I never understood the narrative of Xbox only having Gears/Halo & Forza to attack its line up.
Reason is, Xbox Live Arcade was a huge part of Xbox and the gamers in that ecosystem. The program itself, had an immense amount of eclectic games, mainly Indie in nature. Launched in 2004 in its simplistic form on OG Xbox, yet revolutionary for consoles, XBLA brought some names and games to the masses that were mostly found in obscure parts of web browsers. The games on the platform were very small in file size and scope, like Pop Cap's Bejeweled, which was originally called Diamond Mine but was suggested by Microsoft to be renamed Bejeweled.
After the launch of Xbox360, XBLA Market was re-branded and file size increased incrementally over the years to accommodate the changes, occurring in the indie gaming scene. As Microsoft placed more focus and offered more exposition to Indie devs, more flocked to the platform to be selected for the expertly curated titles that were capturing the attention of the console gamers that were used to block busters and works from established publishers. As a result of this focus, we had generation defining games like: Braid, Super Meat Boy, Iron Brigade, Castle Crashers, Limbo etc... At this point, Microsoft had already created Summer Of Arcade to market what it seemed the best indie creations of the year and give each one of them a whole Summer week of exposure in an attempt to catapult them into limelight.
After 2010, it seemed that Indie devs were the new rockstars and the recipient of gamers idolization for their fresh take on game development, with more emphasis on gameplay and content. This type of emphasis on digital content push and sales, was not common in 2000's and because of its success we had other platforms emulating it, the most notorious case is Steam. For a good part of 2010's Indie scene was sprawling with games that contrasted trendy corporate dictated titles. By the next console generation, we saw a decline on average indie title quality, due to market saturation after "gold rush".
It's worth mentioning that Xbox Live Marketplace did not only have indie games. It was a place for small games above everything.
There were lots of small games funded by big publishers, which fitted in the requirements of the marketplace. Some of those games were: State of Decay, The Walking Dead Season 1, Shadow Complex, Crimson Alliance, Trials Evolution, etc...
This is just a small mental note I wanted to share with the community, where I rarely see this topic being discussed.
If there is anything you wanna add, feel free to do it.
I also used a well researched YT video from CryMor Gaming (consider subscribing) to help me post this thread.
Forgotten: XBOX Live Summer of Arcade & AA Games | CryMor
Do you have fun playing a console different than mine?