Chalk it up to Experience

Microsoft unveils new Xbox at Tokyo Game Show

Microsoft reasserted its plan to take the fight over video game console dominance into Sony and Nintendo's backyard as the Tokyo Game Show kicked off Thursday.

The largest gaming show in Asia, the 13th TGS — showcasing a record 879 titles — is being held over four days in the halls of the Makuhari Messe north of Tokyo.

Microsoft vp John Schappert presented the upgraded Xbox Live service in a keynote address, announcing that the New Xbox Experience will launch worldwide Nov. 19 to coincide with the release of new game titles.

Among the slew of new features coming to Xbox Live will be the addition of the long-awaited Netflix service, allowing users to download films and TV episodes. The New Xbox Experience also will include a multiplayer-enabled "party game channel."

Although the Xbox 360 has not replicated its global success in Japan, it outsold the PS3 in September for the first time after Microsoft hired more Japanese game designers.

Upcoming titles include the latest versions of such franchises as "Halo 3: Recon," "Resident Evil 5" and "Final Fantasy XIII," the first in the mega-hit Square Enix series to be released for the Xbox 360 as well as for the PS3.

Meanwhile, Square Enix has teamed with California tech-outfit NeuroSky, to create the first "thought-controlled" gameplay. The "judecca" game measures brainwaves to assess concentration, allowing players to influence on-screen action using thoughts.

"This is just the beginning," NeuroSky CEO Stanley Yang told The Hollywood Reporter. "We have a lot more we can do than we're showing here, and the applications go far beyond games." (partialdiff)