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This week in Japanese news: from portable troubles to Kinect

Gamasutra rounds up recent reports on the Japanese games industry from local news site Andriasang.com, including Genius Sonority's portable gaming worries, a new Kinect-less bundle, and more.
[Gamasutra rounds up recent reports on the Japanese games industry from local news site Andriasang.com, a leading destination for English-language news on Japan's game industry.] In our latest round-up of Japanese game industry news not previously reported on Gamasutra, we look at Genius Sonority's portable gaming worries, a new Kinect-less bundle, and more. Genius Sonority Head Worried About Console Game Market Manabu Yamanu, president and CEO of Pokemon spin-off game maker Genius Sonority, recently expressed concern for the console games market, particularly for handhelds, in light of low second-week sales for Sony's PS Vita in Japan. "It was an end of the year that made me feel once again that we're not in the era where you can survive only on consumer games," tweeted Yamanu, who also felt total 3DS hardware sales should have reached 5 million, instead of just 4 million. He described Vita's launch as shaky, and added, "If you were going to buy a Vita, wouldn't an iPhone be better? ... Imagining the future that this present suggests, it looks like there will be a lot to think about over New Years." Nippon Ichi Announces Two New Titles Nippon Ichi CEO Sohei Shinkawa revealed that his company will bring three new titles to Japan in 2012, including Nicalis's 3D remake of Daisuke Amaya's beloved indie game Cave Story (released in the West in November). The other two games include a "New Adventure Title" coming in Summer 2012, and a "New Dungeon RPG" developed by the Disgaea team and coming out some time later in the year, according to a report from Famitsu. Falcom Licenses Sora no Kiseki Series For Smartphones Online game developer and portal operator Aeria signed a licensing agreement with Falcom to release smartphone games based on the Sora no Kiseki trilogy (Trails in the Sky) in Japan and the West. Introduced in 2004 for PSP as part of Falcom's long-running Legend of Heroes series, Sora no Kiseki has sold some 1.3 million copies. Xseed published the first game Stateside in March, and is bringing the remaining two over as well. Aeria's smartphone conversions will feature the same basic game elements as the original PSP games, and will add social aspects and online functionality. It hasn't yet announced when the mobile ports will release. Microsoft Announces New Kinect-free Xbox 360 Hardware Set Microsoft has added a new 250 GB Xbox 360 bundle that does not include its Kinect accessory to its available hardware options in Japan. As of last month, the company had sold only 114,000 Kinect units in the country. The other current Xbox 360 hardware include a 4GB model with or without a Kinect, and a 250 GB system bundle that includes a Kinect. The new Kinect-less 250 GB console will sell for ¥29,800 ($387).

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