Microsoft is calling it 'Xbox LIVE Arcade: House Party!' with full exclamation mark and everything. We're saying that it's the start of the serious Game Room marketing spurt.
The blurb is that "Throughout March, Xbox LIVE will launch a new downloadable blockbuster game every Wednesday that is sure to ramp up the multiplayer action..."
We love the fact that if you come to this 'party' there's a thank you "gift". "A what?" you ask...
"Thank You Gift: Xbox LIVE would like to say thank you for coming to our party!
The 'gift' is that you can download the Game Room app. In the Game Room, you get to play retro games, once you've paid for them.
There's more to the Thank You Gift though... "Buy all three House Party titles and download the free Game Room app and receive 400 Microsoft Points back to your account**!"
"What's with the "**"?" you ask?
"Purchase all 3 games: Toy Soldiers
, Scrap Metal
, Perfect Dark
, & download the free Game Room app before April 1, 2010 0459 GMT, and receive 400 Microsoft Points – FREE!
"And for Xbox LIVE Gold members, the deal gets even sweeter, by purchasing all three House Party titles and downloading the Game Room app for free, you will not only be credited with 400 Microsoft Points, but you’ll also get an extra month of Gold membership absolutely free**!"
Time for a bit of maths...
Toy Soldiers - release March 3rd - cost, 1,200 MP.
Scrap Metal - release March 10th - cost 1,200 MP.
Perfect Dark - release March 17th - cost 800 MP.
So, that's 3,200 Microsoft points spent to get the free Game Room app. Then what do you get for the app? Well, in order to play with it you do the following:
"240 to 400 Microsoft Points for game downloads | 40 Microsoft Points for single gameplay"
But hey, you still get 400 MP back once you've spent the initial 3,200 and whatever you want to spend on a game in the Game Room.
Anything else for the PARTY!!!?
"Extra Tickets: We don’t want anyone to miss out on the great multiplayer action House Party will bring you and your friends! From 1700 GMT March 26 – 1700 GMT March 29, House Party is making it easy for you to play together with a special Xbox LIVE House Party Multiplayer Unlock weekend! For this weekend only, we’re unlocking the online multiplayer features of all House Party titles for Xbox LIVE Silver Members to play for free.
"Attire for your Avatar: Starting on March 3rd, stop by Xbox LIVE Avatar Marketplace to ensure your avatar is decked out in the best House Party attire! From cola hat dispensers..."
Yes, we're stopping there. Does anybody else just want a message that says: "We want you to download Game Room. You'll have fun playing retro games. We'll make some bread. Everybody wins?"
Still, it could be worse, it could be as creepy and patronising as the Windows 7 launch party