Microsoft unveils Xbox Live ‘Game Room’

Microsoft announces that its new virtual arcade is heading for Xbox 360 next month…

With the PlayStation 3’s underwhelming ‘Home’, introducing the console gaming world to a hub in which avatars can stretch their limbs just like their real-life counterparts.

Microsoft has belatedly followed suit, unveiling the ‘Game Room’. In a classic case of ‘does what it says on the tin’ titling, the Game Room will be a room full of – you guessed it – games. Thankfully, the games in question will not be blighted by the sort of dross that regularly finds its way onto Live Arcade, but bonafide retro classics.

Due for release March 24th, The Game Room will feature weekly uploads from MS, with its back catalogue expected to eventually consist of over 1,000 games. The likes of Centipede, Asteroids Deluxe and Outlaw are obvious admissions, but it is incredibly likely that modern Arcade classics such as Ridge Racer will also get a showing.

As far as payment is concerned, there will be a two-tier method enforced, meaning that you either pop 40 MS points into the virtual slot for a quick play, or cough up 240-400 MS points to keep the machine in your personal Arcade. In typical Microsoft fashion, your Arcade can be customised and decorated in exchange for MS points, allowing you to show off just how much spare cash you have.

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Speaking of friends, there will be multiplayer support. Unfortunately, it will only be available if your friends are sitting on the same sofa as you. On the plus side, there is a hot seat mode available that allows you and a mate to take it in turns gunning for that high score, whilst Leaderboards and Achievements ensure that the Game Room will attract more than a few competitive spirits.

Expect to hear more launch games within the next month, before you lose three quarters of your friends list to High Scores.