Spot On: Microsoft's Tokyo JRPG event

Namco Bandai and Square Enix show off the next wave of Japanese RPGs for the Xbox 360, including Tales of Vesperia, Last Remnant, Infinite Undiscovery, and Star Ocean: The Last Hope.

TOKYO--Though the Xbox 360 hasn't sold well in Japan, Microsoft has once again announced a new wave of role-playing games developed by some of the island nation's biggest names. During an event today in Tokyo, Microsoft updated the press with news on its latest JPRGs, which will follow in the footsteps of Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey.

After opening remarks from Xbox Japan general manager Takashi Sensui, Namco Bandai Games producers Tsutomu Gouda and Yoshito Higuchi appeared on stage to make announcements regarding Tales of Vesperia. The game is now officially dated for Japan on August 7, priced at ¥7,800 ($73). The Vesperia series will make its way to North America in August as well, with an Asian release slated for sometime this summer. However, European gamers will have to wait until sometime next year before experiencing the Tales series for the first time on Microsoft's console.

Tales of Vesperia's opening sequence was shown for the first time during the press conference, and it featured full animation drawn by Studio IG. The producers also played a real-time demonstration that showed the game's hallmark anime-style graphics, which were displayed with sharper character outlines thanks to the 360's high-definition capabilities. A demo of the game will be released on Japan's Xbox Live Marketplace in June.

In Japan, Namco Bandai will be launching a variety of tie-ins to accompany the launch of Tales of Vesperia. The game's soundtrack is slated to hit on August 20, and Namco Bandai will also honor the occasion by debuting a monthly magazine dedicated to the Tales franchise, Tales of Magazine. The first issue will hit alongside the game's launch, and the second issue will arrive on October 10. Namco Bandai expects additional issues to arrive on the 10th of every month thereafter.

To accompany the game's launch, Microsoft in Japan also plans on offering a special Tales of Vesperia hardware bundle that will retail for ¥37,800 ($352). In addition to an Xbox 360 console, the bundle includes: Tales of Vesperia, a copy of the game's dialogue script, an original faceplate, and a special DVD. Those who preorder the game will also receive the same DVD as the one in the bundle.

Following Namco Bandai, Microsoft Game Studios' Fumihiro Yamauchi appeared on stage to announce that Fable 2 and Mass Effect will be released in Japan for the Xbox 360. Fable 2 will be released in Japan this year, whereas Mass Effect has not yet been dated.

The biggest announcement at today's conference came from Square Enix producer Yoshinori Yamagishi. Yamagishi took the stage to announce that Star Ocean 4, officially titled Star Ocean: The Last Hope, will be released on the Xbox 360 in 2009. Similar to previous installments, the game is being developed by Tri-Ace. Only trailers were shown at the conference, but producer Yamagishi commented that Star Ocean 4's development is well underway and, in fact, is already at a playable stage.

Star Ocean 4 will be a prequel to the Star Ocean series. The game takes place in the year S.D. 10, not too long after 2064 A.D. when the civilized world is annihilated as a result of World War III. The game will explain how the Star Ocean universe came about when humanity voyaged into the ocean of stars to search for a new place to live. According to Yamagishi, the game will be more sci-fi oriented than previous installments, and reflects inspiration drawn from American films and shows in the genre such as Star Trek.

When asked later at a roundtable interview whether the game will be an Xbox exclusive, Yamagishi commented, "We can't really say anything yet. Will it be coming out in the PS3 as well? The answer to that is that there's really nothing set at the moment. We can't say right now that it will or won't come out. It could go either way. The only thing that we can confirm right now is that it's coming out first on the Xbox 360." Yamagishi noted that one of the primary reasons for the game being a 360 exclusive was that Microsoft's development platform was available significantly before that of the PS3.

Following the Star Ocean 4 reveal, Square Enix producer Hajime Kojima appeared on the stage to announce that Infinite Undiscovery will be released almost simultaneously worldwide. The game will be shipped in North America on September 2, in Europe on September 5, and in Japan and Asia on September 11.

