As you probably already know, I am a huge fan of Xbox Live Arcade. The system is so easy to use, and it provides an outlet for creative game developers to have their game published. X06 had more then a few announcements about the future of Live Arcade, so here is an update on what has been going on:
The Xbox Live Vision Camera recently shipped. Four Xbox Live Arcade titles were automatically updated to include support for the new camera. These include Bankshot Billiards 2, Hardwood Hearts, Hardwood Spades, and Hardwood Backgammon. Up till now, the Xbox Live Arcade version of UNO was the only game to include camera support. The camera can be found for around $40.
TotemBall, the first game to require the camera, should be released tomorrow. Players use gestures read by the camera to control the characters. The game will be a free download.
Doom was released last Wednesday on Live Arcade. I was actually hoping to see classic games like this remade. The Live Arcade version of Doom features multiplayer support, new graphics and sound, achievements, and online leaderboards. I have already spent a few hours playing it and so far it is excellent.
The release schedule for the rest of the year looks like its going to be pretty packed. While there are no official dates as to which games are coming out when, expect to see the following games before the end of the year: Lumines Live!, Contra, Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, Small Arms, Gyruss, Mutant Storm Empire, Defender, Assault Heroes, Heavy Weapon, Carcassonne, Alhambra, Settlers of Catan, and Dig Dug. Some of these are games that I have been looking forward to for a while now.
Anyway, expect the rest of the year to be a busy time for the Arcade.