Microsoft to Sell Downloadable Full Xbox Games

To celebrate the fifth anniversary of Xbox Live, Microsoft is preparing a system update that will be delivered to users starting December 4 and bring support for downloading full versions of older Xbox titles such as "Halo," "Psychonauts" and "Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge."

While Microsoft has long offered downloads of arcade games via Xbox Live, this will be the first time it is offering full titles. The company says it is planning to sell a library of titles spanning the most popular genres in gaming. The capability is similar to that offered by Nintendo's Wii, which lets gamers buy and download games made for older Nintendo consoles.

The Xbox games will sell for 1,200 Microsoft Points, which equates to $15 USD. Microsoft plans to expand the initial lineup of games throughout 2008, although did not specifically name any major titles it will add.

"In just five short years, Xbox LIVE has revolutionized the way friends and family have fun in the living room," remarked John Schappert, corporate vice president of LIVE, software and services at Microsoft. "On its fifth birthday, Xbox LIVE truly is the place for hanging out with friends and enjoying downloadable TV shows, movies, videos, game add-ons and now downloadable Xbox games on demand."

All Xbox Live users will be able to download a free arcade game for two days on November 15 and 16, and those that signed up in 2002 -- the first year of Xbox Live -- will also receive 500 free Microsoft Points.

Xbox Live currently counts over 8 million members across 26 countries. Since the service's launch, Microsoft has bulked up the offering with videos, TV shows and movie downloads, along with game-related content.

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