Infinite Undiscovery is developed by Tri-Ace and plays as an action RPG with seamless shifting between the field and battle modes. Kojima ran a real-time demonstration of an early part of the game and showed off one of the game's main concepts, which is called the Situation Battle. Taking advantage of the environment is essential in Infinite Undiscovery, and the player will be required to respond to the situation at hand, which sometimes changes in real time. In one demo, the player was seen being chased by a dragon; as the dragon breathed fire, some of the rubble on the ground broke away, allowing for the player to strategically flee ahead.

Closing out the event was Square Enix's Last Remnant. The game's producer, Nobuyuki Ueda, appeared on the stage to announce that the multiplatform game will be released on the Xbox 360 first, with a simultaneous release slated for Japan, North America, and Europe this winter. Further details on the game will be unveiled at the E3 Media & Business Summit and Tokyo Game Show later this year.

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275 comments
ps360fan
ps360fan

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

ps360fan
ps360fan

danwarecritic Tales of Magazine? Why don't we get that? I am going to get a 360 so I can play these as well as Blue Dragon, Enchanted Arms, Lost Odyssey, Eternal Sonata, Operation: Darkness, Zoids Assault, and Spectral Force 3. Dont waste your time with Lost Odyssey.

jeremiah06
jeremiah06

dang the way things are looking i might have to invest in getting a 360 now with all these JRPG's i guess the days of owning one system are over

danwarecritic
danwarecritic

Tales of Magazine? Why don't we get that? I am going to get a 360 so I can play these as well as Blue Dragon, Enchanted Arms, Lost Odyssey, Eternal Sonata, Operation: Darkness, Zoids Assault, and Spectral Force 3.

danwarecritic
danwarecritic

@abephroman It's Square-enix. So, no, it's not.

SystemoDown
SystemoDown

what bout pac? and all the games seem great. Snake whats wrong with blood me and xbox drink it all the time in NG2

Ton77
Ton77

tu2pac the voice acting was just added real quick for the americans The trailer is really a Japanese Trailer.

snakes3425
snakes3425

It'll be a nice change of pace, the Xbox 360's game library has so much blood and gore you'd think the 360 was a vampire in disguise

TanukiNinja
TanukiNinja

Wow, there are more Japanese games coming to the 360 than the PS3 XD. I can't believe Star Ocean 4 is a 360 exclusive now. I cant wait for Tales of Ves.

74141976
74141976

KoruKinshi i agree with ya comment on the second half they should have gave us the item collectors a 120ghd.....instead we betwenn the elite and pro but gotta love 1080p graphics dont u

itwiz90
itwiz90

I'm a big fan of RPG. Can't wait to play this one. Hopefully there will be a language option or the ability to listen to some aspects of the game in Japanese or English w/o subtitles

Merc1319
Merc1319

lol i like putting on the japanese language in ninja gaiden 2, an just using english subtitles. sounds more authentic, so id probly do it with these as well

huskerman34
huskerman34

I doesnt matter about voice acting im just gladd these games are coming to the 360 . It good that jp game desingers are showing a commitment to the 360. If the japanses wont playthem the americans sure the hell will.

tu2pac
tu2pac

I was really excited about Infinite Undiscovery...then I heard the voice acting in the trailer...wow. Please god let there be an option to keep the japanese audio. The lip sync is even worse....lol.

Kenji_Masamune
Kenji_Masamune

Homerj - that's exactly how I looked at the consoles last gen (GC & XBOX). The wii is pretty much following the same track as last gen, 360 has snagged up a few other franchises and the PS3 is having problems starting the engine to get out of the gate this time around. It's still too early in the system life. Most of the "killer" titles didn't start dropping until a few years after the consoles release. If I were anyone, I'd be worried about the wii though. Faster then the PS2 growing fanbase, cheap console + cheap game production = more games being dev'd for the wii because of it's profitability. The wii is the new PS2 of this gen. I'm not saying that we'll see any God of War or Halo on the wii, but it's bound to snag up a TON of jrpgs.

