Steel Battalion, Suda 51 coming to Kinect

TGS 2010: Microsoft highlights Japanese studios as mech sim famous for 40-button interface and Grasshopper go controller-free; New Fire Pro Wrestling, Radiant Silvergun, MGS: Rising, Child of Eden also featured.

by

TOKYO--It has been two years since Microsoft last had a major keynote address at the Tokyo Game Show, an event it previously used to detail new games and partnerships with Japanese developers in the company's continuing effort to crack the Japanese market. The gaming giant is back at TGS for 2010, kicking off the show with the event's first keynote conference. The company's corporate vice president of Microsoft Game Studios, Phil Spencer, is set to take the stage to outline the company's plans for its gaming business.

Japanese Kinect games were a point of focus during Microsoft's TGS keynote address.

With the Kinect's release only a matter of months away, many are expecting Microsoft to devote a significant amount of time at this keynote address to its upcoming controller-free motion-sensing system. And because previous Microsoft TGS keynote presentations have resulted in major announcements, such as the Tekken franchise's first foray onto the 360, there are also plenty of people tipping that some big surprises may be in store.

[6:33] Tokyo Game Show 2010 officially kicks off with Microsoft's keynote address, which has been tentatively titled "Xbox 360 Vision and Strategy 2010." Microsoft Game Studios VP Phil Spencer is set to take the stage soon and will apparently be joined by the general manager of the Home & Entertainment Division for Japan, Takashi Sensui.

[6:34] It's almost a full house here at Convention Hall B, but the house lights are still up, and Muzak is still playing over the speakers. Official proceedings should start soon.

[6:35] And the lights finally dim!

[6:36] TGS sizzle reel shows up onscreen, featuring an anime robot girl. Naturally.

[6:37] Sensui gets onstage, saying the company wants to introduce the works of great Japanese game creators around the world.

[6:40] Sensui says the 360 has been one of the most innovative and profitable platforms for the world's publishers. He namechecks Microsoft's TGS conference two years ago as introducing plenty of Japanese games to the Western world, as well as their special panel at TGS 2009 with some key Japanese developers who spoke about the potential of Kinect.

[6:41] He says today's keynote address will focus on 10 titles being developed right now, and all of them are "born from the talent of Japanese developers." These titles will be a mixture of standard Xbox 360 and Kinect titles.

[6:41] And now for the first game! Lights dim, and a trailer begins. It shows a close-up of a blade and the Kojima Productions logo.

Raiden is a watermelon-slicing machine. Literally.

[6:43] It's a trailer for Metal Gear Solid: Rising, but it looks to be a truncated version of the same one that was first shown at E3 this year.

[6:44] The producer of Rising, Shigenobu Matsuyama, gets onstage. He says he's got some new information about the game.

[6:44] He asks us if we remember the watermelon-slicing scene from the end of the first trailer, saying he'd like to show us this cutting done live by the game's creative director, Kimura-san.

[6:47] Raiden is onscreen now, and Kiumura is controlling him with an Xbox 360 controller. He's changing the angle of Raiden's cuts, with a greenish arc showing up on screen to show the arc of the blade to the player.

[6:48] Kimura is cutting up the melon pretty well. A small bipedal robot creature used for recon jumps out of a bunch of watermelons. Metal Gear Solid 4 fans will recognise this little guy, and he's apparently in Rising.

[6:48] The robot holds up one watermelon, spinning it like a basketball. Raiden slices. Now the robot has some juggling pins and starts to juggle them.

[6:48] Kimura is trying to slice them all at the same time, but his first swing is a miss. The second time is better; he gets one.

[6:49] Now the robot brings out a twin. The two robots clamber on top of each other. Kimura performs a white blade cut, which neatly slices the top robot in two.

[6:49] Matsuyama says production is going well and asks for the crowd's continued support. He leaves the stage to applause.

[6:50] Sensui is back onstage and is now talking about MS's first-party vision for the console. He introduces Phil Spencer.

[6:51] Spencer tries out his Japanese by introducing himself in the local language. The Japanese press gives him some polite applause.

