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XBox (Games) Businesses

Heavy Japanese Support for Xbox 2 75

Gamasutra has word that there are already several Japanese game development studios and designers lining up to create titles for the Xbox 2 system. Yoshiki Okamoto, a former producer at Capcom, is quoted in the article as being surprised at the response the new console is getting. From the article: "I've been hearing that some other designers will also be joining. There are a lot of surprises. I find myself saying: 'What, this development studio!? This game!? These people!?'" Commentary on the upcoming console's Japanese future also available at GamesIndustry.biz. Update: 04/07 03:18 GMT by Z : The translations from the original source came from Gamespot.com.
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Heavy Japanese Support for Xbox 2

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  • Unexpected! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by X0563511 ( 793323 ) *
    This was the last thing i would expect. Nintendo and Sony are based out of Japan, and MS from USA. I would have expected the GC2 (if it happens) and PS3 to be ultra-popular in Japan while the US (maybe UK?) goes for the XBox2.

    We shall see what weirdness ensues.
    • Re:Unexpected! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ZephyrXero ( 750822 )
      Whether we like it or not, Xbox2 is going to be pretty big hit. Microsoft is making some pretty smart choices and some pretty dumb ones too. They may even have a very slight chance of coming out on top of Sony this go round? I'm just worried about what XNA is going to do to smaller/independant developers mainly... although I haven't heard if it's a required purchase to be "allowed" to make games for Xbox2. Then again, I'm also of the opinion that this next generation isn't going to do so well, at least not
      • Have you seen a PS2 latly?

        The leap from a PS2 will be huge.

        Also to a lesser extent the leap to high-def will be pretty big too. A lot of people with game systems have big TV's and the current generation looks like ass on them (as does the TV).
      • Oh, there's going to be a leap alright. A huge leap. And you can bet everybody will see it.

        I'm not sure what you're smoking but stop talking nonsense.
        • Look at Doom3, Halo2 or Ridick: Butcher Bay on the Xbox right now... they all feature normal mapping and many of the same lighting effects that the Unreal3 engine has... People that are big into graphics (like me) will be able to see a difference, but your average joe probably won't...at least not until 2nd or 3rd gen games.
    • Re:Unexpected! (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I would have expected the GC2 (if it happens)

      What do you mean if it happens? Its codename is the Revolution, and while Nintendo isn't as forthcoming about every detail as Sony and MS have been, it's not an "if".

      Japanese developer support for the XB2 does not necessarily mean Japanese popular support. Games may sell systems initially, but if those systems are starting fires or are too expensive or aren't backwards compatible or rip consumers off with variations on configurations, expect it to bomb there.
      • Re:Unexpected! (Score:5, Informative)

        by ZephyrXero ( 750822 ) <zephyrxero@NospAM.yahoo.com> on Wednesday April 06, 2005 @09:28AM (#12153131) Homepage Journal
        "Japanese developer support for the XB2 does not necessarily mean Japanese popular support. Games may sell systems initially..."

        If there are lots of good games, people will buy the system. The games are always what decides whether a console is a winner or not. The main problem with the Xbox in Japan is that 90% of it's games are American or European and apparently a large portion of Japanese gamers only like Japanese games. You have to also take into account that the Japanese market is not as big as it used to be, their numbers have been dwendling while both American gamers and game developers have been growing and growing...
        • apparently a large portion of Japanese gamers only like Japanese games I don't blame them. I know that if I had to chose between japanese and american/european games, I'd chose japanese without blinking.
        • Don't attribute it entirely to Xenophobia. You know what percentage of American games get localized when they get released over here? 30% get a Japanese manual, 10% get translated. Import games are a niche market, just like they are in the US -- even if you've studied English for 8 years at school do you *really* want to try to wade through sophisticated dialogue like that in KOTOR in English (that wizzing sound you hear is the story flying over your head) just because companies have made the decision th
      • Well, I know the xbox3 is coming, and the PS3 is coming. But I hadn't heard anything about a next gamecube, so rather than assume that one was on the way I gave myself some room there.

        Like I said, we shall se what happens. It should be full of interesting events. I, personally, hope MS and Sony both bomb it, even though I love both systems. I just hate those two companies through principle.
    • Re:Unexpected! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gl4ss ( 559668 )
      pretty much impossible to tell yet. a bunch of development studios didn't make a console hit before, and not likely to do it again. for all we know their games could be pure crap too. especially when it's damn hard to tell beforehand what the games will be like on these systems - the sun and the moon have been promised on future console systems before with failed delivery. now they're just playing the HYPE game.
    • Money is, after all, the universal launguage :)
  • by the_skywise ( 189793 ) on Wednesday April 06, 2005 @02:17AM (#12151587)
    You will be assimilated.