Homerj
Homerj

ColonelGuile: "Even with all of these games coming out for 360, I would like to see them best FF13 in sales when it is released for the PS3" Thats kind of the story of the PS3's life....always a year late on everything. A year late on launch...a year late on getting out decent games....and now in the position of having one, count-em, one big jrpg coming out nearly a year after multiple quality jrpg titles come out on the competing console. So I would counter with: "I would like to see how the sales of FF13 compare to the six (or so) jrpgs out on the 360 for almost a year." Thats the thing that SFBs dont seem to get: three or four flagship titles do not equate to market success, it takes a well-rounded library to cement the long term prospects of the console. Three marquee titles and a slew of copy-cat fps's will not bring Sony back to market dominance.

lew_0911
lew_0911

As much as I like the Tales series... Tales of Magazine really doesn't cut it. Thank God they didn't call the FF figurines as "Final Merchandise".

KoruKinshi
KoruKinshi

At this point, I think hotgamer and PS_family should get married and have a family of angry Sony fankids. It would be fitting. ^^ Seriously though, I'm very happy I have my 360. Now I'm going to have to buy a bigger hard drive thoug. Damn Halo 360 not having a 120GB hard drive... That and I'm not exactly willing to buy an elite out right. Having 2 360s might be a bit much. ^^;

memnoch2099
memnoch2099

more games (RPGs) to play on the 360 so that makes me happy. I wish they'd release a brand new Front Mission or Parasite Eve as well

McGregor
McGregor

I'm glad to see the 360 getting JRPG's even if they aren't permanently exclusive. Competition guarantees that console and software developers make the best possible product they can. @blackace, I would also like to see a new Parasite Eve. The game was short, but very well done. @newb16 : it's hard to defend you when you word your argument the way you did. But i can see what you're trying to say. Microsoft may or may not be better at selling RPGs (i don't have any data to backup a claim) But they certainly have a nice selection to choose from now, and a list of upcoming RPGs to keep you entertained for a while. @Guts5, your quote, "I got lucky. I really wanted to play Mass Effect and Obvlivion so I got one of the first 360s sold. I had to pre-order. Then guess what happened? Thsoe games got delayed. Oblvion was only a couple months. The point is I purchased the system because I KNEW games I wanted were coming out on it. I was going to wait on buying one until I saw what games were going to be out on it. It's the silly buyers fault if they didn't look into which system the games were coming out on. Blamming a MS for a silly consumer buying a PS3 or DS without knowing which games were going to be on it is just plain crazy." I couldn't agree with you more. If i had purchased a console that didn't have any games i wanted to play on it, i would be upset too. I will say that I do not have a ps3, but i will be picking it up with MGS4 (tonight!), the first game on the PS3 that i want to play. I have no animosity towards any of the consoles, but currently the 360 is winning the quality games war (yes even against the wii). If the Japanese market doesn't want to play these games because of their "console" it's their loss, that same statement can apply to any gamer that makes the same decision.

Yuck_Too
Yuck_Too

Makes me laugh when people sit there and say SE needs new IP's and then when they bring out some new IP's but for the 360 those same people sit there and say if it's not FF it will stink. As for the whole Japan vs. N.America thing, take a look at the global trends and really the way things are headed now future generations of FF are going to be exclusive to the stupid iPhone. That's the messed up world we live in.

