Microsoft India woke up from its late slumber and launched the Xbox Arcade at PVR Cinemas within the confines of the ultra exclusive Gold class in New Delhi last week. The event was spearheaded by Jaspreet Bindra, who eloquently addressed the media under the sinful gaze of a spotlight elaborating the features of this product.
The Arcade unit is essentially a glorified Core unit that comes bundled with seven games, wireless controller, HDMI cable and a 256 MB memory unit at an astronomically high price tag of Rs 16,990. The presentation was oxymoronically worded since most of the features that Mr. Bindra discussed with the aid of colorful pie diagrams required the services of a hard drive, including the frequent usage of LIVE and the Xbox 360ís rather minimal multimedia options.
He also issued the following press statement, “We are very excited to announce the Xbox 360 Arcade in India. It defines complete entertainment for the whole family and allows users to access the best online entertainment content on Xbox Live, a service that enables one to play and chat with friends and families in any part of the world. The Arcade is an incredible home entertainment value proposition meant to transform the way people in this country come together to play games and be entertained.”
The strategy feature regarding the product has been toward the more casual gaming crowd that seeks alternate forms of entertainment apart from the multiplexes, clubs and the glorious tendency of being mall rats. The launch of the unit essentially means fewer Premium units flowing onto store shelves. The only worthwhile games that are included in the bundle are Forza 2 and Viva Pinata, the others being mediocre Xbox live titles, UNO, Pac Man, Boom Boom Rocket, Feeding frenzy and Luxor 2.
The high point of the event was the Gears of War 2 playthrough that lasted for 30 minutes on a 35 mm screen with digital surround sound which proved to be so violent for the general media, that most walked out of the hall to get their bags of burgers and hotdogs being served, whilst the rest of us huddled around a two tiny controllers (as compared to the screen) and pushed our way through yet another emergence hole.
- By Neelesh Mukherjee