A classic release game every Wednesday

Microsoft announced today that due to the popularity of its downloading service for the XBOX 360, it will release one game from the 1980's era every Wednesday for the next five weeks. Available for subscribers through XBOX Live Arcade, the games will be updated versions of classic arcade games such as Pac-Man and Frogger. The going price will range from $5 to $15 per game.

Currently, trial games are available through the Live Arcade service. Greg Canessa, Microsoft's group manager for XBOX Live Arcade says that so far, roughly 5 million free game trials have been downloaded by users and 21.7% of those ended up purchasing full versions of the trials.

Microsoft will test out the "retro" program for five weeks, and if successful, will continue the program for the rest of the year. Canessa told reporters that Microsoft already has 20 games lined up for release and hopes to have another 50 available by the end of this year. How successful this program is will be determined on how gamers feel about the cost of these classics.

Nintendo recently announced that it too will make classic games available to Wii owners. However, the program will not only extend to all previous generations of Nintendo consoles, but will also encompass games for Sega's systems such as the Genesis, and NEC's TurboGrafx 16 console. Nintendo has not released any details as to what kind of pricing structure will be setup for the classics.

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