TGS 06: Sony tips PS3 Japan launch hand

Press materials confirm a minimum of six titles for 11/11, nine more due by end of year; at least 12 confirmed for 2007; US launch catalog to be at least eight titles larger.

As part of its effort to promote its wares at the 2006 Tokyo Game Show, Sony Computer Entertainment Japan fired off a fusillade of press materials this morning. Besides revealing five new titles for the PlayStation 3--Ninja Gaiden Sigma, Sega Golfclub, flOw, Wangan Midnight, and Shirokishi--the releases partially lifted the veil off the Japanese PS3 launch slate.

When the PlayStation 3 goes on sale in Japan November 11, six games will definitely be available: Genji: Days of the Blade, Mah-Jong Fight Club Online, Mobile Suit Gundam: Target In Sight, Resistance: Fall of Man, Sega Golfclub featuring the Miyazato Family, and--wait for it--Ridge Racer 7. Sony also confirmed Armored Core 4 would arrive sometime in November.

For December, Sony has locked down a trio of games: F1 Championship (aka Formula One 06), Gran Turismo HD, and MotorStorm. Three more carry a general "winter 2006" release date in Japan: Need for Speed Carbon, Enchant Arm, and the railroad sim Railfan. Another pair will ship during "2006": Sonic the Hedgehog and Fatal Inertia, though the latter is only "projected" to make that vague release window.

According to Sony, 2007 will see at least 12 more PS3 titles come to market across the Pacific. Virtua Fighter 5, Virtua Tennis 3, Heavenly Sword, Lair, Monster Kingdom: Unknown Realms, The Eye of Judgment, and Wangan Midnight will all arrive in the "spring," while Everybody's Golf 5 and Warhawk will land in the "summer." Other games confirmed for the year are Afrika (working title), Coded Arms: Assault, and the much-awaited Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots.

Sony listed a sextet of several high-profile titles with the most nebulous release date of all, "TBD." Those included Shirokishi, fl0w (working title), Bladestorm: The Hundred Years' War, Devil May Cry 4, and Final Fantasy XIII.

While informative, the release dates revealed today are in no way a complete Japan PS3 release schedule, which has yet to be released by Sony. It also must be emphasized that the list is not reflective of the PS3 launch lineup in North America. There, Activision has publicly committed to having three games--Call of Duty 3, Marvel Ultimate Alliance, and Tony Hawk's Project 8--go on sale alongside the console. Electronic Arts is expected to have four to five games for the PS3 launch, while Take-Two is predicted to have three by January 2007, according to analysts. Ubisoft has also committed to have at least one game available.

The PS3 games featured by Sony at TGS 2006 are listed below, in order of release. The company has also released information on how far along each game is in overall development--the percentages completed are also listed below. (Another brochure listing floor-demo build development was also distributed with slightly different percentages.)

JAPAN SHIP DATE / TITLE / STATUS
11/11/2006 / Genji: Days of the Blade / 70% complete
11/11/2006 / Mah-Jong Fight Club Online / 60% complete
11/11/2006 / Mobile Suit Gundam: Target In Sight / 80% complete
11/11/2006 / Resistance: Fall of Man / 80% complete
11/11/2006 / Ridge Racer 7 / 80% complete /
11/11/2006 / Sega Golf Club featuring Miyazato Family / 70% complete /

November 2006 / Armored Core 4 / 80% complete

December 2006 / F1 Championship (working title) / 60% complete
December 2006 / Gran Turismo HD (working title) / 70% complete
December 2006 / MotorStorm / 60% complete

Winter 2006 / Need for Speed Carbon / 70% complete
Winter 2006 / Enchant Arm / 70% complete
Winter 2006 / Railfan / 30% complete

2006 / Sonic the Hedgehog / 80% complete

2006 (Projected) / Fatal Inertia / 90% complete

Spring 2007 / The Eye of Judgment / 70% complete
Spring 2007 / Heavenly Sword / 65% complete
Spring 2007 / Lair (tentative for Japan) / 40% complete
Spring 2007 / Monster Kingdom: Unknown Realms (working title) / 30% complete
Spring 2007 / Virtua Fighter 5 / 70% complete
Spring 2007 / Virtua Tennis 3 / 50% complete
Spring 2007 / Wangan Midnight / N/A

Summer 2007 / Everybody's Golf 5 (working title) / 30% complete
Summer 2007 / Warhawk / 50% complete

2007 / Afrika (working title) / 30% complete
2007 / Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots / N/A
2007 / Coded Arms: Assault / 40% complete

TBD / Devil May Cry 4 / N/A
TBD / Bladestorm: The Hundred Years' War / 60% complete
TBD / fl0w (working title) / N/A
TBD / Shirokishi / 10% complete
TBD / Final Fantasy XIII / N/A
TBD / Rainbow Six Vegas / N/A

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