Typically, every summer Microsoft puts together major releases for a promotion known as Summer of Arcade for the XBox Live Arcade. Most people had figured that forthcoming major XBLA titles such as Trials Evolution and Minecraft would be the cornerstones of this year's version. However, yesterday Microsoft announced a new timeframe for their release: Arcade Next.
Starting on April 18th, 4 major titles will be released weekly. Among this batch of titles are a few fairly major changes to the XBLA program. First off, achievement point limits are being raised from the current ceiling of 200 points, now players can earn up to 400 GS in every Live Arcade game.
Also, Minecraft will launch at 1600 Microsoft Space Bucks, which is equivalent to $20 USD. While not the first $20 XBLA game, I'm sure people will get their panties in a twist about it. Not to mention the fact that there's approximately 50 Minecraft clones already available on Indie Games for about a dollar.
Here is the lineup, get your MS Points ready:
Trials Evolution – April 18th
Bloodforge – April 25th
Fable Heroes – May 2nd
Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition – May 9th