Spring TGS 2001: Microsoft reveals Project K-X

A new development team made up of members from Microsoft and Dream Factory shows an impressive new technology demo for the Xbox.

TOKYO - As part of Bill Gates' keynote address this afternoon at the Tokyo Game Show, Microsoft revealed Project K-X for the Xbox. This technology demo was developed by a new subsidiary of Microsoft and Dream Factory, titled Dream Publishing. Ishii Seichi, managing director of Dream Factory, is overseeing the team on the new Xbox development project. According to Seichi, although Project K-X is only a technology demo at this time, Dream Publishing hopes to use that technology in a new Xbox game. Little information is known at this time regarding Dream Publishing's plans for the game, but it will draw on the company's fighting lineage in games such as Tobal and The Bouncer.

The Xbox technology demo showed three different fighters, a Bruce Lee look-alike, a futuristic, leather-clad samurai, and a female dancer in contemporary clothing. The three characters displayed their own individually distinct fighting styles. Naturally, the Bruce Lee-like character showed off moves from the Jeet Kune Do style, while the female character used moves reminiscent of a dancing game. For each of the characters the animation routines were fluid and realistic. For example, the Bruce Lee look-alike, dressed in tight blue jeans and aviator sunglasses, displayed smooth transitions from such complex moves as 360-degree roundhouse kicks to sweeps. Complementing these primary animations were subtle nuances, such as fingers moving independently of each other and the character's chest expanding as he took deep breaths.

All of the action in the demo took place in what looked like a warehouse or factory environment. Large metal doors adorned both of the sidewalls, and a metal walkway cast realistic shadows on the floor and the characters themselves. The real-time shadowing in general was impressive, as the characters moved in and out of the shadows, and virtually every onscreen object had self-shadowing. However, the background wall, which only served as a backdrop, seemed as if it was prerendered: It didn't quite match the foreground environment.

As mentioned, Project K-X is currently a technology demo, but Dream Publishing plans to create a new Xbox game based on it. GameSpot will have further information, as it is available.

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