E3 06: Ninety-Nine Nights will "probably" hit US in August

Q Entertainment founder Tetsuya Mizuguchi is overheard discussing the North American release date for his forthcoming action game.

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LOS ANGELES--Yesterday at the Microsoft Electronic Entertainment Expo 2006 press briefing, Japanese developer Q Entertainment made news with the announcement it was bringing its popular Lumines franchise to the Xbox 360. Previously, the Tetris-esque puzzle series was exclusive to Sony consoles: the original PlayStation Portable game is set to spawn a sequel, Lumines II, and a PlayStation 2 spin-off, Lumines Plus.

Today, Q Entertainment made Xbox 360 news again, courtesy of its founder and CEO, Tetsuya Mizuguchi. Following a presentation at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, the famed game designer was spotted having a conversation in the hallway of the Los Angeles Convention Center's concourse level.

Unsurprisingly, Mizuguchi was discussing Ninety-Nine Nights, his forthcoming action adventure game for the Xbox 360. Already available in Japan, the title has only a broad "Fall 2006" launch window in the US. Naturally, the lack of a firm ship date prompted the other party in the conversation to ask when Ninety-Nine Nights would be coming out in North America.

Mizuguchi was surprisingly specific in his answer, which could portend than Ninety-Nine Nights might ship earlier than expected. "It's coming in August, I think," he said. "Possibly September." Mizuguchi then politely excused himself, preventing any nearby eavesdroppers from learning more specific information.

Though Mizuguchi's comments appear to narrow Ninety-Nine Nights' launch window, it must be emphasized that they do not constitute an official release date.

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