[6:52] Spencer goes through some of Japan's strong gaming heritage, beginning with arcade hits such as Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, and Virtua Fighter.

[6:52] He also says Japanese developers have been leading the way, with some excellent titles in this generation.

[6:55] Global sales of Japanese publishers' games on the Xbox have doubled from the last generation to total $2.1 billion to date sold so far all around the world. This doesn't include online sales, Spencer says. Five out of the top six Xbox Live Arcade games published by Microsoft partners have come from Japanese developers.

[6:56] Spencer says Halo Reach managed $200 million in day-one sales--more than any other entertainment offering in 2010.

[6:57] He says the Xbox 360 is the best-selling console in North America for the third month in a row and claims the same goes for Europe.

[6:58] Spencer says that while it's important to foster current hit franchises like Halo and Gears of War, Microsoft also needs to take risks with new intellectual property. That's why Microsoft comes to Japan, he says. Spencer is about to announce five new partnerships with Japanese developers, which are exclusive to the Xbox 360.

[6:58] The first partner is Spike--which is best known for wrestling games popular in Japan.

[7:00] A teaser trailer starts for a new Fire Pro Wrestling. It looks like players will be able to use their Live avatars to get into the ring and get some violence on.

No word yet on whether players will be able to bloody their friends' avatars with a fork to the face.

[7:02] The next partnership announced is with Treasure. Another trailer is shown--its the Sega Saturn shoot-'em-up Radiant Silvergun. The game will be on Xbox Live Arcade and will debut in 2011. This will be the first time the game has officially come to North America.

[7:02] The focus now switches to Kinect titles being made in Japan. He says the same principle that drove Japanese arcade developers are the same ones that power Kinect.

[7:03] Spencer says he asked Japanese developers to come to Microsoft with their wildest game ideas and to not play it safe. He adds that he encouraged the focus to be on downloadable titles.

[7:07] The first one up is from NanaOn-Sha, creator of Parappa the Rapper and Vib Ribbon. Masaya Matsuura appears on the screen, and he's unveiling a little bit about his project. It'll be a horror game using Kinect.

NanaOn-Sha's gotta believe in Kinect.

[7:07] The game is called Haunt, and the teaser trailer shown doesn't reveal much. All it shows is a character walking slowly down a creepy, dark hallway, before a cartoon-looking ghost pops up and knocks the character down.

[7:08] The next company partnership is Grounding Inc. and the game called Project Draco. Yukio Futatsugi, the game director, is onstage. Futatsugi is best known as the director of Phantom Dust and Panzer Dragoon.

[7:11] He's saying the game is all about his love of flight, so this title will have characters riding giant flying creatures. The trailer shows some humans riding some large, bipedal dragonlike creatures. Oh, and they shoot electricity from their mouths. The game will be released for the Kinect in 2011.

Grasshopper's next game will feature baseball and explosions. Of course.

[7:12] The next title comes from Grasshopper Manufacture, and Suda 51 takes to the stage.

[7:15] He says the partnership between Grasshopper and Microsoft has taken about a year to develop. Suda says Kinect frees him up to be more innovative. He's not talking specifics about his unknown game, but he hints it won't have guns. Still, he assures fans around the world that this game will be for the hardcore gamer.

[7:17] The game will be called Codename D, with a live-action teaser trailer showing. The trailer has a man in a baseball cap approaching some weird characters standing in front of what looks like an abandoned carnival. The man crushes the baseball in his hand, causing the weird characters to spontaneously explode. Yep, it sure looks like a Suda 51 game.

[7:18] Spencer says his good-byes and welcomes Sensui back on center stage.

[7:19] Sensui continues with the game announcements for Kinect. Dr Kawashima is coming to Kinect, with Dr Kawashima's Body and Brain Exercises confirmed for North America and Europe in early 2011. The publisher is Namco Bandai.

[7:19] Lumines, Space Channel 5, Rez, and Child of Eden are mentioned. All of these were previously confirmed at E3 2010.

[7:20] He shows off a new trailer for Child of Eden. This trailer reveals a new level called Beauty, which looks to be populated by large flowers.

