Microsoft Discovers That Nostalgia Sells When It Comes To The Xbox

from the well,-duh dept

Apparently it took Microsoft this long to realize that many video game console buyers are from a generation that grew up playing classic video games from the 70s and 80s. While they've got all that fancy power under the hood of the Xbox, plenty of people still pine for those old games -- and Microsoft is starting to deliver them, offering up a series of downloadable classic video games from the 1980s for the Xbox 360 as part of the Xbox Live Arcade. Apparently, the company figured the less complex Live Arcade games would hit the casual gaming "bored housewife" segment of the market -- and are only now realizing that more traditional gamers are pretty damn excited about playing Pac-man and Frogger all over again. Of course, considering you can get many of those games for free online using emulators, or buying some of those super cheap nostalgia packs, it certainly does seem like a bit of overkill to use an Xbox for such games.

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  • identicon
    Activision Fan, 12 Jul 2006 @ 3:13am

    MAMEoX

    One of the primary reasons many people I know hacked their XBox wasn't to play "backup" disks, but rather was to be able to boot a MAME CD.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Jul 2006 @ 10:02am

      Re: MAMEoX

      That's the reason I'm going to be hacking my XBox... I kept it pristine thinking I'd trade it in to upgrade to 360, but since 360 is not fully BC, I'm just going to hack it and get my Arcade and SNES games going on it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Brian, 12 Jul 2006 @ 4:27am

    No more overkill than...

    No more overkill than using a high-end desktop to do the same job, which I know I'm guilty of here. My weakness is emulating mi Amigas so I can run all the software that own despite the fact that they are long dead and buried here. I still miss 'em.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Mojoriesen, 12 Jul 2006 @ 4:48am

    Paying for pixels?

    I'm the first to admit I'm no good at these more complicated games, and therefor long for the old ones. But why would I buy a 360 when MAME works great on my PC, AND I can buy a $50 joystick that is identical to the arcade consoles? So we need to pay for a 360, then buy "Live Arcade" games? I'll stick to the free downloads personally and spend my money on PC upgrades.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    bobby mcferrit, 12 Jul 2006 @ 4:52am

    mon the neds

    MON THE NEDS!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Re: Paying For Pixels, 12 Jul 2006 @ 5:07am

    Believe it or not, some people don't have a PC. Crazy, I know, but true!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    MegaJP, 12 Jul 2006 @ 5:15am

    Re: Re: Paying For Pixels

    I do not have a PC.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jul 2006 @ 5:33am

    Maybe the market segment isn't for the people to buy a 360 just for the arcade games, but for those people, alot of time parents, that like the arcade games and have bought a 360 for their children.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      duke736, 12 Jul 2006 @ 6:36am

      Re:

      Exactly! no one with half a brain would go out and buy an xbox simply because of old school arcade games. But for those wavering it just might tip the balance. If they don't realize that not only do they have to pay the xbox live fee for access they only get a trial of the game and must shell out even more to purchase it permanently.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 12 Jul 2006 @ 6:43am

        not true

        Xbox Live Silver is free.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          dkphybr, 12 Jul 2006 @ 6:59am

          Re: not true

          Yes, but Xbox Live Silver is also useless.

          Don't get me wrong, I like my Xbox. But it is the gateway to a service model for Micro$oft. A means to extratct money on a regular basis. Just like they've wanted to do with Windows for years. The 360 gives them a whole new platform on which to just that.

          I grew up with the old school games in question. I like Splinter Cell, Halo, etc. But I don't always have time for an invloved game in the evening. It's nice to boot up an old favorite on my hacked Xbox for a little entertainment in a limited time frame. I don't have to worry about making it to the next save point. Just play for a few minutes, and stop. That, I think, is also the target market.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    StarMonkey, 12 Jul 2006 @ 5:47am

    Oh Boy! Yet Another One...

    My first instinct is "Oh Boy!" but then I look around at the multiple platforms in my house and I realize I have multiple copies of "Ms. Pacman", "Frogger", "Robotron 2064" and others. Why do I need more? Is the superior power of the 360 going to help me gobble pellets any better than my SNES?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Jul 2006 @ 6:28am

      Re: Oh Boy! Yet Another One...

      How about the fact that many games are adding multiplayer, high-definition graphics, and achievements and reward points?

      But I still wouldnt pay $15...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    ibeetle, 12 Jul 2006 @ 6:22am

    This is what is next?

    This is the next generation in gaming? A $400.00 MAME system to play 25 year old arcade games.

    And like StarMonkey says. How many copies of Pacman and Frogger do we already have, and how many more do we need.

    Looks to me like the xBox 360 team is already out of new, fresh and original ideas. So they are trying to convince us what we really want are the original games of yesteryear.