Guts5
Guts5

"AngelsongCA Yes. Microsoft, a nearly 20 billion dollar net profiting corporation is desperate. Please give me a break. Microsoft is making a home for gamers, covering every kind of hardcore game fan. All of the genres. Basically what ever gamers want, Microsoft is going to go after it until they have it. They have so much planned I doubt you could even understand it all. Wait until E3 and you'll get a glimpse" Actually, it's the PS3 owners that are getting desperate. First they find out that the PS3 is not technically superior, because the 360 has a better video card, and then they find out that the blu-ray player is so slow that it has to download gigs worth of data to play games without major pauses, and now they find out they are getting the serious short end of the stick with exlusives. This is obvious to me, because of all that alternate reallity posts in this thread. MS is a FPS only console and PS3 is the home of the RPG, when the PS3 has ZERO RPGS and the 360 has tons out now and a lot more exlusives on the way this year.

Guts5
Guts5

"Exu_Idara It's just a shame that none of them are prefixed "Final Fantasy", because then the drones won't buy them." Awesome post and so true!!! @ Dryker I completly agree LO is the best turn based RPG in a long long time. Kaim is a great lead character and the game is innovative in many areas.

danyalhk
danyalhk

M$ is such a bad a$$ that they are selling,promoting peice of crap which is not gauranteed to work for more than a year properly, shows RROD and is very very expensive with internet stuff. And people are blindly buyiing it and criticzing the best machine out there PS3

ExuNavarinIdara
ExuNavarinIdara

It's just a shame that none of them are prefixed "Final Fantasy", because then the drones won't buy them.

Dryker
Dryker

"Tales of Magazine"!? The Japanese kill me. There truly is something lost in translation. As games get more narrative driven, the Japanese are just going to fall further and further behind... or unless they breakdown and start highering westerners for their projects. Star Ocean taking influence from American movies and Star Trek!? Watch out! Can't they take a lesson from when Squaresoft took their hallowed Final Fantasy franchise and butchered it on the silver screen by "Americanizing" it ( I liked it, but would've liked it more if it stuck to the source material ). Anyways, I'm ranting. Lost Odyssey is my favorite turn-based RPG since Final Fantasy IX, I love that game.

blackace
blackace

ColonelGuile Even with all of these games coming out for 360, I would like to see them best FF13 in sales when it is released for the PS3 *********************************************************** It's not about how many copies of FF XIII gets sold. The game isn't even going to be out for another year fromt he looks of it. By then XBox 360 gamers will be playing Tales of Vesperia, Infinite Undiscover, Fable 2, The Last Remnant, Mass Effect 2, Star Ocean 4 and Fallout 3. Who the hell is going to care about FF XIII with all those great RPG's on their system? I'm tried of FF games anyway. I'd like to see SE give 360's gamers a new Parasite Eve, Brave Fencer Musashi and a new Front Mission.

CorruptGamerGX
CorruptGamerGX

@_guenter_26 Your point? newbboy makes it seem like Microsoft are the best at selling RPG's. They do a better job at hyping then selling them. The RPG numbers for all 3 consoles are also inaccurate.

_guenter_26
_guenter_26

CorruptGamer Well there are more RPGs to choose so maybe more RPGs will be sold.

CorruptGamerGX
CorruptGamerGX

@newb16 I really think your username best describes you. More titles does not mean someone is selling RPG's at a better rate. It's even more pathetic when you mix current releases, expansion packs, future titles and a FIGHTING GAME??? to get your point across.

newb16
newb16

I guess you people dont remember who has done a better job at selling RPG'S than anybody? Sure wasn't Nintendo oh and I NO it was not sony. All sony did was get some of the same games as Microsoft. Just to show how good they are with rpg's this is what they have The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Blue Dragon, Dark Messiah of Might and Magic, Elveon, Enchanted Arms, Eternal Sonata, Fable II, Final Fantasy XI, Final Fantasy XI: Wings of the Goddess, Final Fantasy XI: Vana'diel Collection 2008, Infinite Undiscovery, The Lord of the Rings: The White Council, Lost Odyssey, Mass Effect, Phantasy Star Universe, Project Offset, Sacred 2: Fallen Angel, Star Ocean: The Last Hope, Tales of Vesperia, Two Worlds, Two Worlds: The Temptation, Battle Fantasia, The Last Remnant , Star Ocean: The Last Hope. That is 23 RPG games total for the 360 wile the PS3 has 16 rpg's. The wii on the other hand has 11 RPG's.

