We're here at the Tokyo Game Show 2008, and it's time to see what Microsoft has up their sleeve, as they are prepared to give us a keynote and announce some new stuff while they do it.
12:03 PM - The Last Remnant trailer. We meet the principals, the graphics are kind of awesome, there's some gameplay footage that looks medieval and futuristic at the same time. Some Lovecraftian villains, swordplay, discussions on arrogance. Also, there is a character in this game that is frightfully close to Jar Jar Binks. Also, killer haircuts. Releases 11.20.08. Everywhere.
12:08 PM - We meet Peter Schappert, Corporate Vice President, LIVE, Software and Services Business, Microsoft, who points to his heroes, Miyamoto-san and many others, who emptied his pockets of quarters when he was a kid. Talks about MS's desire to help bring Japanese designers' games to the world. Talks about the importance of online connectivity to creativity and distribution, and the importance of affordable next-gen entertainment. Especially in Japan. Then, we get a sales forecast, talking about how robust the sales of 360 have been worldwide, especially since they dropped their prices everywhere. There's a 60% increase in Japanese games on 360 over the original XBox. He estimates that $1 billion will have been spent on Japanese gaming via 360 by the holidays.
12:12 PM - Let's meet the games. We talk Star Ocean: The Last Hope, the newest in the series that has spanned three generations of platforms. Then, a trailer. Game history starts in 2064, in a world on the brink of destruction. The mission in space begins. In 2087, the warp drive is invented, and it's on. Maverick pilots, hot chicks, aliens, and a young girl in space, in a lushly created environment. We get some gameplay involving what looks like some pretty deep maps. Releases 3.3.09 in North America. Releases 2.19.08 in Japan.
12:16 PM - Up next is Biohazard 5, also known as Resident Evil 5. We see a trailer. Death worms, military...you know the drill. The setting is an abandoned town that has been the victim of a nasty...something. There's horror in the air. Feral people speaking in tongues in the street. People gone completely insane and attacking. Lots and lots of blood. RE5 looks awesome. Great fighting, footage, etc. Launches on 360 on 3.12 in Japan, 3.13 in the US. Then Schappert talks 99 Nights 2, a huge action title.
12:22 PM - Surprise! Tekken 6 is coming to XBox in Fall of 2009. We see some footage in a trailer. This game is already playable in arcades here in Japan, but it is coming to XBox 360.
12:25PM - XBox Live Arcade has some cool announcements, including Space Invaders Extreme, Arkanoid Live!, Metal Slug 7, King of Fighters 98, and R-Type Dimensions.
12:30PM - XBox Live Community Games - a sharing service that allows young game designers to bring their games online. One thousand submissions already.
12:33 PM - XBL now has 14 million members online. Schappert pimps the new XBox Live experience, and shows it off. We meet the avatars and see their customizability. You can take a picture of your avatar and use it as a gamer pic, or you can just use your old one. This whole thing is VERY Wii-like. We see the My XBox page, with new achievement cards, etc. Totally new themes that look really cool. Interactive games channel. Games database with information on each game, literature, boxcover art, etc. You can browse the marketplace by icon, and a new guide allows you to go anywhere and do anything, old blade style, with the touch of a button.
12:40 PM - Schappert announces that the new XBox Live will be released Nov. 19th for free, and at the touch of a button. It will be worldwide, all at once.
12:42 PM - Halo news. We get a Halo Wars demo from Graeme Devine, the lead story writer. Halo Wars is a prequel, set 20 years before the original Halo. You command the whole UNSC arsenal, whole armies. Devine then plays a level of the game. It's an RTS. You build stuff, mobilize troops, etc. Similar elements from Halo. Some sounds, weapons, Warthogs, etc. Also, The Flood is involved somehow.
12:47 PM - Schappert says that they've been working with Bungie and that Halo 3 isn't quite done...we get a trailer for the new Halo 3 Recon. It's a new campaign for Fall, 2009. A prologue to Halo 3, told from a completely different perspective. New multiplayer maps and all. The footage is awesome. showing the destruction of a city and military action afterward. New Halo stuff!
12:51 PM - Schappert sums it up and says goodbye.