    Look Mom! That game system you spent $1,000.00 for last year on Ebay now plays Pacman. Cool, huh?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Jager, 12 Jul 2006 @ 8:57am

      Re: This is what is next?

      Yes it is the next gen in gaming. The Marketplace Community is just part of what makes the 360. It is the community aspect that will sell these copies.

      I can play my Atari versions or I can play PacMan against my buddy that lives 500 miles away while chatting like he is in the same room. This is the fresh idea. Community is the big thing and the fresh idea. Heard of Myspace?

      Microsoft may not do a good job in a lot of areas, but MS haters have to admit that the 360 team is doing the research. No one needs to convince me... if it is fun and in my budget then I am for it.

      Microsoft is going where the money is at. It cost very little to produce these games and people want them. People have held this to be a truth by voting with their cash... I mean MS points.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Matthew, 12 Jul 2006 @ 6:22am

    Ooo robotron2064!?

    Where do I sign up???

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    DittoBox, 12 Jul 2006 @ 6:31am

    On my PC

    I'm perfectly happy with Gens and a few roms of the megadrive/genesis games I own :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    BC, 12 Jul 2006 @ 6:50am

    The Xbox is basically a computer already... i dont see how people would spend the money on an Xbox and not a real computer.. Why dont they just make an Xbox 360 adapter for the computer and we use that to hook it up. then to get that big screen feel.. hook your computer to your giant home entertainment system.. its all the same.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      BC, 12 Jul 2006 @ 6:51am

      Re:

      When i say Xbox 360 adapter i mean an adapter for the remote control, not the whole console.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 12 Jul 2006 @ 7:26am

        Re: Re:

        BC said:
        "When i say Xbox 360 adapter i mean an adapter for the remote control, not the whole console."

        It's already been done with the original XBOX, and I'm sure somebodies bound to do it with the 360 soon enough.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    smartkid, 12 Jul 2006 @ 7:11am

    xbox360

    put an xbox360 on a 52" hdtv with wireless controllers and you won't ever go back. i don't care what you guys say about old video games, they're fun to play again for about 5 min and then i'm spent. fifa in hd on a 360 is amazing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Adam, 12 Jul 2006 @ 7:44am

    Enough with the stereotype! Stop refering to casual gamers as 'bored housewives'. That is just silly, do you call hard core gamers 'bored geeks with no girlfriend'?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    GIJoeBob, 12 Jul 2006 @ 7:53am

    You guys are missing the point.

    No one is going to buy a 360 just to play the games on Live Arcade. Those games are there as a perk. But they are proving to be very popular.

    And they don't cost $15. More like $5-8.

    Live Arcade R0xx0r$ my $0xx0r$!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jason, 12 Jul 2006 @ 8:06am

    Geez, it's not that serious.

    I don't think Microsoft is trying to sell extra systems by incporporating old games, I think it's simply making more use out of theme. Remember how the "360" in "XBOX 360" stands for all around system? The 360 is designed to co-exist with a computer, not replace one. It's designed to be the center of your living room. It's just another expansion to the already pretty damn good 360, so I say good job Microsoft.

    For people who don't have the knowledge of emulators or who simply enjoy playing games on a huge LCD (or Plasma or whatever the case) is true HD then let them have their 360 versions, why not?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Gabriel Tane (profile), 12 Jul 2006 @ 8:12am

    Ohhh...

    ...can I spell it with a "$" too!?!?! Can I? Can I?

    Ok people... you're bashing MS so hard that you're completely missing the point.

    This whole XB360 Arcade thing is just MS doing what they designed the 360 to do... and that's to be the "all in one" package for home entertainment. They know they won't completely push other systems out of your house. They're not trying to. What they're doing is trying to entice you with convenience.

    Is anyone surprised that a business is trying to make money? Seriously people. You're acting like this is some subversive way to for MS to milk even more money out of you. They aren't making you download these. They're not required for anything.

    I'm a great example of their target for these things (although, I haven't bought any yet, because it's not worth my money yet). I play the $60 360 games and the $50 Xbox games. I use it for a DVD player (although I don't have the remote). I browse for the occasional movie trailer or neat video or whatever. I like the old arcade games, so if I see one that really strikes my fancy, I'll buy it. Simply because I use my 360 as my gaming center.

    I don't play many computer games anymore. I'm tired of being just under the sys req's to play them and I'm not sinking retarded money into a rig just to play this season's games and then have to upgrade next year. And with many PC games coming out multi-platform anyway, I'm making the choice to go onto a non-PC platform. My choice. meh. So they target this kind of offer of convenience at people like me. Doesn't make them evil and subversive (MS has many many other ways of being that).

