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XBLA Wednesdays unveiled, SFII drops Aug. 2 [update 1]

The event that Microsoft is holding in San Francisco tonight -- the one we won't be attending since the 'stiq doesn't have any presence there (yet) -- promises to pump the pliable gaming press full of booze and hors d'oeuvres before plopping them in front of screens, sticking controllers into their greased meat mittens, and watching them play arcade games that demand the connection between their eyes and hands be a bit more reliable than their (by this point, failed) plan to maintain sobriety by eating the hors d'oeuvres before downing the booze.

I so wish we were there.

At least we (may) get the satisfaction of knowing what's behind the red curtain beforehand: Xbox Live Arcade Wednesdays. What are Xbox Live Arcade Wednesdays, you ask? Simple, it's what every 360 owning, Xbox Live-having gamer is going to be rushing home from work to every Wednesday. Skip the happy hour crowd, forget about little Billy's softball game, just race home to play the latest XBLA hotness.

According to a forum post (we know, we know) at, a press release (pasted after the break) we'll be enjoying a new XBLA title every Wednesday this summer, beginning tomorrow with Frogger and followed weekly by Cloning Clyde, Galaga, Street Fighter II' Hyper Fighting, and finally Pac-Man. I know, that only gets us up to August 9th, still a few weeks (and games) short of the whole summer ... and we're not even being pedantic and getting into solstices and crap. Really, we just want Lumines.

[Thanks, Top Rope Suplex]

[update 1: confirmed with actual email from Microsoft PR (that was dated Jul. 12th, whoops). Read it after the break.]

Xbox 360 Heats up the Summer with Xbox Live Arcade Wednesdays: First Up, Frogger and the Arrival of the Best Old School Games of All Time

'Frogger', 'Galaga', 'Street Fighter II' Hyper Fighting', and Pac-Man make their next-gen debut on Wednesday's this summer – bringing exciting new retro content to Xbox 360 gamers worldwide

Today, Xbox Live unveils Xbox Live Arcade Wednesdays, a new program that will provide a regular launch schedule of new Xbox Live Arcade games for gamers worldwide. Starting today, Xbox Live Arcade games will now go live worldwide on Wednesdays at 0800 GMT (Midnight Pacific) – hitting gamers around the world all on the same day.

Xbox Live Arcade Wednesdays kicks off with a blockbuster summer schedule of eagerly anticipated retro titles. Gamers looking for a blast from the past can download 'Frogger' – the beloved Konami classic arcade title – today on Xbox Live Arcade. Other Xbox Live Arcade Wednesdays titles debuting in the coming weeks include 'Cloning Clyde', 'Street Fighter II' Hyper Fighting,' 'Galaga' and 'Pac-Man.' To date, Xbox 360 gamers have downloaded more than 5 million Xbox Live Arcade games and the release schedule sizzles all summer long, with the following titles arriving on Xbox Live Arcade:

Ø July 12 – Frogger

Ø July 19 – Cloning Clyde

Ø July 26 – Galaga

Ø August 2 – Street Fighter II' Hyper Fighting

Ø August 9 – Pac-Man

Kicking off with 'Frogger', fans of the Konami classic can download the game that first hit arcades in 1981 and once again be able to dodge traffic and eats flies with their frog, this time racking up Achievements along the way. There's no better way to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Frogger and the launch of Xbox Live Arcade Wednesdays than downloading this latest title from the Xbox Live Arcade game portfolio.

Xbox Live Arcade's 'Frogger' has been enhanced and reinvigorated for the Xbox 360 and features new, enhanced artwork that matches and compliments the original style. In addition the game's audio, including sound effects and music ditties, has been modernized to sound crisp and clear on today's high performance sound systems. New features include:

- Enhanced artwork and backdrops; players can now choose to play the original arcade classic graphics or the new enhanced graphics

- Fresh soundtrack and upgraded sounds effects

- New Xbox Live Arcade split screen multiplayer modes

- Addictive new Co-op vs Speed, and Head-to-Head Modes

The release of 'Frogger' will be followed up by a host of highly anticipated titles:

– 'Cloning Clyde,' the action adventure/puzzle game created by Wahoo Studios, developer of the popular 'Outpost Kaloki X' for Xbox Live Arcade, will bring its wacky,, classic animation style world to Xbox 360 on July 19

– 'Galaga,' the popular space shooter from Namco, which was first released back in 1981, comes packed with a new online multiplayer function, enhanced graphics and all new game modes on August 2

– 'Street Fighter II' Hyper Fighting' takes the best from retro gaming and combines it with the signature features of Xbox 360 and Xbox Live, creating the best 'Street Fighter' experience to date, on July 26

Of course, a line-up of retro classics wouldn't be complete without perhaps the most classic title of them all, 'Pac-Man,' the fruit-eating maze game that changed the face of gaming upon its release in 1980. The Xbox Live Arcade version, which comes out on August 9, takes the famous franchise to the next-generation. With multiplayer over Xbox Live and tons of cool Achievements, 'Pac-Man' stays true to the original while powering-up to next-gen standards.

To help kick-off the summer of Xbox Live Arcade and the launch of these classic game titles, Xbox Live celebrated the 80s with the second Xbox Live Gold Experience event last night in San Francisco for its community members and is now helping other Xbox gamers do the same. Xbox 360 gamers that are interested in throwing their own 80s game night can visit to secure a retro party-in-a-box complete with Microsoft Points Cards good for free arcade title downloads, pizza coupons courtesy of Papa John's, and a gift card for 80s music.

"There's no better way to revisit the 80s than to throw a retro-themed Gold Experience party - complete with the right classic arcade games, music, and pizza," said Ami Blaire, Global Marketing Director for Xbox Live. "So this summer, live it up on your Xbox 360 and enjoy our new twists on the old classic faves."

All Xbox Live Arcade games can be demoed for free on Xbox Live Marketplace. Check out Xbox Live and for continuing updates on exciting new content available to Xbox 360 gamers.

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