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Destination Arcade Begins and Ends with the Summer of Arcade

Destination Arcade, XBox Live Arcade's new and fanciful interface, was set to launch this week in readiness for next week's Summer of Arcade onslaught. This is no longer the case, however, as Major Nelson mentioned on his blog that the original launch date has been moved to July 21st, to coincide with Summer of Arcade's release.

"I wanted to let you know that the Destination Arcade release date has been moved to next Wednesday to kick off the launch of the Summer of Arcade."

This move makes sense, as Microsoft likes to make a splash with their summer lineup of downloadables. Especially since the kids are out of school and looking for ways to spend their allowance. Yet with a game lineup somewhat less impressive than that of last year's, Microsoft is trying to spruce the ferns any way it can to make this year's Summer of Arcade more appealing.

But wait, the real meat of this story is in Major Nelson's second update:

"Edit: I have learned that the Destination Arcade app will only be available for the duration of the Summer of Arcade promotion which ends August 18th."

So Destination Arcade will exist just long enough to deliver this years' Summer of Arcade and not a moment longer. Why Would Microsoft do this? To create a new interface requires time, money and talent. Why, then, would they invest in Destination Arcade if it's lifespan is limited to a month and a half and is free?

If you're wondering what this interface will actually look like, feast your eyes on the gallery of images below. Each image seems to portray a very different graphical navigation interface style, however.

Could these actually be different viewing options within Destination Arcade? If so, it is quite possible this whole Destination Arcade app is nothing more than a cunning way for Microsoft to see which navigation styles XBox Live users prefer and then use that data to inform design direction on a new dashboard interface in the future. Since the NXE has received its fair share of negative feedback regarding wasted screen real estate and information-overload, now would be a good time for them to gather user-data for this purpose.

[gallery link="file" columns="2" orderby="title"]

Ranters, what do you make of all this?

Source: Major Nelson's blog

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