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Microsoft Stresses Xbox 360 Development In Asian Markets

While Xbox 360 creator Microsoft continues to emphasize the Japanese launch of its next-gen console, putting significant work into
January 19, 2006
While Xbox 360 creator Microsoft continues to emphasize the Japanese launch of its next-gen console, putting significant work into recruiting Japanese creators such as Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi, the online-enabled nature of the Xbox 360 means that it is seeing significant development interest throughout the rest of Asia. In particular, according to a DigiTimes article, Microsoft Taiwan has announced that more than 10 PC or online game developers in Taiwan are currently developing Xbox 360 games, including leading Taiwanese console developer XPEC Entertainment (Hello Kitty: Roller Rescue), which is due to debut Japanese Idea Factory Xbox 360 SRPG co-production Spectral Force Chronicle this April in Japan. Additionally, according to the report, Fun Town will release a MahJong title for Xbox 360 later this year, and Taiwanese firm Soft-World International, the Taiwanese distributor of World Of WarCraft and RF Online, plans to offer an Xbox 360 MMO at the end of 2006. Finally, InterServ International, currently creating Mage Knight Apocalypse for Namco, is developing an Xbox 360 exclusive title to launch in September 2007. Though Microsoft Korea has not specifically listed its developers, major South Korean game creators including Phantagram, which is currently co-operating with Tetsuya Mizuguchi on high-profile Xbox 360 game Ninety-Nine Nights are also making games for Microsoft's next-gen console. As for the timing of Microsoft's non-Japanese Asian launch, the Xbox 360 will launch in Taiwan on March 2nd, alongside Australia and Singapore, according to previous reports, and the South Korean launch is due to take place first, on February 24th. These moves may show that, outside Japan, where Sony's hardware platform still dominates, the PC-heavy online development skew of countries such as Korea and Taiwan may be well suited to Xbox 360 conversions and creations, providing Microsoft can significantly increase its installed base over the Xbox.

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