Japan's Developers on Xbox 360[xbox360]
Japanese publication Dorimaga has spoken with several developers regarding the Xbox 360, due to launch in Japan in just a few days. Some of the comments aren't particularly noteworthy--Yoichi Okamoto of Game Republic, which developed Xbox 360 Japanese launch title Every Party, notes that his company is working on another Xbox 360 game, and Toru Ogawa of Koei said that the upcoming Dynasty Warriors 5 Special (X360) features split screen multiplayer but not Xbox Live multiplayer.
Tetsuya Mizuguchi of Q Entertainment, currently working on Ninety-Nine Nights (X360), had something a bit more interesting to say, claiming that he'd like to see the industry lose its tradition of multiple platforms. In fact, he believes this will happen at some point. Team NINJA's outspoken Tomonobu Itagaki spoke on why his team worked on the Xbox and now the Xbox 360 instead of another platform, indicating that the system's development tools make the production process much easier, which is particularly important as development cycles continue to get longer on average. However, he does not speak highly of Microsoft's decision to use DVDs as the system's game storage medium rather than a higher capacity format. He also doesn't seem to be crazy about the Xbox controller's d-pad, which is not ideal for use in fighting games such as those of his Dead or Alive series. Keiji Inafune of Capcom had positive words as well about Microsoft's developer support, something for which the company has been widely praised since its entry into the console world.
Japan's Analysts on Xbox 360[xbox360]
Japanese analysts also weighed in recently on the prospects of success for Microsoft's next-gen console. They painted a much bleaker picture than the one presented by the above developers. Overall, the sentiment is that while Xbox 360 managed to drum up some early hype, it has become less and less attractive to Japanese consumers due to what has become a fairly lackluster launch lineup of only six games as well as the perceived "inferiority" of the console to the upcoming PlayStation 3. The titles launching with the console in Japan are Perfect Dark Zero, Every Party, FIFA 06, Wrestle Kingdom, and Tetris: the Grandmaster Ace.
Despite low expectations from analysts, Xbox 360 has been praised by developers, even in Japan. It looks like the launch will be one of the major hurdles for the system in that territory. If it can get past that decently enough, it may be able to rebound based on a the promise of a more diverse lineup in the future.
More Revolution Spec News[nintendo]
Following up on IGN's rumored specs for the Nintendo Revolution posted Monday and Tuesday, GamesIndustry.biz has now questioned some developers as well about the system's hardware. For the most part, the specs quoted by GamesIndustry.biz are in line with IGN's; the main addition to this new article is the additional explanations from the developers. For one thing, GI.biz claims that multiple developers expect the Revolution to have about two and a half times the power of GameCube, which is a bit different from IGN's estimates of a little under twice as powerful. A few sources also noted that actual development time on Revolution should be incredibly efficient due to the similarity in its programming environment to GameCube. Another estimates that "we could do a game for this in a few months. Developing games is going to be easy, the challenge is going to be using the controller properly." This sentiment is in line with previous comments by Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, who has stated that he would like to see more independent studios working with the Revolution due to its approachable development and lower game production costs, an attitude in sharp contrast to the Nintendo run by previous president Hiroshi Yamauichi.
Capcom Hopes For Simultaneous RE5 Release[ps3] [xbox360]
In the same Dorimaga article featuring Japanese developer reactions to Xbox 360, Capcom's Keiji Inafune noted that his company is hoping to launch Resident Evil 5 (PS3, X360) simultaneously on Xbox 360 and PS3. Some previous speculation was that the game would launch first on Xbox 360 due to the PS3's later release, and Inafune indeed mentioned that "we don't know the launch period for the PS3 yet, so it's hard to say."
He also said that Capcom's zombie-filled Dead Rising (X360) will be released some time after summer 2006. Apparently Microsoft also asked Capcom to design an original title for Xbox 360 aimed specifically at Japanese audiences, but Capcom didn't take them up on it, with Inafune noting that it would be too risky to focus on just the Japanese market.
Sony Takes a Guerrilla Approach[ps3] [psp]
Sony Computer Entertainment announced today that the publisher has purchased Amsterdam-based developer Guerrilla Games. Guerrilla, which was responsible for Killzone (PS2), has acted under an exclusive development agreement with Sony since March 2004. The studio is currently working on a Killzone title for PS3, whose E3 trailers were the subject of controversy regarding their authenticity as gameplay footage, as well as a Killzone title for PSP.
Sega Goes to China[ps2] [ps3] [xbox360] [xbox] [gamecube] [nintendo] [ds] [psp] [gba]
Following up on its recent announcement that it has acquired the video game publishing rights for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, Sega has announced that it is establishing a physical presence in the Olympics' next host country as well. The publisher will be opening a a development studio and research center in China to work on Olympics games as well as other unspecified projects. Sega will also be opening a line of "Battle Site" game centers in the country as well as a sports-focused game center called "Player's Arena."
Game Informer has Part 2 of its Black (PS2, Xbox) interview with Criterion's creative director Alex Ward.
IGN Revolution has a 3D model of the Revolution controller, complete with five different color choices.
Movies: Bankshot Billiards 2 (X360).
Screenshots: Harvest Moon: Magical Melody (GCN).
Console Game Of The Evening [Submit Yours!]
Gex for the PlayStation. "Sometimes Geico commercials simply aren't enough." (submitted by Zakazi)