Microsoft unveils new Xbox lineup


TOKYO -- Microsoft announced its game lineup for the winter holiday season Wednesday, a week before the opening of the Tokyo Game Show.

Takashi Sensui, general manager of the home and entertainment division at Microsoft Japan, hosted the Xbox 360 briefing at Yebisu Garden Hall in Tokyo, introducing a string of legendary game creators who were cheered like rock stars by an invited group of 50 young gamers.

"Thanks for that warm welcome from the gamers, that's kind of American style, but that's OK," said "Final Fantasy" series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi, on hand to introduce his new title, "Lost Odyssey."

Sakaguchi demonstrated the role-playing game (RPG) that will go on sale here for ¥6,800 ($60) on Dec. 6, followed by a February release in the U.S. and Europe.

Tomonobu Itagaki from Tecmo's Team Ninja was there to demonstrate the much-awaited "Ninja Gaiden 2" and to confirm it will be available exclusively for the Xbox 360. The game is still in development.

Square Enix producer Hajime Kojima showed some footage from RPG project "Infinite Undiscovery," another Xbox exclusive due for release early next year.

"Infinite Undiscovery will use AI so that the game and situation reacts to the gameplay and the action unfolds in real-time with no pauses in play," said Hiroshi Ogawa, director at tri-Ace, which co-developed the game.

Sensui said that Xbox 360 is making inroads in Japan, pointing out that NamcoBandai's "The Idol Master" was the third most-downloaded game worldwide on Xbox Live, despite being a Japan-only release. Many of the games displayed will be available to play at next week's Tokyo Game Show, where more announcements are expected.