Okamoto and Mizuguchi talk next-gen Xbox

The Japanese creators talk about their reasons behind joining Microsoft and give hints on their respective game projects.

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In the beginning of March, Microsoft announced that Yoshiki Okamoto, former Capcom executive and current president of Game Republic, will be developing an unspecified number of exclusive next-gen Xbox games. In an interview published in the latest issue of Famitsu magazine, Okamoto hinted that he is currently developing two games for the next-gen Xbox, one of which will require a good network infrastructure but not too many hardware specs. The second will be an extremely large-scale project that requires a lot of funding from Microsoft and a lot of hardware specs.

Okamoto commented in the interview that he decided to develop for Microsoft because one of the projects being created by Game Republic matched perfectly with the infrastructure of the next-gen Xbox. He revealed that the untitled project falls in the party game genre and is being developed with Xbox Live in mind. It's said to present an extremely amicable atmosphere, which is a major change from the action and survival horror games that Okamoto often gets associated with due to his history at his previous company. Okamoto also revealed that he was offered jobs from different companies to develop fighting games but declined all of them since it made no sense to repeat what he was doing in his previous company.

Okamoto added that his aim for the next-gen Xbox is to create a game like the Nintendo 64's Super Smash Bros., in the sense that the game sold an extremely large number of copies when compared to sales of the hardware. He also commented that he hopes his game will boost the sales of the next-gen Xbox in Japan.

Famitsu also interviewed Tetsuya Mizuguchi, who revealed that his game in development for the next-gen Xbox could be categorized as an action one. However, Mizuguchi hinted that his next-gen Xbox title might surprise gamers in the same way as when he released Space Channel 5 after he made Sega Rally Championship. Mizuguchi commented that he was inspired to create a game for the next-gen Xbox after hearing of its hardware specs, which brought a vision of a game to his mind. But he also stated that Microsoft's views on the future of gaming matched many of his own, which made him lean toward making a game for the company’s console.

In terms of the next-gen Xbox hardware, Mizuguchi commented that he sees the machine's high-resolution and HDTV support as its main appeal, since it allows for more-detailed graphics. He also said that Microsoft thought into the sound system for the console and that it is definitely a machine he wants to develop a game for. Mizuguchi also gave high praise to the Xbox Live, commenting that it was a well-thought-out system with a good infrastructure. However, he did not reveal whether his game in development would make use of Xbox Live.

In the latest issue of Dorimaga magazine, Sakaguchi talked about his upcoming role-playing games for the next-gen Xbox. Sakaguchi stated that his interest continues to lie in storytelling and that storytelling is an essential factor when he's giving his best effort in a game's development.

One thing that gamers shouldn't expect from Sakaguchi are games that play like watching a movie, which is exactly what he criticized about recent console offerings. Sakaguchi commented that modern games let bystanders get as excited as the player. But considering they're interactive, Sakaguchi believes that games are really supposed to be something that only the person who's playing should be able to completely understand and enjoy, which is what he expects his games on the next-gen Xbox to be like.

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