I recently took advantage of my privileges at the Microsoft Company Store to purchase a XBox 360. I’m not going to go over the pros of the system, they’re covered in more detail than I want to here, here and here (oh yeah, here too). It’s great, and if you have an HD set, it’s a no brainer.
Here’s what I love: XBox Live Arcade. It’s a fantastic example of 10′ experience design.
Through it, I can download trial versions of arcade games onto my XBox 360 and relive the arcade classics. A subset of my current favorites:
Yes, I may be dating myself with the above. So why should I care about the above, beyond the trip down memory lane? The XBox Live Arcade is about as seamless as you can get – select a game, download the trial and go. Since these games are ‘classics’ the download time is very short on a broadband connection. Since the games live on the hard drive, you don’t have to swap discs in and out of the machine.
I’m not sure I’m sold on the whole Live tokens, but from the perspective getting people into the service, it’s fantastic. We’re seeing similar services on the PC gaming side with services like StarDock Central, EA Link, Steam, and Direct2Drive. What’s interesting to me about all of these (Live Arcade included) is how much they go towards improving the gaming experience. No longer do I have to deal with tracking down the disc, the registration code, or the box in the store.
We’ve seen this in music (obviously), are starting to see it in media, and software as well. What else happens with lots of bandwidth and pervasive connectivity?
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