    I'm not too surprised actually. Microsoft has been pushing hard and listening to what the Japanese developers want. (And probably throwing alot of money around as well)

    In that sense, I'm all for it. Microsoft's generally pretty good when competing.

    I'm worried, though, what happens if Microsoft "wins" the market.

    • by bersl2 ( 689221 ) on Wednesday April 06, 2005 @02:54AM (#12151696) Journal
      I'm worried, though, what happens if Microsoft "wins" the market.

      Mass seppuku.
    • by cgenman ( 325138 ) on Wednesday April 06, 2005 @02:55AM (#12151699) Homepage
      More than just the Japanese developers, Microsoft has pretty much been playing all of it's cards right. It hired incredibly bright people and gave them free reign to create the system they wanted to. They created something solid, flexible, with the correct gambles. They didn't sell it as a set-top box, but rather a dedicated gaming console. Except that they're still losing money on them, and they're the size of SUV's, it's a great system. Even the great controller mistake was largely corrected.

      I don't think one company can "win" the market. As other people have pointed out, this market turns over every few years. Backwards compatibility, while a nice selling feature, isn't needed because you still have the old console. XBL might be a way to lock people in, but only to the same extent that AOL can lock people in. Plus the market likes to create new gods and tear down old ones. Even if Microsoft plays everything right, after several years they'll naturally lose luster and get kicked out.

      • by JFMulder ( 59706 ) on Wednesday April 06, 2005 @08:33AM (#12152773)
        Even the great controller mistake was largely corrected.

        You couldn't have chose better words.
      • Even the great controller mistake was largely corrected

        Speak for yourself. A large number of people, myself included, found the large controllers quite comfortable and don't look forward to being forced to adapt to an S.

        (No, I do not have freakishly large hands- I have no problems with the Gamecube controller either. But please, Microsoft, don't fix what isn't broken. I really hope the Xbox 2's controller ports are backwards-compatible, or at least that a third party clones the original for XB2...)
      • Play the cards right, wha? M$ could not have entered the market at a more difficult time. Bill Gates was interviewed numerous times in the early and mid 90s. He could have entered the scene of dying Sega genesis and Snes, pre-Playstation and dominated the market wide open.

        Xbox joined the market as a 2nd/3rd seed system competing with PS2, Gamecube. At the same time competing with MMORPGs subscriptions and Greatest hits games at $19.99. You have to be a major Xbox fanatic to think they are not playing
        • "You have to be a major Xbox fanatic to think they are not playing catchup now."

          You are very right in this statement, and this is exactly why MS is rushing out the Xbox2 before the competition...
    • by hawkbug ( 94280 ) <[moc.elbmif] [ta] [xsp]> on Wednesday April 06, 2005 @02:55AM (#12151705) Homepage
      Well, if M$ wins the market, you basically have what we had in a few different scenarios from the past:

      1) The original Playstation: It was around for a very, very long time - even after PC games looked a million times better due to evolving hardware. The PS2 didn't hit until 2001, and even then, it didn't seem to outdo computer games at all. It took the Xbox for Sony to really get serious in my opinion, and we'll have to see what the PS3 can do.

      2) Traditional Microsoft Monopoly, aka IE: Once Netscape was killed off, around 2000-2001 I'd estimate, Microsoft quit developing added features into IE. I don't care if IE 6 has a different version number, it's basically 5.0 with some security fixes, nothing really added feature wise. Not until XP SP2 did we see a pop up blocker, and a shitty one at that. Mozilla has them running scared right now in that department.

      3) Intel Pentium III: It was a fine chip, but slowly evolving and extremely overpriced. Once AMD debuted the Athlon, Intel was racing to keep up, and basically still is today. The AMD/Intel battle has done marvelous things for the computer industry, even though it may end up killing one of the companies off... not Intel because of their cash reserves I think, but if AMD screws up, they are probably sunk.

      It just goes to show that without serious competition, the market isn't forced to improve. If M$ can manage to kill Sony's game business unit (which is highly unlikely, but possible I suppose) it would probably just buy Nintendo, and whammo, XBox 3 won't come out until 2020.
      • by insomnyuk ( 467714 ) on Wednesday April 06, 2005 @07:03AM (#12152422) Homepage Journal
        Here are a few problems with some of your arguments.

        1) PS2 effectively buried the Dreamcast (my sweet, dear Dreamcast). I would say Sony was pretty serious, but I agree with you that Microsoft did make the game a bit more deadly, no pun intended. Competition is certainly stiffer.

        2) IE isn't a good comparison, primarily because it is technically 'free' software, at least in the financial sense. It doesn't compare to the X-box, which is fabricated hardware that the consumer must purchase. Once they beat Netscape, Micro~01 had no incentive to develop IE further, which brings me to your third point and final comments.

