In what is possibly the first nail in Gamestop's coffin, Microsoft will be offering downloadable Xbox games over the Xbox 360's Xbox Live Arcade starting on December 4, 2007. That's right. Actual Xbox games. Halo, most notably, will be available for download through the Xbox Live Arcade, once again, on December 4. The first generation of games available through the Arcade includes Halo (1), Fable, Crimson Skies, Psychonauts, Burnout 3: Takedown, Fuzion Frenzy and Crash Bandicoot: Wrath of Cortex. Each game is slated to cost 1200 points ($15).
What is, perhaps, the most-important aspect is how Psychonauts is available for download. The cult-favorite done by the legendary Tim Schaffer is not even listed as available for consoles on Gamestop.com (the Xbox and PS2 versions were both released in limited quantities). Additionally, Halo costs roughly $25 used, compared to the fairly humble $15 for the digital version available through the Live arcade. Not all the games are a bargain through Live, however. Burnout 3 costs $10 used at Gamestop, Crash Bandicoot costs$9 and Crimson Skies costs a meager $2.
Future releases have not been stated, though some of the scarcer Xbox games, like Marvel vs. Capcom 2, Dai Senryaku VII, King of Fighters 2002/03 and Chronicles of Riddick getting the digital distribution treatment certainly raises eyebrows.
Regrettably, an announcement of what Xbox games you won't have to buy again to play on the 360 did not accompany it; there is still no word on more backwards-compatible games for the 360.
Check back with Mygamer for more details.