Child of Eden is about a beautiful world infected by cyberspace. Be sure to visit the official Web site.

[7:22] Tetsuya Mizuguchi from Child of Eden developer Q is now on the stage. He talks more about the Beauty level, which will feature wind, skies, flowers, and light. The stage shown at E3 called Matrix is more about space.

[7:23] He says the aim of the game is to purify the world of Eden, which has been infected by a virus from cyberspace.

[7:25] The games don't stop there! Rise of Nightmares from Sega is now being talked about. The trailer shows off the horror game using a lot of quick scenes of zombies and torture. Icky.

[7:28] And it looks like its the final game announcement! It's Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor for Kinect, and Capcom's Keiji Inafune is here to talk about the game. The trailer showed a fleet landing in Manhattan in 2082, with soldiers being attacked by large vertical tanks. It also revealed that Armored Core creator From Software will be developing the title.

[7:29] Inafune says it's a new interpretation of the game, which first debuted on the Xbox with a special controller that had more than 40 buttons.

The original Steel Battalion controller in all its bulky glory.

[7:30] He says even though the game is set in the future, it is a changed world because the production of computer chips has stopped. This means the world of Steel Battalion is not as advanced as the time frame indicates it should be.

[7:30] So how will that 40-button controller translate to the no-button Kinect? Inafune says the team is working on that issue "thoroughly."

[7:35] Sensui is back for some closing comments. He says Japanese developers are working hard to produce completely new experiences for global audiences. He thanks the crowd, and that concludes Microsoft's keynote address. Plenty of new titles were announced, so keep checking GameSpot for more information on these new games.

Discussion

110 comments
drangel_jam
drangel_jam

Honestly, getting on stage to announce what? Cutting three melons at the time? Ridiculous. Either shows something concrete already, or stay in the shadows and get to work! This better be good.

setang
setang

All power to the hardcore gamer.. but you/we are a bit biased. Your right some games simple cannot be played with kinnect as the complicated controls is in some way part of the game (do they have to be ???) But this is not the issue here. Kinnect is a revolution in gaming as was WII. I cant wait to see what the gameing industri can do with it.. both as the primary controller involving body gestures and voice and as a supplement for the classic controller. Im new to the xbox and its controller and frankly i think the learning curve is to steep (a myriad of buttons - necessary but hard to remmeber). Kinect has almost no learning curve.. my 6 year old boy got it within 2-3 minutes. He does'nt even want to try the classic controller.

udmatador
udmatador

@lazycomplife oversized webcam? obviously you really have done alot of reading about the kinect. It's more than a webcam. show up prepared scrub...and try to conceal your fanboy a bit more.

udmatador
udmatador

FYI Grasshopper. punk is dead....

AncientDozer
AncientDozer

Well, looks like kinect may be getting "hardcore" games after all. Hope you kids pipe down about that complaint now.

sasmas
sasmas

gamespot its #1 and you are #1 and me=999999999

green_dominator
green_dominator

I'd grab Steel Battalion but only if they release a controller for it or they simplify the game so you can just use a standard controller. I'm not a fan of Kinect, I'm a bit of a purist in that I firmly believe in the controller not a device that promotes flailing of the arms, waggle and talking to your games.....not my thing man......

Vividnightmare
Vividnightmare

Oh I hate this. I bought the original Steel Battalion and loved it. I'd still play it today if I had a working original xbox. I really wasn't going to buy Kinect but being able to play a newer possibly more updated version might have sold me.

chaldoboy14
chaldoboy14

OMG YES YES YES New Fire Pro Wrestling for Xbox!!! Finally a good wrestling game to play on the 360. I really hope they keep it hardcore because the "using avatars" feature worries me about whether there'll be weapons or bloodshed. But hey if it ends up being like Fire Pro Returns with HD graphics, more moves, wrestlers, and features, then I really don't care about blood, day 1 purchase, Spike never disappoints in wrestling games.

lazycomplife
lazycomplife

I am now slightly interested in this overpriced webcam.