        3) Yeah, Intel vs AMD = good for customers. However, if one of the companies disappeared, the other would continue marketing and making new chips, because software (or bloatware) continues to demand more processing power. I know I'm heavily simplifying things, but the console market is similar. Developers want to keep pushing the limits of the available tech, gamers want prettier graphics and more realistic bouncing breasts, and this requires newer hardware.

        Its all about sales. IE doesn't get developed as much because you don't 'sell' IE at Best Buy. Game studios want to keep selling new games. There are a finite number of X-Boxes that can be sold, thus Microsoft must make X-Box 2, and 3, creating demand and maintaining their bottom-line. The same for game developers. Even if Sony disappeared, we would probably see a new console every 5 years, which is roughly the timeline we see a company roll out its next generation. You don't stop doing business just because the competition is gone, which will never happen, the gaming industry is too lucrative, it rivals the movie industry and in some ways exceeds it.
        • Hell, we've even got history to back this up. Just look at the NES/SNES/Genesis era. Nintendo fought tooth-and-nail to keep NES sales without moving to a new hardware, but at a point you just can't sell the hardware anymore. The Genesis was eating them alive, and is really the only reason they started moving to the SNES.

          Assuming MS does get a leader position and then allow it's hardware to stagnate, all it takes is some up-and-comer to come up with nifty hardware and suddenly you get to watch the industry
        • Unfortunatly they sell each unit at a loss.

          So Um they aren't motivated to keep selling, case in point Gameboy.
    • I'm not too surprised actually. Microsoft has been pushing hard and listening to what the Japanese developers want. (And probably throwing alot of money around as well)

      The problem is it's not Microsoft or the Japanese developers that determine a console's success there. It's Japanese consumers. And Japanese consumers think of the Xbox as a bad joke.

      There is a lot more brand loyalty in Japan than there is almost anywhere else, and it's peppered with both a bit of xenophobia and a bit of nationalism (I'm
      • In responce to your "Final Fantasy 13?" comment...

        Like it or not, the system with Final Fantasy is the one that wins the console wars with every prior battle. NES, SNES, PS1 & PS2 all had the FF series and were the top selling game consoles of their time (and no, Crystal Chronicals doesn't count...it's a completely different game). Now the interesting thing is, SquareEnix has not announced who they'll be supporting in the next gen, everyone assumes Sony, but we don't really know yet. For all we know
        • I think that you are confusing cause and effect. FF is released on the system that won the system wars.

          Playstations 1 and 2 won by being the first-to-market (relative to nintendo systems), and using that time frame to win market share.
          • With that line of thinking FF would have came out on The Genesis (first 16bit out), Saturn (first 32), and The Dreamcast (first 128bit)... FF10 was released on the PS2 the same month Xbox and GC were released, I don't see how you think PS2 was the "winner" in that they were pretty much the only show in town at that point.
            • Sony declared themselves as winners with the PS2, just before Gamecube or Xbox were launched. And they were mostly right.
              • I love how companies think they can just claim something is popular these days without it actually being so and everyone just seems to buy it... Just look at Ashley Simpson's musical career... she was pretty much a nobody; then Mtv and the like claimed she was this big deal (lies) and a large portion of people just bought into it...no wonder the US gov't is getting away with so much these days...[/rant]
    • "I'm worried, though, what happens if Microsoft "wins" the market."
      Yea Sony would be so much better.
      I worry if anyone wins the market.
      Go Nintendo.
      • We really need to start an OpenGC (Open Game Console) group somewhere...standardization could be an issue, but not if the group was setup properly in the beginning.
        • " We really need to start an OpenGC (Open Game Console) group somewhere"
          Not going to happen.
          You could create one now. A sempron and mother board goes for around $100. 256 Megs of ram say $50. Case $50. DVD drive $75 Knoppix or any other live CD with games loaded on it and you have an open console.
          It will never happen because people want to pay very little for a console. So the price of games needs to subsidize the cost of the console.
          The game makers want a way to protect there work. I.E. Copy protection.
    • I'm worried, though, what happens if Microsoft "wins" the market.
      Yeah, because, you know Sony is so much better. I love it how I have to wait a year or so to get GTA, GOW etc... because of the non-compete bullshit they slip in with these game developers.
  • ok, okamoto.. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by evilmousse ( 798341 ) on Wednesday April 06, 2005 @02:32AM (#12151629) Journal

