Atari games on XBLA, holiday titles confirmed

Alongside the press release for Contra hitting XBLA, Microsoft sent another press release outlining a slew of Atari classics heading to Live Arcade next year. The six Atari games to be released are:
  • Centipede/Millipede
  • Battlezone
  • Asteroids/Asteroids Deluxe
  • Missile Command
  • Tempest
  • Warlords
All of the games will feature both original and "evolved" versions. The evolved versions, similar to Konami's offerings, will feature revamped graphics and sound. All games will have leaderboards and achievements, and multiplayer games will have Live support. Surprisingly, many of these games are receiving some pretty impressive new features, including Live Vision support for Battlezone and Warlords. It looks like many of the games will receive three dimensional upgrades instead of simply using high definition sprites, too. Finally, and this is not a joke, Centipede evolved has motion blur. Motion. Blur. In Centipede. If that's not worth $5, we don't know what is.

Also worth mentioning, the press release confirmed that the following titles should hit the Arcade before the end of 2006:
  • Small Arms
  • Assault Heroes
  • Novadrome (?)
  • Heavy Weapon
  • Defender
It should be noted that this isn't necessarily all the titles we'll be seeing by year's end (we're looking at you RoboBlitz). Full press release after the break.

No Cartridges or Quarters Needed! Atari Classics and More Coming to Xbox Live® Arcade

In addition to its robust classic arcade roster, Microsoft also delivers a great mix of original development and independent game titles to Xbox Live members this holiday season and into the New Year

Today, as part of the Xbox 360™ showcase event, Microsoft provided a preview of some of its holiday and early 2007 line-up for Xbox Live Arcade, the premiere destination for downloadable games. Centipedes, Asteroids and Missiles will be among the many gaming icons to visit gamers' homes next year, as Microsoft and Atari, Inc. announced the future arrival of some of the most beloved classic coin-op games on Xbox Live Arcade.

Beginning in January 2007, Atari will release six titles on Xbox Live Arcade throughout the year. Both classic and evolved versions will be available for each of the following titles:

Centipede®/Millipede®: defend your village against an onslaught of centipedes, spiders, army ants and more. In addition to the classic mode, the evolution mode offers high definition graphics and special effects like motion blur, trails and particle-based explosions to make the experience as enjoyable today as it was decades ago.

Battlezone®: the original tank vs. tank action classic has received an Xbox Live overhaul, adding in exciting new multiplayer modes including Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch and Capture the Flag. This updated version is truly a must-have for any fan of the original, which is also included. Additionally, players can use the Xbox Live Vision camera to watch live video of their opponents. Combine these features with new special effects for weapon firing, impacts and explosions and you have one killer classic as you've never experienced it before.

Asteroids®/Asteroids Deluxe™: rotate, thrust, flip, fire and jump to hyperspace as you blast oncoming asteroids to smithereens just like in the 1979 original, but in updated, beautifully rendered, high definition graphics that complement the classic original.

Missile Command™: protecting your city from alien missile attacks has never looked better now that this classic has been overhauled with updated graphics and 3D rendered vistas. Choose from the evolved mode or the timeless original gameplay.

Tempest™: clear a web of enemies before time runs out and advance to the next stage, using an arsenal of weapons at your disposal. This evolved version features a graphics overhaul while maintaining the same addictive gameplay of the original.

Warlords®: a multiplayer classic that resurrects the competitive spirit of arcade games from years gone by. Knock out the other kings in their castles while keeping yourself protected at the same time. Up to four players can join the action with the game taking control of any vacant castles allowing for a variety of single- or multiplayer experiences. Gamers can also import their own pictures to their castles for an extra personalization.

Playing these Atari favorites on Xbox Live Arcade provides gamers with a next-generation experience found nowhere else. All Atari games for Xbox Live Arcade feature high definition graphics with enhanced sound effects, full online leaderboard support, TrueSkill™ matchmaking for multiplayer games and feature a variety of Achievements. Gamers also have the option to play the original arcade versions of these classic titles.

"With our already diverse library of retro classics, original development and indie games, plus a host of new games hitting our service in the upcoming months, it's never been more fun to play on Xbox Live Arcade," said Greg Canessa, group manager of Xbox Live Arcade. "The Atari Classics in particular will provide an incredible gaming experience for our community and I personally can't wait until everyone can play these updated versions for themselves.

"Years ago, we couldn't even have imagined how gorgeous the classic games from 25 years ago would look with high definition graphics, but Xbox 360 has allowed us to make that leap," said Chris Bergstresser, Senior Vice President, Atari Networks. "Enhanced with leaderboards, achievements and multiplayer support, these classic franchises are brought to a whole new level – offering gamers an experience like they've never had before."

Xbox Live Arcade's diverse library of titles is going to keep growing, with a particular emphasis on new, originally developed games from indie developers and big studios alike. Over 100 indie developers and virtually every major console publisher in the world are working to develop games for Xbox Live Arcade. Some of the diverse titles we will be releasing by this holiday include:

· Small Arms (Gastronaut Studios) – an indie-developed original title designed specifically for Xbox Live Arcade, featuring frantic multiplayer brawling combined with action and precision shooting.

· Novadrome (Buena Vista Games) – originally developed futuristic racing on Xbox Live Arcade.

· Assault Heroes (Wanako/Vivendi Games) – blast waves of formidable foes in this originally developed top-down shooter, single player or two player co-op action.

· Heavy Weapon (PopCap Games) – experience this irreverent, original side-scrolling action game that supports up to 4 players simultaneously.

· Defender (Midway) – space combat classic updated for this generation.

· Contra (Konami) – the seminal side-scrolling shooter that started it all will be launching on Xbox Live Arcade this Wednesday, November 8 at 0800 GMT

About Xbox Live & Xbox Live Arcade

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 is a thriving online game community, connecting more than 4 million members across nearly 25 countries enabling the enjoyment of hundreds of social games, on-demand game demos, Xbox Live Arcade games, music and movie content.

Xbox Live Arcade enables gamers of all ages to easily play in new, fun ways with their friends anytime and anywhere. With more than 12 million game downloads to date and a vast library of independent, retro and original games, Xbox Live Arcade is a fast growing entertainment phenomenon. More information can be found online at

This article was originally published on Joystiq.