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Microsoft shifts Xbox Originals to Games on Demand service

Rebranding begins for new service set to launch in August

Microsoft is preparing its Xbox 360 games-on-demand service for launch, and has already rebranded its Originals service on Xbox.com.

All the Original titles currently on offer for download on the Xbox Live Marketplace are now featured as part of the new Games on Demand service, and as before are available to download direct to Xbox 360 consoles.

Microsoft revealed at E3 that it will launch a games-on-demand service for older Xbox 360 titles, including BioShock, Assassin's Creed, Crackdown, LEGO Star Wars and Sonic the Hedgehog.

As well as helping to curb the lucrative second hand market, it also pre-empts any plans to release new titles over the service day-and-date with retail, although Microsoft has so far been at pains to suggest that will not be happening in the near future.

"It's not going to be new games," said Shane Kim in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz recently. "We did it with Xbox Originals and now we're expanding that to Xbox 360 games for the first time.

"They're bigger and more complex and there's a whole bunch of business related issues that we have to work out there if we wanted to start going day-and-date with new releases."

Although the company's big E3 showing was all about Project Natal, the games-on-demand service is considered by some to be a more significant development for the business, with analyst Michael Pachter stating; "This year's show is 'packaged goods are going away'.

"Half of all gaming purchases ten years from now are going to be digital. You can see it coming for the first time ever, the console manufacturers are behind it."

The service is due to go live in August with 30 titles at launch, and Microsoft is promising new releases every week, with consumers also able to buy titles for the first time using credit cards rather than Microsoft Points.

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