MatthewNintendo
MatthewNintendo

Even with all this, I highly doubt Miscrosoft will be able to break the foreign console maker barrier in Japan.

plaestic
plaestic

"Has anyone else observed the official console sales predictions until 2012?" "Official predictions" I lol'd.

AngelsongCA
AngelsongCA

Yes. Microsoft, a nearly 20 billion dollar net profiting corporation is desperate. Please give me a break. Microsoft is making a home for gamers, covering every kind of hardcore game fan. All of the genres. Basically what ever gamers want, Microsoft is going to go after it until they have it. They have so much planned I doubt you could even understand it all. Wait until E3 and you'll get a glimpse.

jazreal
jazreal

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Darth_Xehanort
Darth_Xehanort

Microsoft is getting deserate. Has anyone else observed the official console sales predictions until 2012? Trust me when I say that all evidence, statistics, and facts say that the 360 is in deep trouble. Now, they are trying to get a quantity of JRPG's. But, they lack true quality. Infinite Undiscovery, first of all, made by Tri-Ace, which has nowhere near the abilities or funding of the gods that make Final Fantasy. Secondly, Square-Enix has been pulling developers and funds away from the project to work on Star Ocean 4. In case anyone on here didn't know, Star Ocean 4 is highly likely to be multiplatform, as is the Last Remnant, both of which are shown to have clearly higher production values than Infinite Undiscovery. Square-Enix is further along with Star Ocean 4 and The Last REmnant on the 360 because they started making these games before the PS3 developers' kits were released. So, of course a little more time is needed for the Ps3 versions. Overall, it is extremely clear that the PS3 is Square-Enix's main focus, as it undoubtedly should be.

Tom1243
Tom1243

Sqaure-Enix have hit it on the head with the world wide releases....none of this crap from Namco-crapfaces. I ahve to wait till 2009 for there game! are you kiding! whata ****ing joke!

subrosian
subrosian

Guts5 - IGN and 1up have credibility issues because the people commenting on a system have their jobs dependant on it. For example, at GameSpot, if the Wii were suddenly discovered to cause eight kinds of cancer, pulled of the market, and Nintendo sued out of existence, no one would lose their job. That would be that, oh well - they cover the events and the staff covers whatever systems are left. - At IGN, if your system goes under, and you're the go-to guy for that system, you might be out of the job. If you're the go-to guy at 1up for comments on the PS3 - consciously or subconsciously, there's a need to make the system you're the go-to on sound good - even if it's just because you're playing it more than other systems. - There's a real problem that kevin vanord has discussed with integrity in gaming journalism right now - for example, GameSpot gets its reviews out late because they won't take bribes - meanwhile other sites do unethical things, like reviewing incomplete games and ignoring bugs on the publisher's word that "they'll fix them", or not mentioning things like load times under duress - simply to get access to review materials early. - To use the french term - that's bull**** - and that's what we get fed when we listen to the fanboyism and let the publishers write the reviews for their own games. - in truth? Microsoft and Nintendo are ruling the console gaming industry, Apple might be the new PC , Phone, and Handheld market, and it's quite possible there's a future where we sign in to Google to play their latest MMO. Far fetched? Well - Atari once ruled the gaming world, now look at it - things change, things change a lot - and I think people have a hard time accepting that.

Kenji_Masamune
Kenji_Masamune

they reason why the 360 getting these game is wrong from a fanboy's perspective is like the old mac vs pc battle. For years, years and years, the PC has always gotten the best FPS, and being that everyone you know owns a PC, you also have a PC. Then all of a sudden the next killer looking game comes out.. for the mac and only for the mac. Replace FPS with RPG, PC with playstation and Mac with the 360. It's just like that: Imagine seeing DOOM 4 or Diablo 3 for MAC ONLY.

