Now, granted, these are just the PC iterations of Castlevania, Castlevania II, and Castlevania III, along with Castlevania: Bloodlines for the Genesis, but it's a step in the right direction. Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, famed Japan-only, TurboCD-only precursor of the much-revered Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, is the holy grail for such virtual game services.
The question is: which will get there first?
Given Nintendo's relationship with Konami (in particular, that NES Castlevania was repackaged for the GBA) and GameTap's new contract with same, it appears that Xbox Live Arcade is out of the running. Moreover, the Wii is scheduled to get TurboGrafx 16 games, which makes it the only service known to have (most of) the hardware emulation handled. So I'm guessing if there's a chance of Rondo of Blood making it to the masses, in virtual form, it'll be from Nintendo.
I was surprised and pleased when Nintendo secured the licensed emulated version of Star Wars: The Arcade Game. I'm holding out hope for a similar coup here, although I hope the finished product isn't as disappointing.
And one other thing: comparing XBLA and GameTap shows that multiple services can have the same games. So while the Wii might be first with some exclusive games, I expect that the really popular ones (not owned by Nintendo) will still have a shot at making it to XBLA or GameTap.
You mention that game tap has some of the same games as XBLA, are the gametap versions improved at all? worldwide highscores and whatnot?
If not, I don't think they're as comparable. As i've commented before, the XBLA versions are substantially different due to live and other enhancements.
I am not a GameTap user, but my understanding is that they are the original games, full stop. I don't know what else they have added, if anything. If we're going to compare services, remember that GameTap's advantages over XBLA are all-you-can-eat-for-monthly-fee and a much larger selection.
Posts on other message boards a few months back mentioned Microsoft generally placing a size limit on XBLA offerings.
This was mentioned after the SNK announcement of support the Nintendo Wii, apparently for re-publishing their back catalog. (As SNK at the same time had been and still continues to announce all its new games for the Xbox and PS2. And now that Sony of America has said it is reducing its 2D restrictions on the PS2 to help sustain it past the PS3 release, who knows if SNK will go through with the Wii at all...)
Baines: Then that would indicate that, unless the music is repackaged as some compressed format and the emulator made capable of using that different format, XBLA won't be getting any games that were full CD releases previously.
Seems like a crazy restriction. Any rationale given by Microsoft?
I think it was something like discouraging anything larger than a memory card, or some such reason.
Even so, it was described as much as a discouragement as a hardline "no." It is hard to judge, as SNK apparently just decided to go with the Nintendo Wii for anything past a certain size. *shrug*