It's not Home, but it's a step in that direction. Microsoft's long-rumored environment for Avatars is first coming to fruition through the retro-themed Xbox Live "Game Room," a concept confirmed in a leaked (but now removed) video with Microsoft head of entertainment and devices Robbie Bach. It's assumed the video is tied to a CES 2010 announcement, as the event's mentioned in the clip.
The images above are expected (but not confirmed) to represent Game Room.
"Game Room is in some ways a retro approach and it's interesting," says Bach. "There's a generation of people -- my advanced, mature age -- who grew up with a set of games like Centipde that are favorites. They look almost like casual-fun games today. At the time, they were high-end, edgy games, so Game Room was the idea of bringing that back to the market and bringing that to a very broad audience and I think what we're going to find is when people can get 30 or more of these types of games, they're going to love it for the experience."
It's unclear what Game Room actually encompasses other than a virtual arcade stand for Centipede. Are these games free, a new addition to the Xbox Live Gold membership?
"It's sort of like, my daughter going to watch Journey," says Bach, discussing the potential for Game Room. "I'm like, 'that's a band that was playing when I was growing up' and she thinks it's a cool band and I like the music. I think you're going to have the same phenomenon with game room, where I'm gonna enjoy the games and they're gonna think it's cool.
We'll likely find out more tonight during Microsoft's keynote address at 6:30 p.m. PST.