JorgeChC
JorgeChC

I meant "About", not "anout"

JorgeChC
JorgeChC

I wanted to know more anout Metal Gear Solid Rising. I guess we'll have to wait another year.

melante
melante

@therokito - Remember with Kinect people, voice works too, not just movement, i predict ALOT of voice activation- Maybe when we lose a game and scream in anger "XBOX F*** U!!", the red ring will show up! (sorry, bad pun, I know, but I couldn't resist...)

AncientDozer
AncientDozer

I hope the steel battalion controller goes down in price if this happens. I want to buy that god damn thing.

robertwarnes91
robertwarnes91

I hope a re-released version of Eyetoy Kinectic will be a launch title for Microsoft's Kinect :)

blackace
blackace

Wow..lot of exclusive games. That's great. Now they need to get the U.S. developers to do the same thing. This is a good start though. They still need a lot more. ****************************************************************************************** TheTenth10 1) Do M$ really believe they're winning the sales in Europe??? another fat lie (I'm French) 2) pretty much nothing in this conference, some known developers will do a second hand game to get the money ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- They outsold the PS3 - 3 months straight in Europe. Does matter what you are, the facts still stay the same.

fetusfart18
fetusfart18

I always wanted to play Steel Battalion so badly....but never got to it. Now I can! But I'm not so sure it'll be as appealing without that epic controller. :(

TheTenth10
TheTenth10

1) do M$ really believe they're winning the sales in Europe??? another fat lie (I'm French) 2) pretty much nothing in this conference, some known developers will do a second hand game to get the money

therokito
therokito

Remember with Kinect people, voice works too, not just movement, i predict ALOT of voice activation in some of its games even moreso then movement for some, or a combination of that + a normal controler for even more fun

Mr_Unknown
Mr_Unknown

So is the video for this ever going to go live. Or did Microsoft ban that?

Sacif
Sacif

LOL Steel Battalion Kinect game? I doubt that is going to work..

TeTBCN
TeTBCN

@sw33tjimmy, in Capcom website, have images of SBHW and the last you can view it. A screen of cockpit virtual for use with you hands and head.

squidracerX
squidracerX

I am very excited about the names they drop, BUT I still have to think about the controls, i mean microsoft is paying these guys for their image and market share, they haven't actually seen the games yet... you could make a Final Fantasy, Metal Gear, and Halo Kinect games; but if they are all "on rails" or control crappy i won't want them... i think back to Dragon Warrior on the Wii, it was Dragon Warrior sure - looked like it sounded like it, but it was a cruddy game because of the controls and so no one wanted it.... NanaOn-Sha made Parapa fun sure, but their Wii title also sucked and it was mainly due to the controls... So i will not hold my breathe here until i see them, lets hope they're good!

band_aid
band_aid

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

Rougehunter
Rougehunter

I still have steel Battalion. Can't wait to see how it works

DarkReign2552
DarkReign2552

Must say I'm thoroughly excited for Steel Battalion. I'm iffy about the dragon-flight game because of their success in the past. Panzer Dragoon Orta was amazing, but than Lair, which was motion-based, failed because of it's atrocious gameplay and controls. With that said, I'm glad to see MS pushing for more Japanese support and I'm glad the developers are being creative and pushing for more hardcore support of the Kinect and not just casual party games like the Wii is suffering from. My faith in Kinect is renewed (and I'm curious how SB will work with the camera. Kinda hope it comes with a controller and the camera just reads your actions. That way I could potentially use the Steel Battalion controller I already own. Would even open up the potential to adding the original Steel Battalion games on the Backward Compatability list (I wish they would've kept up with the patching. I ended up running out to buy another original xbox when mine broke so I could still play a handful of the games I own.)

sw33tjimmy
sw33tjimmy

steel battalion controls on kinect? Easy. put the controls on screen. Your hands control a pair of arms/hands on screen. tilt your head to look around the cockpit. i swear some folks here have no imagination.

monson21502
monson21502

kinect is gonna own move for taking its name...only thing you move on ps move is your arms... who wants to play a fighting game that you can`t move your legs and have to resink your move controllers every 10 seconds? or push a set of buttons to do a elbow. move is to fake and is just like the wii. kinect is real motion controls and people will love it!!!

