor in UNO.

        I'm only upset that they're not giving something ELSE to those of us who bought Car

    • Part of the skill of the game is planning for future tiles, e.g. setting up positions where your opponent has only bad plays if they draw certain tiles. The game would take around three or four times as long to play if you had several tiles to choose from each turn.
    • Then you must be terrible at the game. There are so many features that have made it perfect since I started playing the actual version of the game (not the XBox360 version)

      - It's one of few board games I've ever played that scaled well with number of people. The more people the more strategy there is to tile placement while a two-player game is still interesting.
      - It is fast to start. There is no massive setup time. Drop the tiles into a pile, make sure they're all face down, shuffled up and start playi
      • by trdrstv (986999)

        Then you must be terrible at the game. There are so many features that have made it perfect since I started playing the actual version of the game (not the XBox360 version)

        - It's one of few board games I've ever played that scaled well with number of people. The more people the more strategy there is to tile placement while a two-player game is still interesting.

        - It is fast to start. There is no massive setup time. Drop the tiles into a pile, make sure they're all face down, shuffled up and start playi

    • by grahamd0 (1129971)
      You're not that guy who told to me, "I won't farm if you don't farm.", are you? =)
    • by ShakaUVM (157947)
      Lol, apparently the message is that if you post that a board game that actually sucks, sucks, then you get modded down as a troll.

      Take my advice people, and stay away from the game. I'm a board game geek and got this game and all the expansions, and returned it... only game in probably 10 years I've returned to the game store.
  • free carcassonne (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    they should give me my xbox dollars back :_(
  • Correction: (Score:5, Informative)

    by CaseM (746707) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @02:48PM (#21339491)
    The summary is incorrect. This is XBox Live's 5th anniversary: Link [wikipedia.org]
    • by Aladrin (926209)
      I think they meant XBL 360's second. All of the celebration centers around the 360, and not the original XBox, except that you can now buy some games that were originally for it.

      Personally, while I think this is a great idea, I also think I can probably find the original discs at a local store cheaper. I'm tempted to go looking, just for the fun of it.
      • by CaseM (746707)
        It does seem like a great idea (the original XBox games). I honestly hope they're able to release their entire back catalog at some point.
  • I have bought almost every FPS that EPIC has put out since Unreal. Specifically, Unreal, Unreal 2, Unreal Tournament, and UT2004 (I did not like UT2003; lack of vehicles made the gameplay dated). All of those games had free Multiplayer, as it should be on the PC.

    I picked up Gears of War for the PC last week only to find that it required me to PAY for a LIVE account to play it online after the first month and to download patches automagically. Is it just me, or does this stink like a dirty practice give
    • Is it a dirty practice? Of course. You have all of these console kiddies to thank for it as well. Don't worry, soon you'll have to pay for simple patches too! Plenty of developers (even on the PC) are already starting to deliberately leave content out of games so as to immediately sell it separately after release. Yay capitalism!
      • by Applekid (993327)

        Yay capitalism!
        Of course, "Yay capitalism" also includes your right to, oh, I don't know, NOT buy those games?

        Don't like it? Don't buy it. They'll either change their ways or go out of business while other companies continue to provide free support and online play.
    • Really, what does it cost...$5 a month? I bet you spend that much on tissues at the end of every Cold Case episode.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Ang31us (1132361)
        I want them to get those $5/month through in-game ads, not out of my pocket.

        Why should I give Microsoft $60/year after I paid Epic $50 for the game? I don't see why I should pay them to match me up with other gamers when we had services like Kali and Kahn back in the days of analog modems to do this for us.

        I don't have a problem with a flat fee being charged for something like this, especially if it is built-in to the price of the game ($60 would have been a fine purchase price as well).

        The recurring
        • by Vorpix (60341)
          i guess what you are paying for is a unified friends list, achievements, cross game messaging, matchmaking, and honestly, pretty good uptime, from my experiences. i agree, free would be nicer, but i've been pretty happy with Xbox Live and I'm pretty sure I'll renew once my current subscription is up.
          • by Bert64 (520050)
            None of which I really want...
            I already have far too many friends lists, I already have far too many messaging systems, and we've had matchmaking systems like xlink, gamespy etc for a long time... Why should i pay for a copy of something I already had?
            Not only that, but why should I use a service that's far (in terms of latency) from me, when the people i want to play against are right next to me (same isp, not same location).
            I want the ability to arbitrarily setup private servers in locations of my choice
          • by Mr2001 (90979)

            i guess what you are paying for is a unified friends list, achievements, cross game messaging, matchmaking, and honestly, pretty good uptime, from my experiences.

            Steam has a unified friends list, achievements, and cross game messaging for free. (Whether it has pretty good uptime is debatable.)

