XBLA Texas Hold 'em to be free for 48 hours [update 2]

Thanks to our Aussie friends, some attuned readers spotted a now extinct posting on Xbox Australia stating that upcoming XBLA title Texas Hold 'em would be free for the first 48 hours. Here is the first paragraph of the news:

Microsoft isn't bluffing: Gamers can log on to Xbox Live within the first 48 hours after launch and download 'Texas Hold 'em' -- completely free of charge! This full-featured poker title for Xbox Live Arcade on Xbox 360 will launch on Wednesday, August 23 at 0800 GMT (1am Pacific). For 48 hours only -- Wednesday, August 23 through 0800 GMT (1am Pacific) Friday, August 25 -- as a special limited-time only promotion, gamers can download (and own) the game at no charge (for all Xbox Live Gold and Silver members). Starting at 0801 GMT (1:01am Pacific) Friday, August 25, 'Texas Hold 'em' for Xbox Live Arcade will be available for 800 Microsoft Points.

Well, looks like what Greg Canessa told us was half right. You will have to pay for the game, but only if you're too slow, Joe. We have the full text of the news after the break.

[Thanks, Carl Winslow and Sherveen Mashayekhi]

[Update: It appears that this may be official now. We just got the press release with this exact same info sent to our inbox from Microsoft's PR agency. So, there you go, it'll be free for 48 hours.]

[Update: The U.S. Xbox site has been updated with Texas Hold 'em info. Check it out here.]




No Need for Gamers to go 'All In'; Full Version of 'Texas Hold 'em' on Xbox Live Arcade is a Free Download for First 48 Hours

Next Wave of Killer Content on Xbox Live Arcade Also Includes 'Time Pilot,' 'Scramble' and New Premium Downloads for 'Cloning Clyde'

Microsoft isn't bluffing: Gamers can log on to Xbox Live within the first 48 hours after launch and download 'Texas Hold 'em' – completely free of charge! This full-featured poker title for Xbox Live Arcade on Xbox 360 will launch on Wednesday, August 23 at 0800 GMT (1am Pacific). For 48 hours only – Wednesday, August 23 through 0800 GMT (1am Pacific) Friday, August 25 – as a special limited-time only promotion, gamers can download (and own) the game at no charge (for all Xbox Live Gold and Silver members). Starting at 0801 GMT (1:01am Pacific) Friday, August 25, 'Texas Hold 'em' for Xbox Live Arcade will be available for 800 Microsoft Points.

Not only is 'Texas Hold 'em' free to all gamers, this title comes equipped with features that can only be found on Xbox 360. Designed to simulate the risk-reward of real poker gameplay, keep gamers honest, and discourage opponents from betting too recklessly, 'Texas Hold 'em' has an innovative new feature called Persistent Bankroll. Your virtual bankroll is tied to your Xbox Live Gamertag and keeps a running tally of your chip count. If you lose all of your chips in a poker game, you'll have to play lower stakes buy-in games to make back your stack and earn your way to the big tables.

'Texas Hold 'em' also offers multiplayer support for up to eight gamers, three modes of gameplay (Standard Games, Scenarios and Tournaments), Achievements, extensive online leaderboards and statistics, and high-definition graphics. Enjoy poker night every night with friends, family and gamers around the
world (please note that this title may not be available in some countries).

In addition to the exciting release of 'Texas Hold 'em' on August 23, gamers can also look forward to new game titles and premium downloadable game content on Xbox Live Arcade Wednesdays from August 16 to September 6, including:

  • 'Cloning Clyde Picture Pack', the action adventure/puzzle game created by Wahoo Studios/NinjaBee (developer of the popular 'Outpost Kaloki X' for Xbox Live Arcade), will have 4 new gamer picture packs available on Xbox Live Marketplace on Wednesday, August 16, allowing gamers to check out more unique pictures of Clyde. Each gamer picture pack: 100 Microsoft Points (each).
  • 'Time Pilot', the futuristic fighter pilot classic from Konami, lets gamers fight through different eras like never before. High-definition graphics and enhanced gameplay designed specifically for Xbox Live Arcade makes this version even better than the original from 1982. Gamers can download 'Time Pilot' on Xbox Live Arcade Wednesday, August 30. Available: 400 Microsoft Points.
  • 'Scramble', the classic side-scrolling 'shoot-'em up' coin-op title from Konami takes off on Xbox Live Arcade. The 1981 classic, widely considered the first 'multi-level shooter,' launches on Xbox Live Arcade Wednesday September 6. Available: 400 Microsoft Points.

All Xbox Live Arcade games can be demoed for free on Xbox Live Marketplace. Check out Xbox Live and Xbox.com for continuing updates on exciting new content available to Xbox 360 gamers. As always, all launch dates are subject to change. Gold subscription is required for multiplayer features. A memory unit or hard drive is required to download content from Xbox Live Marketplace.

About Xbox Live
Xbox Live is the first and only unified online entertainment network seamlessly integrated throughout the entire console experience, making it easy for people to find the friends, games and entertainment they want from the moment they power on their Xbox 360 system. Xbox Live connects millions of members across 24 countries to enjoy hundreds of multiplayer games, downloadable games via Xbox Live Arcade, free and premium playable game demos, music videos, and movie trailers, as well as new game levels, characters and vehicles for all their favorite retail games. More information can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/en-us/live.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.