Microsoft has unveiled more previews of Xbox 360 games. The showcase was in Tokyo, as the company tries to avoid another console flop in Japan. The Xbox 360 is scheduled to launch in Japan, North America, and Europe before the end of this year.
Headlining the game previews at the event was Bizarre Creations’s Project Gotham Racing 3. The Liverpool-based games house showed a stunning preview that was quite unlike any current computer game in terms of graphics, sound, and level of detail.
The game includes a number of circuits based on real streets in real cities. Clips from New York and Tokyo were shown. The Tokyo section is based on the city's Shinjuku district and looks just like the real thing. The console's high-definition graphics and the use of thousands of reference photos enabled the game-makers to incorporate the same shops, road signs, buildings and other features as the real Shinjuku.
Nick Davies, design manager at Bizarre, said each car is made up of 80,000 polygons versus 10,000 in previous generation games. It also enables the company to offer authentic engine noise for 80 types of car.
Another groundbreaking feature is Gotham TV. Looking just like TV coverage of a motor race, Gotham TV allows users to watch race replays of their own races but it doesn't stop there. Through the Xbox Live online service users can watch live races being played by other people and switch between circuit cameras, in-car cameras and views from helicopters for a totally new experience.
Another game based on the streets of Tokyo, Genki’s Tokyo Metropolitan Expressway Battle, also displayed an impressive level of realism and graphics that, like Bizarre's Project Gotham Racing 3 will soon make existing console games look tired by comparison. One other racing game under development, Namco’s Ridge Racer 6, was mentioned, but only a handful of still images of cars were displayed.
Other big names games on show included N3 Ninety Nine Nights, the action strategy game co-produced by Tetsuya Mizuguchi of Q Entertainment and Lee Sang-Youn of Phantagram.
Yoshiki Okamoto from Game Republic took the stage to reveal details of a new title called Every Party (the title is a shortened version of 'everybody's party') the game attempts to meld the world of board games with that of video games.
Character design was by popular Japanese designer Momoko Sakura, who is known to millions in Japan for the Chibi Maruko Chan TV animation series. It may not excite North American or European audiences, but it’s the kind of game that could go down well in the local market and help Microsoft's chances in Japan.
Several action titles were showcased, including Namco’s Frame City Killer and Capcom’s Dead Rising, both of which contained large amounts of death and destruction. In Dead Rising, the vast majority of characters are zombies awoken from the dead.
Several sports games were shown, including Konami’s soccer game Winning Eleven (current versions are called Pro Evolution Soccer in the UK), women’s wrestling game Rumble Roses XX, and professional baseball title Proyakyu Spirits.
Namco also showed short clips from its Love Football. Beach volleyball was also represented – Tecmo is producing Dead or Alive 4 and Dead or Alive Code: Cronus for the Xbox 360. The former title was demonstrated at Monday's event.