On Monday, Microsoft revealed the software titles and accessories that it will make available for the Xbox 360 in time for that product's launch on November 22 in North America. Microsoft believes this collection of products constitutes the "strongest launch in the history of video game consoles," though that's a bit of an overstatement. Indeed, there isn't a killer app among the game tiles that consumers will be able to purchase this holiday season, somewhat dampening enthusiasm for Xbox 360.
Few of the 18 initial Xbox 360 game titles are original or ground-breaking in any way. Instead, most are sequels or adaptations of previous titles. Oddly, three of four of the original titles, "Condemned: Criminal Origins" (SEGA), "GUN" (Activision), and "Perfect Dark Zero" (Microsoft Game Studios and Rare) are first person shooters. The fourth, "Kameo: Elements of Power" (Microsoft Game Studios and Rare), is an action-adventure title set in a fantasy world.
All of the other launch titles are sequels or ports of existing games. These titles include "Amped 3" (2K Sports), "Call of Duty 2" (Activision), "FIFA Soccer 06 Road to 2006 FIFA World Cup" (Electronic Arts), "Madden NFL 06" (Electronic Arts), "NBA 2K6" (2K Sports), "NBA LIVE 06" (Electronic Arts), "Need for Speed Most Wanted" (Electronic Arts), "NHL 2K6" (2K Sports), "Peter Jackson’s King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie" (Ubisoft), "Project Gotham Racing 3" (Microsoft Game Studios and Bizarre Creations), "Quake 4" (id Software and Activision), "Ridge Racer 6" (Namco), "Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 06" (Electronic Arts), and "Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland" (Activision).
Most Xbox 360 titles will retail for $59.99 though consumers will be able to find some for $49.99. Additionally, Microsoft will be offering 12 and 15 mini-games via Xbox Live at launch. These titles include Xbox Live Arcade games, coin-operated and retro classics, board games, card games, casual sports games, and other similar titles. Microsoft will also be providing various Xbox Live packages, ranging from $40 to $70.
On the hardware front, Microsoft is shipping a wide variety of accessories, including the Xbox 360 Wireless Controller, Controller (wired), Wireless Networking Adapter, Universal Media Remote, various custom faceplates, Hard Drive (20 GB), Headset, Memory Unit (64 MB), Play & Charge Kit, Rechargeable Battery Pack, Component HD-AV Cable, Xbox 360 S-Video AV Cable (US only), and VGA HD AV Cable. A variety of third party accessories will ship this holiday season as well.
I'll have a more comprehensive write-up about Microsoft's Xbox 360 launch lineup available later today on the SuperSite for Windows.