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May 13, 2005
2 Min Read
As part of last night's Xbox 360 hardware launch, Microsoft and a host of game publishers also took the wraps off their Xbox 360 software titles, either shown in the MTV unveiling or showcased online immediately afterwards. Microsoft's first-party titles were highlighted during the unveiling, with the Rare-developed first-person shooter Perfect Dark Zero, a sequel to the Nintendo 64 original, probably the most high-profile game. It features an intended strong single-player mode and up to 64-player multiplayer over Xbox Live, though online buzz is still mixed regarding the limited footage shown so far. Rare's shapeshifting fantasy adventure title Kameo: Elements of Power has also been announced for the Xbox 360, after being exhibited for the original Xbox for at least one previous E3 Expo, and Bizarre Creations provide another potentially strong Microsoft-published title in the form of Project Gotham Racing 3, the sequel to the two previous Xbox games from the creator of Dreamcast stalwart Metropolis Street Racer. The final Microsoft-published Xbox 360 title of note is the Epic-developed Gears Of War, also an impressive-looking showcase for the Unreal Engine 3 technology. In a simultaneous Japanese press conference, Microsoft's line-up geared specifically to the Japanese market was unveiled, headed by RPG Blue Dragon, from ex-Square Enix executive and Final Fantasy mastermind Hironobu Sakaguchi, and with character design from Dragon Ball Z creator Akira Toriyama and development by Blinx originator Artoon. Also of particular interest was large-scale fantasy-action battle game Ninety Nine Nights, produced by Q Entertainment's Tetsuya Mizuguchi (Rez, Lumines) and being developed by Korean firm Phantagram, makers of the Kingdom Under Fire series. Finally, Sakaguchi's other RPG title, Lost Odyssey, showcased in brief trailer form, is being developed by ex-Square Enix staff at Feel Plus, and also (like Blue Dragon) includes music from Final Fantasy maestro Nobuo Uematsu. Elsewhere, a large amount of other titles were announced by third-party publishers. Microsoft confirmed its list of publishing partners as including 2K Games, Activision, Inc., Atari, Bandai Co. Ltd., Bethesda Softworks, Buena Vista Games, Capcom, Codemasters, Eidos, Electronic Arts, From Software Inc., KOEI, Konami Digital Entertainment, Majesco Games, Microsoft Game Studios, Midway Games, Inc., Namco Hometek Inc., Phantagram Ltd., Rockstar Games, Sega, Tecmo, THQ, Ubisoft, Vivendi Universal Games, and Webzen. Of the third-party titles, some highlights included Ubisoft's Ghost Recon 3, the latest in the team stealth action series which showed a graphically impressive trailer, the Raven-developed and id-overseen FPS Quake IV, which will also debut on high-end PCs, multiple sports and action titles from Electronic Arts, including the East Coast-focused Need For Speed: Most Wanted, THQ's urban action game Saint's Row, and Sega's Full Auto, a Burnout-style crash extravaganza with guns and the ability to rewind time. The majority of these and other Xbox 360 titles will be shown in some form at next week's E3 Expo in Los Angeles.
About the Author(s)
Simon Carless is the founder of the GameDiscoverCo agency and creator of the popular GameDiscoverCo game discoverability newsletter. He consults with a number of PC/console publishers and developers, and was previously most known for his role helping to shape the Independent Games Festival and Game Developers Conference for many years.
He is also an investor and advisor to UK indie game publisher No More Robots (Descenders, Hypnospace Outlaw), a previous publisher and editor-in-chief at both Gamasutra and Game Developer magazine, and sits on the board of the Video Game History Foundation.
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