While word of a North American localization had been known about for some time, Bandai has now made an official announcement on .hack's domestic release. Scheduled for an October release on the Playstation 2, the first volume of .hack will retail for $49.99.
The game's story centers on a young boy named Kite whose schoolmate Orca is mysteriously suffering from a coma following their gaming session in the virtual MMORPG 'The World.' It's up to Kite to discover the connection between Orca's coma and the popular multiplayer game, and as these answers can only lie back in the virtual world, Kite must re-enter the game and start his virtual quest.
Boasting the character design talent of Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, best known for his work on Evangelion, as well as the screen writing prowess of Kazunori Ito, who's previous projects include Ghost In The Shell and Patlabor, .hack will not only include the game itself, but also the exclusive OVA complementing the game's story. With a runtime of 40 minutes, the .hack OVA will only be available with the game.
Also, information on the vocal tracks was revealed. Not only will both the game and anime feature English dubbed tracks, but they'll also contain the original Japanese track, complete with English subtitles.
Keep checking back for further E3 coverage over the coming days, including a small collection .hack screenshots and artwork.