NEWS - Tuesday, July 5, 2005

Xbox 360 To Be Unveiled Huge In Japan

Microsoft’s planned Xbox 360 event in Japan later this month will be a "product unveiling on the scale of E3," according to Xbox Japan boss Yoshihiro Maruyama, with a number of new first- and third-party games expected to be revealed. The much-rumored event is now something of an open secret, after former Square executive Maruyama discussed it in a number of Japanese publications last month, but just what will be shown off is still unknown. A number of new deals between Japanese developers and Microsoft Game Studios are expected, building on the existing relationships that the company has announced with Mist Walker, Game Republic and Q Entertainment. Perhaps even more importantly, several Japanese publishers are expected to announce their early titles for the Xbox 360 at the event. Although most publishers in the region have suggested that they will support the console, few have yet announced any original titles for the system. Maruyama certainly seems confident that the event will be a major one, telling Famitsu Xbox last week that "we expect it to be a product unveiling on the scale of E3" and promising a few big surprises among the announcements. Xbox 360’s next big Japanese appearance will be at the Tokyo Games Show in September, when the console will be present in playable form. PlayStation 3 is also expected to appear at TGS, although it seems unlikely that any of its titles will be playable.


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