This week’s post was inspired by a conversation between my fiancée and I concerning the wonders of the Xbox Live Arcade. We were investigating the trial version of Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes and we began almost lamenting the sheer breadth and quality of the variety of content present on the service. From time to time, Microsoft receives a low level of flak for some of its approaches to the Marketplace system, but one of the greatest aspects that they established was the necessity for all XBLA titles to be provided in trial form.
|I get misty-eyed just looking at it.|
The latter of that trio has likely been the most successful. Bastion benefited from myriad sources giving it great reviews (even ourselves), as well as being chosen by Microsoft as the banner title for their ‘Summer of Arcade’ series in the middle of last year. And while all that is well and good, I would still argue that at least part of that success (frankly huge for any game, never mind an indie) is thanks to the fact that players were able to cut through the PR hype by sitting back and trying out the game by themselves.
|This is my first sighting of the newly-titled |
Sony Entertainment Network.
“For the average user it absolutely is a nightmare. Thus, many of us get our SEN release information elsewhere, and then search on the system. Sony also does a bad job of categorizing content and they over-tag. The end result is an overwhelming barrage of disorganized garbage.”
Dietrich went further, citing a Penny Arcade strip for further evidence of Sony’s inherently awkward approach. No opportunity to link a comic strip goes missed when I’m around. Et voila. However, he is keen to point out that things have improved since then, if not been fully rectified.
Platforms aside, though, I still maintain that the proliferation of online downloadable content has been the defining moment of gaming in this generation. The idea of being able to browse, experiment, purchase, and then download fully functional games within a matter of minutes is really and truly exhilarating when you actually stop and think about it for a moment. That said, there are still plenty of console owners who do not maximise the potential of this gaming avenue, and so the purpose of this article is simply to highlight that which you might have missed.
This week’s assignment questions are simple: How often do you peruse the titles available for download from your chosen system? How often has your perusing subsequently led to coughing up cold hard cash (or digital Microsoft banana bucks) for the full version?