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Microsoft to release five Live Arcade titles in five weeks

Starting with Frogger, released today, Microsoft plans to release five Xbox Live Arcade titles, including the highly anticipated Street Fighter II, between now and August 9th.

Microsoft plans to release a new Xbox Live Arcade title every week until August 9th.

Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting, one of the most highly anticipated titles on the Live Arcade schedule, has been given a concrete release date of August 2nd.

Meanwhile, arcade legends Pac-Man and Galaga join the line up, with Konami's Frogger, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary year, available from today.

Joining those titles will be newcomer Cloning Clyde, which has attracted press attention with its simple concept and interesting gameplay ideas.

Each of the unreleased titles will go live at 8AM GMT on one of the next four Wednesdays, and the first, Frogger, costs 400 Microsoft points (GBP 3.40). Xbox Live Arcade titles usually cost between 400 and 800 points, which users buy in bulk via micropayment.

  • July 12 - Frogger (Konami)
  • July 19 - Cloning Clyde (NinjaBee)
  • July 26 - Galaga (Namco)
  • August 2 - Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting (Capcom)
  • August 9 - Pac-Man (Namco)

The news that Microsoft plans to release five Live Arcade titles in the space of five weeks will be warmly received by fans of the service - although some will also question the whereabouts of the highly anticipated Lumines Live from former SEGA developer Tetsuya Mizuguchi's Q Entertainment studio.

Although the service boasts a broad range of titles, it has been over two months since the release of the last game - a version of popular card game UNO - and there have only been seven other new releases since the turn of the year.

One of the reasons it's taken so long to bring such small games to Live Arcade at a regular rate, Microsoft said recently, is that publishers weren't originally convinced of Live Arcade's merits.

However, with the platform holder now claiming that it has registered five million downloads (though the figures may be inflated by the inclusion of trial versions), and a groundswell of popular opinion on its side, the number of sceptics is starting to dwindle.

This week's announcement is also the first sign of the titles promised by Microsoft during its E3 showcase, when it revealed that publishers including Namco, Konami and Sega - working on a version of Sonic the Hedgehog - had pledged elements of their back catalogue to the burgeoning digital distribution service.

Prior to that, Xbox Live Arcade titles had generally been culled from the catalogues of independently made web and mobile titles from the likes of Carbonated Games and PomPom - with Midway (Robotron, Smash TV) and second-party developer Bizarre Creations (Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved) the only major labels to get involved prior to that.

The full catalogue of Xbox Live Arcade titles can be found on Microsoft's website.

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