mrzero1982pt2
mrzero1982pt2

@DrKill09 ok it may be a bad joke, but think about it... the whole setup of the first steel battalion was what, 200 bucks? kinect is 150 and the game is 60? kinda the same thing. maybe microsoft and capcom will make a "thank you" bundle, with kinect and steel battalion in it or something.

mrzero1982pt2
mrzero1982pt2

i bet after reading this, that copman guy on here and his pro playstation move slant is attempting to trade it in now. heh, dont worry, it is going to get better for both, its just that microsoft went and listened to the japanese gamers and givin everyone what they want!!!! sold.

mrzero1982pt2
mrzero1982pt2

it looks like microsoft was waiting til TGS to show off a lot of heavy hitters for kinect. i guess since japan has really adopted the motion gaming while we americans are fans of classic gaming still. either way, for microsoft all i have to say is... wow. a sequel to steel batallion, a quasi sequel to panzer dragoon? yes. microsoft came out with guns blazing. could this be the waiting in the wings everyone say we should have waited for?

XSV-Vendetta
XSV-Vendetta

hmmm that will be interesting to say the least. I'm imaginning something like G-Gundam (Is that the one I always get those confused?) where the dudes in the suit control the suits movements like 1 to 1 everything they do the suit does.

DrKill09
DrKill09

How are you going to emulate the giant Steel Battalion controller with a motion sensing system? :roll: Btw, that is by far the coolest controller ever, although probably one of the most pricey. :D

swamptick
swamptick

@ Pete5506 Yet here you are talking about it. Curious.

robertwarnes91
robertwarnes91

How do you play an action game with kinect? Do you run in the spot continously to move? Do you form a gun shape with your hand and simulate a reloading action with your hands? Cause I'm having a bit of trouble understanding if the Kinect is capable of advance game play and deep campaigns.

mehrdad1987
mehrdad1987

haha that avatar wrestling looks fun!

Sirbobislost
Sirbobislost

Nice to see a kinect game I would like but without the over the top controller it's just not the same...

badtaker
badtaker

M$ are not ashamed to support Kinect :P Every game M$ announces at any gameshow are based on kinect only.

Kazor
Kazor

"So how will that 40-button controller translate to the no-button Kinect? Inafune says the team is working on that issue 'thoroughly.'" So they decided to make Steel Battalion a Kinect title without even so much as a gameplay concept? This sounds an awful lot like a "me too" cash-in. Pity.

lamprey263
lamprey263

wow, I was rather shocked by the headline, after all I never played Steel Battalion but I knew it was supposed to be played by that rather complex dual joystick peripheral, and they're taking it down to Kinect, that'll be interesting to see them try, I have to say I have a lot of doubts but I'll be happy if they can prove me wrong

grey_fox1984
grey_fox1984

anyone want to buy my copy of steel battalion? i no longer have a working Xbox- game and controller are both in good working order

bennae66
bennae66

im watching the space. i wont judge yet. tho child of eden is what sold kinect to me. -edited: sold was once sole and i corrected it

Destrin
Destrin

Steel Battalion without the controller is ultra lame. If they dumb the gameplay down aswell, it will be unworthy of play.

inaka_rob
inaka_rob

@ Agiel7 I get what your saying. I am not really into ANY of this motion control stuff. But think of Minorty Report. remember how Tom Crusie was controlling that computer. Think of that one day. Maybe kentic 3.

zzamaro
zzamaro

@monson21502 Right, just like everyone else not wanting Kinect. If I'm not interest in ms, then explain why do I have an X360? Who are you, anyway?

Agiel7
Agiel7

Man, I wanted to use a fantastically ginormous, but very impressive controller to pilot my Vertical Tank in Steel Battalion, not wave my hands around like a jackass trying to control it. With the controller, I look geeky, but in a charming way. With the Kinect, I think I'd look like a douchebag.

monson21502
monson21502

@zzamaro, your never interested in anything that ms does, im not sure why your even on this thread:?