            Matchmaking is nice, and if it were widely implemented it might be worth paying for, but as far as I can tell, it's only supported in two Xbox Live games: Halo 2 and Halo 3. Gears of War doesn't have it, Team Fortress 2 doesn't have it - they have the same old crappy "host a game" / "join a game" setup you can find on the PS2, where you're at the mercy of whoever wanted to pla

    • Well, there is XFire as an alternative. Also Hamachi, if you want to play on a virtual LAN with your buds.

      That won't get you automatic updates and patches, but as long as they can be downloaded from Epic's website etc., that makes it no worse than 98% of the other games out there.

      Hans
      • by Ang31us (1132361)
        Thank you sooo much! I checked the XFire website and it says that it supports Gears of War. I'm gonna try it tonight!!! :-)
    • Never played gears of war so i can't comment specifically on that game...
      I can understand MMORPG's charging a subscription for online play, but in that case they shouldnt charge for the game media (how it would suck to buy something then be told you need to pay more to actually play it)...
      Any game where it's the game that provides the entertainment, and not the online world it connects to really shouldn't charge for online play, and should make it possible for people to run their own servers. Lan-play is st
    • by Itchyeyes (908311) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @05:58PM (#21342267) Homepage
      "I picked up Gears of War for the PC last week only to find that it required me to PAY for a LIVE account to play it online"

      This isn't correct. You can play online on the PC with GFW Live Silver (which is free). What you don't get with the free version are Microsoft's True Skill matchmaking services, cross platform play, and multiplayer achievements (details here [wikipedia.org]). Still frustrating, but not the same thing.
    • You can play Gears online for free with a Xbox Live Silver account. It doesn't have all the features that a Gold account works, but your post is still wrong.

      In any case, this is just nerd rage. If you don't want to pay for Xbox Live Gold, then don't pay for it. It's not some huge crime against humanity, or some huge debasement of your human rights, it's simply a game matching service with a yearly fee.

      Of course, your nerd rage isn't even aimed in the right direction. If you have a real problem with it, take
  • by nuzak (959558) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @03:06PM (#21339773) Journal
    This means they're pushing digital distribution of actual games. These aren't Microsoft titles, so they've actually gotten agreements with the publishers. Meaning there's really no necessary distinction between these titles and new ones. Finally, a chance to put a stake in the heart of GameStop and their skeezy incompetent chain of pawnshops. No, I would NOT like to preorder, bitch!

    And is this why XBL fell over last night? I had to unplug the goddam network just to be able to sign in to my own profile.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by tcolberg (998885)
      This is awesome, except I only have a 20GB HDD. MSFT needs to make it possible for consumers to get more than 1 or 2 of these games at a time. Sure they might do a permanent purchase system and allow swapping of purchased goods, like the Wii does. On the other hand, why don't they just come out with cheaper external storage that isn't crippled? I know the cost of 2.5'' drives are partially what's keeping the 120GB 360 HDD's cost so high, so why don't they come out with their own branded external 3.5'' U
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by nuzak (959558)
        I got the Elite, mostly because I wanted HDMI outputs, and it has a reasonably big drive, so I don't have the problem, but I definitely hear ya. The hardware hack to take the drive out is pretty trivial, but apparently the 360 will refuse to format it at a higher capacity no matter what you put in. Sony on the other hand, lets you throw any SATA drive in, and it'll use it all. Funny thing that, I like the PS3 more than the 360 in every respect ... except as a freakin game console.
    • by rapett0 (92674)
      I was wondering what happened. I was playing Texas Hold'Em last night and I was all in for 50K on one hand (a straight). Anyway, I noticed two others went all in, but while they were both clearly all in, there was maybe a 15 second pause. Then I saw one go from all in to fold. I was like ??!?!?!?

      Then the other guy had something better (forget what) and won. But I was like wait, how he go from all in, to folding?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jollyreaper (513215)

      This means they're pushing digital distribution of actual games. These aren't Microsoft titles, so they've actually gotten agreements with the publishers. Meaning there's really no necessary distinction between these titles and new ones. Finally, a chance to put a stake in the heart of GameStop and their skeezy incompetent chain of pawnshops. No, I would NOT like to preorder, bitch!

      Two drawbacks: 1) you'll never be able to borrow your friend's game 2) you won't be able to resell it. Given that not everybody has fast internet service, we probably won't have to suffer the worst of this. We'll probably still see physical media alongside electronic distribution, the same way you can get a game off of Steam or in the physical store. While borrowing a friend's copy of a game is not theft in the normal people sense of the word, you can bet that the publishers would see it that way.

      Personall

      • by The-Bus (138060)
        The four year old games are $15 on Live. Considering some people have complained about finding older Xbox games in stores, this is not a bad idea. I don't mind downloading games for $5-$15. Even if I could resell them, I would only get a few dollars back. But unless I'm 100% sure I will keep a game forever, I am unlikely to spend $40-$60 on a game.

