One of Microsoft’s biggest draws for casual gamers is the ability to download and play smaller, more bite-sized games in Xbox Live Arcade. Restricted in file size, these games tend to appeal more to the Popcap crowd – the folks that are more easily amused by a game of Bejeweled than they are a marathon session of Rainbow Six: Vegas. For gamers with children and spouses, these are the gateway drugs we can use to get our loved ones familiar with holding a controller in front of the television set. The only barrier to entry is simply having an Xbox Live account. With it, you can download demos of all the games for free, and figure out which ones are worth your time and money. It’s a simple, elegant, and relatively painless service.
The only people really left in the cold are those without access to a broadband connection. And it’s precisely with those people in mind that Microsoft released the Xbox Live Arcade Unplugged disc, giving you access to Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved, Bejeweled 2, Wik: Fable of Souls, Hardwood Backgammon, Texas Hold A