You don't have to play "World of Warcraft" to own a virtual pet for your avatar anymore, as Microsoft has officially announced that the Xbox Live Avatar Marketplace will be opening up an animal shop. In addition to clothing and accessories, XBL avatars will now be able to wrangle their own fauna while interacting with pals online.
Large dogs, Pug dogs, dogs in bags, cats, Siamese cats, long haired cats, goldfish, guinea pigs, monkeys, birds, snakes and ponies will be available as of tomorrow at 240 points apiece, according to Major Nelson. He's posted several pictures to his Flickr account, as well. Unfortunately the pony is not represented.
Unlike the "WoW" pet store, this shop does not appear to sell its stock pre-loaded with magic or martial arts abilities, but it does offer nice looking handbags to help out with post-purchase transportation. There's no indication immediately as to whether the pony will merely stand next to your avatar, or appear underneath you as a mount, but that's the first thing I'll be looking for when this new Microsoft e-commerce venture begins. Personally, I would like to be able to buy a war rhinoceros for my own avatar. With any luck, Microsoft is listening.
What do you think of the new pets being offered through the Xbox Live Avatar Marketplace? Are you interested in adopting one anytime soon? Share your reactions in the comment section below.