    Simply put, this is MS doing what they had planned to do with the 360. And we shouldn't be surprised to see them try it. It's like when the phone services added long-distance and international calling. They weren't trying to evilly subvert letters and postcards. They were just trying to win some market.

    OMG!!! They're trying to make money!?!?!!!one11!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    James Cori, 12 Jul 2006 @ 8:30am

    To quote Larry the Cable Guy

    "I might as well have bought a $1800 deck of cards... all i do is play solitare on that thing."

    Most people spend $1000+ on a computer to check email and play solitare. It's not so much having an overpowered machine for the job, as it is having a machine that makes itself more worth the cost by multitasking. I love the megaman collection for my gamecube and other remakes. I've always thought that they should remake platform games utilizing the power of the new systems, such as fully 3d rendered graphics in a side-scroller (kindof like Viewtiful Joe)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jul 2006 @ 8:52am

    just boot linux on a pc hack a xbox controller, and use a tv-out to a widescreen TV, then tell me that a micropissedoff xbox 360 is better

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Joe, 12 Jul 2006 @ 9:08am

      Re:

      Easy...

      I don't feel like dealing with hacking around with crap when I get home from work. I work and study hard all day. This allows me to make a good living and have the money to relax when I am at home.

      From your comment, it sounds like your hate for Microsoft is what the real issue you have with the 360. Have an open mind to all companies and all equipment. You would expect and Apple employee to be lined up with you on your hate talk, but I don't see the point. Talk about the real issues in the article instead of flaming. It's a waste of time.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Me, 12 Jul 2006 @ 10:59am

    missing the point

    I think you are all missing the point here. yes, pac-man and frogger have been released before. and yes, you can get emulators for the computer or what not. but the real reason for these new iterations of the same games is
    ACHIEVEMENT POINTS. and plenty of them.

    Im gonna go play hexic.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    lil'bit, 12 Jul 2006 @ 11:00am

    Hacking an X-box?

    Sounds intreging, as I AM one of of those people who actually bought the thing just to play one game (Toe Jam and Earl, if you want to know) (and I waited a long time for a cheap used one)

    So, how does one hack an X-box and why?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Jason, 12 Jul 2006 @ 12:35pm

      Re: Hacking an X-box?

      Not something that should be discussed here and that is against the EULA for the xBox. Anyhow, google is your friend. :-)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Sohrab, 12 Jul 2006 @ 12:32pm

    Ok....I really dont get it. Ive owned the 360 from launch month and people who sit there and download stuff from the Arcade.....

    OK, so im already paying for "Live" that every other system PS2, all PC games are free....Ok so whatever, $60 there.

    Now you want me to pay a couple of bucks for super old games that like Mike said are free Emulators? Im pretty sure I didnt spend $800 on a system to play Pac-Man

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Jason, 12 Jul 2006 @ 12:34pm

      Re:

      Then that's your choice. Microsoft didn't say "Buy pacman or your xbox Live will expire or your 360 will blow it's BIOS chip."

      What's so bad about Microsoft offering services? It's not costing you anything since you don't want it. Geez.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jason, 12 Jul 2006 @ 12:33pm

    Geez...Again

    It's amazing how many Microsoft haters there are in the world. Microsoft is responsible for a lot of the advancement of technology. A lot of it. Not saying that Microsoft did it, but they sure as hell provided the drive for other companies to do it.

    Do you think Linux would exist today (and if it does then would it exist and be as complete as it is) if Microsoft Windows was not driving the market. More than 80% of the worlds PCs have Windows pre-installed. Hate Microsoft all you want, I'm sure Gates doesn't give a shit.

    Yeah you can hack a XBOX with linux or mods chips or blah blah blah, but not everyone has the technical know-how or the time or even the patience to do that. As a matter of fact, I have the 360 (and I love it) and I wouldn't waste my time modding it because that's all it is to me, a waste of time.

    Again, pay attention to the "360" part of the name. It means something. CONVENIENCE. That's what's going on here. It's a way for Microsoft to make a little extra dough on the side without hurting anyone. So damn, put a freakin sock in it.

    These comments are getting entirely too technical. The 360 is not designed for the tech dude running dual CPUs on their desktop, it's designed for the gamer (who isn't always so technically inclined) and the home-theatre dudes. My 360 and PC (which can run circles around my 360) both work together, giving me a nice, intergrated, remotely powered, great sounding, pleasent audio/visual experience.

    --
    Jason

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Bwana, 12 Jul 2006 @ 6:45pm

    Multiplayer via Live

    The difference between XBLA titles and your standard emulator is multiplayer capability via XBox Live. Yes, you can play Frogger against French people.... from your couch. Yes, you can (er, will be able to) play Street Fighter II against people from the UK... and talk smack.

    I've played old school games on my PC and my gameboy advance, but I have more fun playing the XBox Live Arcade games.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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