Steam isn't the only digital distribution service offering games up in delicious digital bits; Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade has been selling kids Geometry Wars crack for $5 a hit ... just to get you started. So it should come as no surprise that, like many of Steam's games, some of Xbox Live Arcade's will be coming to retail as well.
According to Next Generation, "Peter Moore is pushing to extend the Live Arcade brands to retail, arguing internally that original games like Geometry Wars, retro hits like Smash TV and casual games like Hardwood Hearts will extend Xbox 360's appeal to non-hardcore audiences."
I know where they're going with this: around half of the 360 owners aren't on XBL, yet they might want to jam on some Joust. Thing is, the whole idea is that some of these games, which had their retail heyday 20 years ago, made the jump online to cut distribution costs and bypass the limited retail interest. Ultimately, Microsoft will need to cherry pick games whose retail prospects would make the move worthwhile. That means more Geometry Wars, less Smash TV.
[Via Evil Avatar]
[Update 1: A tipster claims MS released the following info to retailers today. The $39.99 package, which will be dubbed Xbox Live Arcade Unplugged, will include XBLA superstar Geometry Wars, along with Texas Hold'em, Wik, Bejeweled 2, Outpost Kaloki X, Hardwood Backgammon, a free 1-month Gold membership, 100 free Microsoft bucks, and should be available in early September. Thanks, Loki.]