NEWS - Friday, April 22, 2005

Japanese Publishers Talk Xbox 360

Japanese Publishers Talk Xbox 360 April 22, 2005 - Early last week, Microsoft made public an impressive list of worldwide 3rd party developers for the next generation Xbox platform. From Activision to Vivendi, most of the major 3rd party game publishers are producing content for Microsoft’s new system, and this includes a number of Asian publishers -- thirteen in all, and just one less than the number of American publishers. The latest Famitsu includes a summary of Asian developers now at work on the hardware. The list includes From Software, MystWalker, Phantagram, Bandai, Koei, Game Republic, Webzen, Capcom, Konami, Game Republic and Q Entertainment. Sega and Namco are also included on the Famitsu list, but listed under the names of their respective American branches. In addition to this recap of development support, the magazine also includes comments from Capcom, Konami, Sega, Bandai and Namco. Here’s a look at what each company had to say about the new system. Konami: "We’re very excited about the next generation Xbox. With Microsoft’s great support system, we feel that it will be possible to realize involving network games and graphically intense entertainment titles. Konami plans on releasing titles in a number of genres that can be enjoyed on a worldwide basis." Capcom: "The next generation Xbox has excellent graphics, sound and network capabilities that are easy [for creators] to use, and this makes it a dream machine for creators. So, what will we be making for this machine? You’ll have to wait for the announcement." Sega: "Just looking at the excellent specifications for the next generation Xbox, and we expect content that’s remarkably evolved over the norm. We’re already developing a number of titles. With Microsoft’s cooperation, we’re making strong titles which fully use the excellent abilities [of the system]." Namco: "We expect the next generation Xbox to offer a market that appeals to game fans throughout the world. Namco is working to offer revolutionary titles for this next generation system." Bandai: "We’re happy to be taking part in the next generation Xbox. We hope to offer unique and exciting games as next generation Xbox titles." From Software gets extra special attention in the issue -- not much of a surprise, considering the amount of support the publisher/developer has thrown at the current generation Xbox (for which it has produced some of the most graphically intense titles available anywhere in the world). The magazine features an interview with From Software CEO Naotoshi Zin and Microsoft Xbox manager Takashi Sensui in which the two discuss From’s Xbox 360 development plans. From Software support seems to be strong for the new system. Zin comments that there weren’t any voices of dissent within the company when the decision to support Xbox 360 was made. Zin has great praise for the Xbox 360, stating that the system is very well balanced. Sensui, meanwhile, expects From and Microsoft to work together even closer in the next generation than they did in this generation, stating that it’s unfortunate that the current generation games couldn’t sell better. We can expect a number of titles from From Software, with one game targeted for arrival at the Xbox 360 launch. As for the nature of these titles, while Zin states that his company hasn’t forgotten its most well-known genre, action-based mech games, it is also good with other genres. Sadly, he won’t go into specifics beyond this. Only a few big names are missing from the list of Japanese publishers working on Microsoft’s machine, but even this list should be good enough to get people dreaming about strong next generation Japanese content for the system.


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