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Slew of 360 games revealed at Xbox Summit 2005

Ridge Racer, Winning Eleven lead list of Japanese-developed games for Microsoft's next-gen console; 37 Japanese publishers now on board.


It's no secret that Microsoft's entrance into the console market has been met with tepid interest in Japan, a region dominated by the company's rivals in Sony and Nintendo. While North American gamers have welcomed the prospect of the Xbox 360 with open arms, the Japanese interest in the Western console, as shown in a recent market survey, is limited to a paltry 2 percent of gamers.

To help spark interest in the Xbox 360, Microsoft has sought some of Japan's top game designers to create games for the unit. Former Square Enix producer Hironobu Sakaguchi (Mistawalker) and Sega's Tetsuya Mizuguchi (Q Entertainment) are among the many developers that are currently developing games for the Xbox 360. Today at the Xbox Summit 2005 in Tokyo, Japan, even more Japanese game developers jumped on the 360 wagon.

"The Xbox 360 has achieved a true breakthrough with far more third-party publishers support than anybody ever expected," said Peter Moore, Microsoft corporate vice president and chief of worldwide Xbox marketing. "Today, I am proud to say that every major third-party publisher right here in Japan is committed to supplying games to Xbox 360."

Moore's words were backed up by the lineup of trailers that were later shown during the summit. One of the first games shown was Ninety-Nine Nights, developed by Mizuguchi's Q Entertainment and Sang Youn Lee's Phantagram. Mizuguchi showed two of the many playable characters--in this case, sisters Inphyy and Aspharr. He then showed off an in-game trailer that featured the girls in battle, while the screen boasted nearly a hundred enemies onscreen at once without any noticeable signs of slowdown.

Capcom producer Keiji Inafune appeared at the summit to show off the latest trailers of two zombie-themed games, Dead Rising and Resident Evil 5. When asked what season the games are slated for release, Inafune replied that he had no idea, since it could take more than a year for either to come out. Inafune also announced that he is working as a producer for a new game currently in development for the Xbox 360. "I couldn't prepare a trailer for different reasons, but I should be able to announce the title by the Xbox 360's launch. I can't disclose its genre, but there won't be zombies in it," joked Inafune.

Other large Japanese publishers made some big announcements as well. Namco announced Ridge Racer 6 for the 360 but didn't show any trailers or footage of the game. The company also announced an unnamed original fantasy role-playing game. No details, trailers, or screens were available, but it's known that several members of the "Tales of" franchise development team are working on the game.

Bandai is at work on a first-person shooter set in the Gundam universe. Though a trailer was prepared for the show, the company decided not to show it, citing quality issues.

Konami is bringing three very different sports games based on existing franchises to the 360. Winning Eleven (working title), the popular soccer simulation, Rumble Roses XX, a new version of the foxy female wrestling game, and Pro Yakyuu Spirits, a baseball game, are all in development.

Team Ninja chief Tomonobu Itagaki revealed that Tecmo has five Xbox 360 games coming to the console, two of which were announced for the first time. In addition to the three Dead or Alive games previously announced (Dead or Alive 4, Dead or Alive: Code Cronus, Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball 2), Tecmo will release the action game Project Progressive and a to-be-named game on the platform.

Smaller publishers have also announced games. Genki announced that it is working on a new Tokyo Xtreme Racer; Hudson is developing a remake of Tengai Makyou: Jiraiya; Yuke's is making a pro-wrestling game based on Japanese wrestlers, titled Wrestle Kingdom; Sega is working on a mech game named Chrome Hounds; Taito is developing an air-combat game named World Airforce; and Koei is releasing Dynasty Warriors 5 Special Edition.

Square Enix was also present at the summit to show a real-time demo of Final Fantasy XI, which was played at the stage by producer Hiromichi Tanaka. Takana revealed that the game is already close to completion and that the company is just waiting for the launch of the Xbox 360 to begin beta testing.

Other trailers shown during the summit include: From Software's E[eM] -eNCHANT arM-; Electronic Arts' FIFA Soccer 06, NBA Live 06, and Need For Speed Most Wanted; Atari's Test Drive Limited; Microsoft's Gears of War and Kameo: Elements of Power; and Ubisoft's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter.

Moore explained that one of the reasons why the Japanese publishers have come forward in developing games for the Xbox 360 is Microsoft's XNA suite of development tools, which lowers the cost of high-quality games.

"XNA, together with Xbox Live, is already giving Japanese publishers the tools they need to unleash their creativity through a seamless integration between artists, producers, and programmers. That means better games can be created faster than ever," said Moore.

Xbox Japan marketing director Takashi Sensui revealed that Microsoft's support toward Japanese developers has been firm, which is the reason why so many publishers have been able to show their trailers at the summit. "Microsoft has been providing game makers throughout the world with Xbox development kits since one year ago, and there are already about 1,000 kits being used in Japan alone," said Sensui.

At the end of the Xbox Summit 2005, Sensui disclosed that a total of 37 Japanese publishers are currently making 42 games for the Xbox 360 console. A complete list is below:

• "Call of Duty 2"
• "Tony Hawk's American Wasteland"
• "Quake IV"
• "Gun"

A R C System Works
• "Versus Tactical Action" (working title)

• "A-Train X"

Atari Japan
• "Test Drive Unlimited"

• "Mobile Suit Gundam" (working title)
• "Super Robot Wars" (working title)

• "Biohazard 5 (Resident Evil 5)"
• "Dead Rising"

• Title TBA

D3 Publisher
• "E-D-FX" (working title)
• "Chambara Beauty X" (working title)

Eidos KK
• Title TBA

Electronic Arts
• "FIFA Soccer 2006"
• "NBA Live 2006"
• "Need for Speed Most Wanted"

Idea Factory
• Title TBA

• Title TBA

Kids Station
• Title TBA

• "Dynasty Warriors 5"

• "Winning Eleven" (working title)
• "Rumble Roses XX" (working title)
• "Proyakyu Spirits" (working title)

Marvelous Interactive
• Title TBA

• "Ninety-Nine Nights"
• "Every Party"
• "Project Gotham Racing 3"

• "Frame City Killer"
• "Ridge Racer 6"
• RPG Title TBA
• "Love Football" (working title)


Frontier Groove
• Title TBA

• Title TBA

• "Shutokou Battle" (working title)

• Title TBA

Hudson Soft
• "Far East of Eden Ziria 00Tales from Distant Jipang"

• "Chromehounds" (working title)

SNK Playmore
• "King of Fighters Maximum Impact 2" (working title)

• Title TBA
Square Enix
• "Final Fantasy XI"

• "Zookeeper" (working title)
• "Operation Darkness" (working title)

• "World Airforce" (working title)

• "Dead or Alive 4"
• "Dead or Alive Xtreme 2"
• "Project Progressive"
• "Dead or Alive code: Cronus"

THQ Japan
• "Saints Row"
• "The Outfit"

• "Zoids" (working title)

• Title TBA

• "Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter" (working title)

• Title TBA

• "Wrestle Kingdom"

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