Microsoft in Japan is always a wildcard. Who knows if the company will make a big push in Japan this year or scale things back to focus on North America and Europe where its exclusives tend to actually sell. Oh, sure, every once and a while Microsoft releases something (Blue Dragon) in Japan that moves a boat load of consoles, but what will it be this year?
Halo 3: ODST will be getting a worldwide release this week. Will Microsoft try to pimp Halo in Japan again or is it time to let it go? I'm guessing that the game will probably be playable on the show floor, but don't expect a massive showing. Beyond that, there aren't any major exclusives that I can think of that would do big business in Japan. Splinter Cell: Conviction probably doesn't stack up against Metal Gear Solid there... just a hunch.
Forza 3 is set to release at the end of October and could be a good bit of counter-programming to Sony's inevitable push for Polyphony Digital's Gran Turismo 5. You know, the full version. I can tell you what I think will be a big no show... Final Fantasy XIII running on an Xbox 360. Recall, the game will only be released on the PS3 in Japan.
Who knows, though? As I said, MS is a wildcard in Japan. If they decide to take this year seriously we could see a major exclusive announcement that Japanese gamers will be excited about or at least another established PlayStation franchise going multiplatform.
Either way, this could be a good opportunity for Microsoft to show off a bit of Project Natal in the land that birthed the Wii. Will it impress a Japanese audience, though?
What do you want to see from Microsoft in Japan this year?