More information has come out on the Japanese Xbox 360 debut on December 10th, including the reshuffling of a couple of "launch window" titles and the list of games available for backward compatibility at launch.
, the eagerly awaited Xbox 360 title jointly produced by Phantagram and Tetsuya Mizuguchi's Q Entertainment, has been postponed to a vague spring 2006 release from its previously planned date of January 12th, 2006. No reason for the delay was given. Also delayed slightly is From Software's [eM] -eNCHANT aRM
, which was originally planned to be a launch title in Japan but has since been moved back to January 12, 2006.
Another cause for dismay amongst Japanese Xbox 360 buyers is the announced listing of games that will be backward-compatible at launch. In stark contrast to the more than 200 games supported at the American and European launches, Japanese consumers receive a mere 18: Crimson Skies
, Forza Motorsport
, Grand Theft Auto Double Pack
, Halo 2
and its Multiplayer Map Pack
, Jade Empire
, Ninja Gaiden
and Ninja Gaiden Black
, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3
, and The Simpsons Hit and Run
Though no official reasons were given for the stunted list, one possibility is the following of a similar philosophy that drove the other two compatibility lists: only games over a certain sales threshold were considered for backward compatibility, and since the original Xbox was much less popular in Japan, comparatively fewer games reached that sales mark.
Still, the Japanese list is missing some notable candidates, such as Tecmo's conspicuously Japanese-friendly Dead or Alive
fighting games for Xbox, which were consistently some of the best sellers on the original Xbox platform in Japan. Some online commentators are pointing out that the fact that Dead or Alive 4
will be released shortly after launch may be an influence, with Tecmo not wanting to upstage sales of the newer title by having the older ones available for play on the next-gen system. However, Microsoft has made no official comment on this particular title - Dead Or Alive 3
has been made available for Xbox 360 play in North America, but Dead Or Alive Ultimate
is not yet Xbox 360-compatible even in the States.