Guts5
Guts5

Nineball2112 Hmmm... well, the editor at 1UP said some interesting things about the RPGs coming to the X360. His full quote: "I firmly believe that, despite Sony's parade of "we don't pay for exclusives" comments over the years, that they have firmly supported S-E in the development of FFXIII (and it's ilk) in order to retain console exclusivity. I'd be very surprised if that changed. I think S-E is content to let tri-Ace do the heavy lifting in supporting the 360 with its content, and I was pretty underwhelmed by the 'RPG conference' as a whole. No real surprises. I mean, I love tri-Ace, and think these announcements are great, but it felt like the 360 got the B-team, while the A-team are free to frolic away on the PS3. Just my two cents. " I find that very humerous. That's like all these websites talking about how excited they were about Haze and how great it was gonna be... because of their past success. They said all that without basing that on a nearly finished game build. He hasn't played any build of these games, much less a build of FFXIII. He saw some demos and he's making claims like this? He's lost any credibility he's ever had.

jknight5422
jknight5422

Well I've got $240 bucks burning a hole in my pocket to buy these games & support the Japanese/Mr. Softy effort. :-) And let's not forget Atlus games 3 new arrivals showing up this summer: Operation Darkness, Spectral Force 3, & Zoids Assault.

Trashcan_Man
Trashcan_Man

New Star Ocean game=AWESOME!!! Graphics look incredible! Buy it up so maybe they'll remake Second Story!

mitu123
mitu123

hotgamer, how exactly, care to explain what's wrong with it being on the 360?

Nineball2112
Nineball2112

Hmmm... well, the editor at 1UP said some interesting things about the RPGs coming to the X360. His full quote: "I firmly believe that, despite Sony's parade of "we don't pay for exclusives" comments over the years, that they have firmly supported S-E in the development of FFXIII (and it's ilk) in order to retain console exclusivity. I'd be very surprised if that changed. I think S-E is content to let tri-Ace do the heavy lifting in supporting the 360 with its content, and I was pretty underwhelmed by the 'RPG conference' as a whole. No real surprises. I mean, I love tri-Ace, and think these announcements are great, but it felt like the 360 got the B-team, while the A-team are free to frolic away on the PS3. Just my two cents. " Link: [url=http://www.1up.com/do/blogEntry?bId=8765106&publicUserId=5379721]Drama and betrayal, nerd-style[/url]

hotgamer
hotgamer

Ok, officially, now Star Ocean 4 will be a bad game since it will be on 360. Way to ruin the series Tri-Ace.

Guts5
Guts5

"PS_Family I usually don't try to make it personal but you need to get a clue. What does MS win by offering a game to an almost non-existant audience, besides pissing the small niche fanbase that bought a DS or PS3 for those kind of titles? Star Ocean games barely sell on Japanese systems." Those people weren't thinking at all. Just assuming titles would come on a platform without looking into it is just silly. Buying a system that doesn't have the games you want on it is just as silly. I got lucky. I really wanted to play Mass Effect and Obvlivion so I got one of the first 360s sold. I had to pre-order. Then guess what happened? Thsoe games got delayed. Oblvion was only a couple months. The point is I purchased the system because I KNEW games I wanted were coming out on it. I was going to wait on buying one until I saw what games were going to be out on it. It's the silly buyers fault if they didn't look into which system the games were coming out on. Blamming a MS for a silly consumer buying a PS3 or DS without knowing which games were going to be on it is just plain crazy.

markharris31
markharris31

@PS_Family You just answered your own question. Star Ocean games sell better in the West, which is why it is coming to the 360 (a Western console) and MAYBE to the PS3. SE is trying to expand their sales outside of Japan, so they're putting 3 top-quality RPGs on the 360, which has a large install base outside of Japan. This isn't about selling 360s in Japan, it's about bringing quality JPRGs to the 360 audience outside Japan. I think those are all the clues we need, Sherlock.