        Yes, Warhawk for the PS3 looks interesting. No, I will not pay $40 for it.
  • Meh (Score:1, Informative)

    by zegota (1105649)
    Pretty much all of these games are available ~10-15 on eBay or at Gamestop, and there you get the case and the instruction booklet (and something tangible that can't be taken away). Is there any xbox game that's spectacularly rare or pricy?
    • by Farakin (1101889)
      Rare? Try finding the Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance 2. The Stop wants $30 used for it.
      • by nuzak (959558)
        > Rare? Try finding the Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance 2. The Stop wants $30 used for it.

        I think I may still have my PS2 copy of it. I'll GIVE it to you if you want. I don't want it taking up space on my shelf. Better than DA1, but still an outstandingly awful game.
    • I haven't yet found a copy of Fatal Frame II for less than $40 (used) for the XBox.
    • by Itchyeyes (908311)
      You'll have a hard time finding rare games like Psychonauts, Beyond Good & Evil, Panzer Dragoon Orta, and Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath for less than $15.
  • Pretty cool! I'd heard very good things about this game (I'm an adventure gamer rather than a FPS or MMO type) so I went looking for it. Couldn't find it for Xbox/360 in any of the local shops so ebay'd an import version (it's called Fahrenheit in the UK). I've been playing this on PC and it's a damn good game in spite of not really enjoying playing on a PC. I'll definitely get the download version if it's priced appropriately.
  • I have three words for you: NINJA GAIDEN BLACK. Please, oh please, heed them.
    • by hidannik (1085061)
      I have two for you: already compatible. Also, $25 USD from GameStop. The bonus NES games won't play, but they wouldn't in the XLA version either.

      Hans
  • 1) Microsoft squeezes more money out of older games that people would otherwise buy used.
    (and most importantly)
    2) Microsoft sells more $180 hard drives to people who need space for all their new downloaded games.

  • by TheGeneration (228855) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @06:50PM (#21342901) Journal
    I wish there were a way to do this with new games. Right now I'm dealing with the stupidity of EBgames.com trying to get a game I preordered that was released yesterday...

    I did pre-order on Super Mario Galaxy at EBGames.com at some point after I did the pre-order they attached a second item to my order, a cheap ass plastic "collectors coin" for the game that probably cost 1/100th of a cent to produce in China. Well, guess what, that coin is back ordered and as a result my game hasn't shipped. It's unbelievable.

    I called their customer service and spent OVER two hours on hold waiting for somebody to pick up before I finally just hung up the phone. I can't believe they get away with this crap. Seriously.

    I'm heading to Best Buy after work and I'm going to pick up a copy. It'd be nice if I could just download it directly from Nintendo.
    • by RogueyWon (735973) *
      Right now, the only people moving this way are Sony. You'll note that Warhawk was available as a download purchase, as well as being sold in stores. Don't expect to ever see this feature for the Wii, though. The lack of a proper hard-drive means that you'll never see new commercial-quality games as downloads.
      • Right now, the only people moving this way are Sony. You'll note that Warhawk was available as a download purchase, as well as being sold in stores. Don't expect to ever see this feature for the Wii, though. The lack of a proper hard-drive means that you'll never see new commercial-quality games as downloads.

        Yes, but I think Warhawk symbolizes how dumb corporations are in trying to pursue a new revenue model. The Downloaded version of the game (for $40 mind you) does not support local multiplayer, since

    • by HalAtWork (926717)
      I did get the coin. But you know what? I was pissed that they had to turn away gamers that did not reserve their copy while I had to collect such a coin, a coin in a box the size of a DVD case. You know, they could have easily shipped a ton of more copies of the game instead of shipping these trinkets. No, I didn't mind getting one, but I did mind seeing a lot of people disappointed for no reason. I know if I didn't pre-order the game I would have been with them. That's pretty crap.

      P.S. Holy crap is
      • I went to Best Buy last night and picked up a copy. They seemed to have a ton of them. The only thing holding up my pre-order was that stupid coin. I know some people like collecting this sort of thing, but not me. Whenever I get these "collectibles" I look at my apartment and think "where is this going to go?" and unless there is a spot specifically for it I decide that it would best go into the garbage. Since these coins were produced in China for 1/100th of a penny each I'm sure they are only made o
  • Jaws voice: We're gonna need a bigger drive!

    That's cool and all but I think it's criminal that the default drive is 20gb and the 120 goes for $179. Last I priced drives, I could get 500gb for $99. I'm sure it's become even more ridiculous since then. Let's not even talk about the movie download service. Very, very cool, but with the size of the drives, impractical. Microsoft should just bite the bullet on that one and subsidize bigger drives. Hell, they should get TB-size drives and offer a trade-in program
  • Damn. And I just bought the 20-gig 360. Where am I going to store these games? The 20-gig 360 + 120 gig HD costs as much as the 120-gig 360. Why is that stupid HD so expensive?

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