A poster on the VGChartz forums (yes, I know) has posted alleged details of a rumored Xbox 360 "relaunch," the specifics of which even the author writes are "batshit crazy." However, the supposed Fall marketing push is specific enough to the point where it could be grounded in reality — and makes some amount of sense in light of new price drops, the arrival of the "New Xbox Experience" and impending holiday purchases. According to the forum posting, on September 25th, Microsoft will take over basic cable channel G4 with a five-hour infomercial, culminating in the launch of the New Xbox Experience at midnight. The arrival of the new look and feel for the Xbox 360's dashboard will also bring with it three totally new services, six free games and twelve new exclusives.Similar to the launch of Netflix streaming via Xbox Live, also rumored to launch is a collaboration with Sirius Satellite Radio which will allow subscribers to stream stations through their Xbox 360s. This streaming service is also said to be accessible in-game, as a custom soundtrack. Just as wild is the rumored announcement of a music download service, one that lets you pay with Microsoft Points. Finally, a service known as "Mad Lib" is said by the poster to arrive alongside the New Xbox Experience. The source speculates "it has something to do with a picture within picture function." On the games front, the Xbox 360 "relaunch" is said to come with a dozen game announcements, including a new Assassin's Creed title, more Halo games, plus details on expansions for Mass Effect, Grand Theft Auto IV and Halo 3. The dirty dozen are said to be codenamed Apricot, Burden, Conker, Dramatis, Error, Fender, Gargoyle, Hiroshima, Ignorance, Jeremiah, Kyoto, and London, if you feel like wildly speculating. Even better? Six Xbox Originals are rumored to join the line-up — for free. How plausible does this all sound? It certainly looks like a heaping pile of stinking fanboy fantasy, but we suppose it could happen. It's allegedly planned just prior to the Tokyo Game Show, a move that could help Microsoft's chances and reinvigorate slow console sales. We're contacting Microsoft to see what they have to say about the whole thing, but consider this one a rumor with a capital R for now. September 25th rumor. [VGChartz Forums - thanks, Blake!]
I don't get why the "free" part makes people believe it's not going to happen. Microsoft has done a lot to make Xbox Live more accessible and exciting to users. I'm sure they know that by giving away 6 Xbox Original games, one that you could by for $5 used at EB, would attract a lot of people into buying a Gold Membership. I mean, to buy the games new would mean they're about $10, and if they're selling 6, that makes $60, making your Gold Membership quite worth it.
I suspect (if this rumor is remotely true, although I believe it's completely fake because it sounds like way too much of a good thing) that the games will only be free for a short time, probably a week, a month at most. Or they won't even be offered after that time. You know, something to entice people about upgrading and getting a Gold membership, and then dropping them after the job is done.