    i want a fighter to contend with the currently dominating soul calibur. and think about blending them with mmorpgs if at all possible, and by that, i mean replacing the d&d method of diceroll situational decisions with true hit-detection & move priority that makes for fighting goodness. i know that's a lot to ask, but i'd like to see better steps in that direction than Iron-Phoenix [teamxbox.com], which i have to admit is a fighter, and uses the idsoftware approach to multiplayer battles. i'm still waiting for the one that gets tech like streetfighter or soulcalibur.
    • That would be ... awesome. PvP arenas and huge online tourneys to get cool weapons, and an evolving game that adds new dimensions to your strategy as you progress would be so cool in an MMO with a fighting engine. Specialization could be very cool too...
    • those kind of fighting games require very low latencies to function. MMorpgs because of their nature have high latencies. Partly because they're online and partly because they can't have lots of servers in lots of different locations with enough players to populate them. it's an economic and logistical problem.
  • Wait, What? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Stolethis ( 873779 )
    If I remember correctly, lack of Japanese developers was what hindered the X-Box so much before. I can't think of a single game for the system made in Japan that was console exclusive or playable. Microsoft has historically been disliked by Japan. Sony even tried to make thier own version of Unix a decade or so back so that they didn't have to use Windows. Maybe Gates just bought the country. God knows he could do it and still have enough money to use as toilet paper.
    • Really? Because I can think of several Japanese-made Xbox exclusives:

      Dead or Alive 3
      Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball
      Ninja Gaiden
      Gunvalkarye [made by Sega, although it might have been Sega of America]

      Anyway, I'm sure there are more; I don't think Tecmo is the only Japanese second-party developer for Xbox.
      • Dont forget DOA Ultimate. Its too bad that team ninja games were the only ones i could think of off of the top of my head (and even had to doublecheck to make sure 3 didnt hit the ps2, which it didnt) Every one of those team ninja games has been fun (and ruled in the case of doa3/U and NG) That is my problem with the xbox and its current library of titiles. All they have is rehashes of the type of games youd see on a PC (at least, the style of game, and ive played games like those for a while) Id like to
      • The console portion of Sega (Service Games) is an entirely American company. There's nothing Japanese about it. It was founded by an American who moved to Japan to import jukeboxes or something but the console part of the business was built up in the US and never left the States.
    • Re:Wait, What? (Score:3, Informative)

      I can't think of a single game for the system made in Japan that was console exclusive or playable.

      Seriously? I take it you don't follow modern console gaming much (which is okay of course). I'll help you out:
      Panzer Dragoon Orta
      Jet Set Radio Future
      Outrun 2
      Dead or Alive 3
      Dead or Alive Extreme Beach Volleyball
      Ninja Gaiden
      Dead or Alive Ultimate
      Otogi 2
      Metal Wolf
      Phantom Crash
      Shin Megami Tensei NINE
      Phantom Dust (by MS Games Japan, and one of the best games ever made for my money - I ex
  • MistWalker (Score:5, Informative)

    by jdubois79 ( 227349 ) on Wednesday April 06, 2005 @04:55AM (#12152040)
    In the May issue of FamitsuXbox (comes out in April, oddly enough), there's a huge article with 3 top game designers about their new studios that are exclusive to the xbox2.

    One of designers is Sawaguchi, who was the brains behind the Final Fantasy series, and who is currently heading his own studio with other FF vetrans.

    He's apparently working on two different RPG titles for the xbox2. One is a very traditional RPG thingy, while the other deals with a main character who is over the hill and who has adventure come looking for him.
  • by IntergalacticWalrus ( 720648 ) on Wednesday April 06, 2005 @05:02AM (#12152063)
    Now those Sumo wrestlers will have a game console they can get real support from. It's about damn time.
  • by kannibal_klown ( 531544 ) on Wednesday April 06, 2005 @09:59AM (#12153400)
    I'm sure it's true, but I can't help but think of an episode of the West Wing.

    In 1 episode it's nearing ther President's re-election campaign. He's about to go see a famous and fancy musical based on the War of the Roses (not the movie, the event).

    His opponent wants to meet with the President during intermission (kind of a public meeting) but the president declines. He doesn't like the guy and this is a nice occasion for him. So he declines.

    The opponent then leaks to the press that the President invited him to sit with him during the musical and speak with him during intermission, and his "people" confirm the false rumor. Before the White House can reply the whole world is buying into the rumor. Calling him a liar isn't going to fly well because all of the reporters think it's true (heck, they "discovered" a rumor and got it confirmed: job accomplished).

    If you're trying to get someone to do something, sometimes telling the world that they've promised to do it forces their hand. Because now the public expects it to happen.

    And sometimes it pisses them off royally. But who cares if they hate you already?

    In any case, I doubt MS would do this.
  • Given that the Xbox 2 will almost certainly support overweight American gamers, isn't supporting heavy Japanese gamers a naturally side-effect?
  • I don't know about anyone else, but I tend to stand by the companies that have been good to me. If people feel abused and mistreated by a company, the company's offering does badly -- hence the Dreamcast problem. The Dreamcast was a great system, but there were a lot of promises that never materialised, and Sega had a pretty solid reputation for screwing things up. (This is not necessarily why the console failed, but it's certainly why *I* didn't buy a Dreamcast.)

    Sony and Nintendo have been very good to a

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