1) Magic: The Gathering Starter Kit
What is it: Magic the Gathering singlehandedly created a business in the collectible card game. I was there almost when it started, buying packs of Antiquities. Players build decks and fight it out using a a handful of the thousands of cards available in the world. Unfortunately, all digital attempts have not been nearly as successful.
What the Community Gets: Give us the tools, the software, and a tournament-legal starter kit. The first hit is free, and after that we will buy pack after pack and deck after deck. This one is a complete no-brainer. The only problem is that Wizards of the Coast may not want to play nice with MS. Solution: MS should just buy them, and in turn own the ips of MANY successful franchises, including Dragonlance, HeroScape, etc. Would Hasbro sell?
What Microsoft Gets: Millions of dollars in digital sales of random decks and packs. Run special promotions where past sets are available only one month out of the year. Create special promo packs featuring MS characters. This would be a major win if it was a first-party release.
2) You Have to Burn the Rope
What is it: One of the best commentaries on gaming, ever. Go, now.
What the Community Gets: Achievement Unlocked: You Burned the Rope. 200pts.
What Microsoft Gets: Build it in XNA, turn it into a marketing piece.
3) MMO Pong
What is it: Pong controlled by the average input of all users in the game... truly social gaming.
What the Community Gets: A giant way to waste time. Imagine a giant hall of voices. Or the background made up of images fed from the XBox Cameras. Yes, it's just a time waster... but sometimes that's all you need. Or, perhaps this could just be the loading screen for an online games?
What Microsoft Gets: A live test bed for connections. They can test the stress of how many concurrent connections can happen in a game before hiccupping. How many audio feeds, video feeds, etc. Who doesn't love live statistical data?
4) Zork HD
What is it: Zork, a text-based game, was first released in 1980. Essentially, it hearalded the way for interactive fiction and storytelling via digital gaming.
What the Community Gets: A trip down memory lane and a piece of gaming history. Plus, an actual gaming use for the Chatpad.
What Microsoft Gets: A second round of marketing for the Messenger Kit. Surely it couldn't take THAT much effort to convert Zork to an Arcade title? Would definately generate more interest and noise from the gamer community about the messenger kit than any magazine or web ad would.
5) Zune Store
What is it: ok, so it wouldn't really be an arcade game, but more of a utility. If I can stream any song I want to my computer when I have a Zune Pass, and my Zune Pass is tied to my GamerTag... why can't I straight stream via the XBox, too?
What the Community Gets: A great way to create playlists on the xbox for background listening. Just load up a playlist from ANY song on the service, save it, and the Xbox become the center of any party involving music.
What Microsoft Gets: More Zune Passes sold, and deeper integration between the Xbox and Zune communities. If you have the Zune software installed, Microsoft could push you playlists for the music of any upcoming game easily...