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MS unveils Xbox Live plans

Lumines for Live Arcade!

Speaking at Microsoft's pre-E3 press conference in Los Angeles, Xbox executive Peter Moore has revealed what's in the pipeline for the Xbox 360 service, unveiling a raft of games for Live Arcade.

Moore said that Microsoft intends to "do for games what Sundance does for movies", partnering with more than 100 independent developers to provide "a platform for their titles and a spotlight for creativity."

To demonstrate this, the audience was shown video footage of new title Lumines Live, by Tetsuya Mizuguchi's Q Entertainment studio, which was accompanied by a Madonna track. Moore explained that a new partnership with Warner Music Group will mean that Lumines Live features a range of exclusive music content.

A selection of retro titles are also on the way to Live Arcade, thanks to partnerships with the likes of Midway, Namco and Konami. Titles mentioned at the press conference included Pac-Man, Contra, Frogger, Defender, Time Pilot, Scramble and Paperboy, plus relatively more recent hits such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Ultra Mortal Kombat 3 and Street Fighter II Hyper Fighting. "We're making sure your misspent youth can stay with you as long as possible," stated Moore.

He went on to confirm that some of the titles will be presented in high definition, and will feature multiplayer modes and high scores boards. "With so many choices, Live Arcade is a key market differentiator," Moore said, adding that other consoles "don't even come close."

The Xbox VP is clearly confident that the popularity of Xbox Live will continue to grow - he predicted that by the time E3 2007 rolls around, the number of gamers who have signed up for the service will have surpassed 6 million. When it comes to digital entertainment access, Moore said, "only Microsoft can deliver."

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Ellie Gibson

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Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.

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