More Japanese game giants choosing next-gen Xbox?

Early convert Yoshiki Okamoto hints that other high-profile game designers in Japan are developing games for Microsoft's forthcoming console.

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TOKYO--In a recent interview on the official Xbox Web site in Japan, Game Republic's Yoshiki Okamoto revealed that other big-name game developers may soon join the growing crowd of next-generation Xbox supporters. He also added that, when announced, the lineup of launch games for the console may shock the game industry.

"[Final Fantasy creator Hironobu] Sakaguchi-san, [Space Channel 5 creator Tetsuya] Mizuguchi-san, and myself have been the focus of attention so far. But I've been hearing that some other designers will also be joining [in making games for the next Xbox]. There are a lot of surprises. I find myself saying: 'What, this development studio!? This game!? These people!?'"

"If the current lineup [of games] in development for the next-generation Xbox was revealed," Okamoto said in the interview, "it would not only surprise users, but the entire industry. There probably wouldn't be anyone [in Japan] that would still be uninterested in buying the next-generation Xbox when they see the lineup." He called the still-under-wraps list "a powerful fleet of Japanese designers."

Okamoto revealed that he is currently making a number of games for the next Xbox, all in genres that are new to him. He added that the games are already in playable form.

When asked if there was a negative side to working with Microsoft Game Studios, Okamoto commented, "We can't port the games to other hardware even if it seems possible, so that's a disappointment. But even with that downside to income, Xbox has specs that make us want to develop for it." Then, as a final tease, Okamoto said, "I can't reveal the specifics, but one of the games we're making will really go to the extreme."

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