Break Out the Van Halen: Microsoft Unleashing Retro Titles on Xbox Live

Dennis Faas's picture

For those missing the days of big hair and neon spandex, Microsoft has announced a number of retro-releases for its Xbox Live service.

Available each week until mid-August, a number of hits from the 80s and early 90s are coming to Microsoft's Xbox 360 online community. Some of the most notable titles include Pac-Man, Galaga, and for a heightened fee, the arcade juggernaut Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting.

Since the release of the Xbox 360 in November, Microsoft has added a "Live Arcade" section to its online service. Many older titles are already avaiable there, including Gauntlet and Smash TV. Although some games are free, many of the full versions must be purchased with credits, available in bulk at retailers like Best Buy.

The most notable releases between late July and mid-August include the space blaster Galaga on July 26, the quintessential arcade legend Pac-Man on August 9, with the biggest draw, Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting, sandwiched in between on August 2. (Source:

Despite the buzz around the releases as an 80s event, Street Fighter is clearly receiving most of the attention. The original Street Fighter featured just two fighters and was almost impossible to find in North America, but the 1992 release of Street Fighter II kicked off a flurry of 2D fighting titles. In the years after Street Fighter II's release, other massive titles sought to imitate its success, including Mortal Kombat and Primal Rage.

Although billed as an homage to the best hits of yesteryear, the second release July 19 will actually be an all-new game. The 3D adventure and puzzle title Cloning Clyde reportedly imitates many retro favourites, but will be available on Xbox Live for the premium price of 800 credits (or $10).

Prices are largely based on the difficulty found in transfering each title to the Xbox Live service. The older titles, such as Galaga and Pac-Man, are available for 400 credits (or $5). New title Cloning Clyde and Street Fighter will cost gamers the higher price point of 800 credits, however.

Although no releases beyond August 9 have yet been set, Microsoft has stated that they hope to make available at least 50 titles by year's end. (Source:

Nostalgic gamers rejoice.

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