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Capcom launching series of downloadable retro arcade game ports for PS3 and Xbox 360

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This week's issue of Famitsu magazine contains the first word on a new line of downloadable arcade game ports from Capcom, as part of the company's efforts to celebrate the upcoming 30th anniversary of its founding.

Titled Capcom Arcade Cabinet: Retro Game Collection, the series, which is announced for PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade, will primarily focus on Capcom's 1980s-era arcade games the titles that first propelled them into the international spotlight.

"I can't go into details on titles yet," said producer Kenji Kataoka, "but we're definitely focusing on the games that came out earlier on in our history. These are completely faithful reproductions, too. You used to have arcade games ported to the NES and such and wind up being completely different titles on that platform, but that's not the case here. Even if there were bugs in the original, we've kept them in there if we felt we needed to in order to retain the original feel of the game."

The first game announced for the series is Black Tiger (shown above), a fantasy-themed side-scroller originally released in 1987. Capcom hinted at the rest of the lineup with silhouetted art of many other titles in the Famitsu preview, suggesting that games like 1942, Commando, Gun.Smoke and Trojan will also make appearances.

These aren't just straight emulations, either. According to Kataoka, there will be "several modes provided" to help newbies deal with the often punishing difficulty levels of these old titles. "For example, you can adjust the strength of your attacks, the range of collision detection, and so forth," he explained. "This allows you to engage in training, and we've got support for turbo buttons and arcade sticks as well. I was able to use these functions to reach the ending on pretty much all of the games [we have planned], so they're great for people who were annoyed they couldn't beat them back then. For people [who don't want changes], it's set up so all additional functions can be turned on and off."

Capcom didn't give a date for Arcade Cabinet's launch, although Kataoka said the full official announcement of the line will come on Feb. 7.

"We'll be releasing a free starter pack of sorts that lets you play one title to the end," he said. "We're still debating how we'll distribute the other titles, but one plan we have in mind is to have packs of multiple games available for really surprisingly cheap prices. I think we'll have the demo out before too long, and we're setting up the distribution schedule for the rest of the games such that we'll be keeping players entertained for a while to come."