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Japanese Developers Talk 2007
12.29.06 - 5:25 PM

Like every year, Dengeki Online has put together a massive New Years feature. And as every year, the most prominent feature of this special is a collection of comments made by Japan's leading developers.

The director of Koei's online business and producer of Nobunaga's Ambition Online, Kenji Matsuhara, talked at length about the possibilities offered by the PlayStation 3's CELL processor. Using this new powerful hardware, Matsuhara wants to deliver an undisclosed game fans can freely enjoy.

Hiroshi Matsuyama, president of CyberConnect 2, the developers of Bandai Namco's .hack and .hack//GU series, emphasized the different functions offered by each of the three next-generation systems. He also confirmed that his company has begun to work with the new hardware, without going into specifics.

Phantasy Star Universe producer Takao Miyoshi obviously emphasized the online capabilities of the new hardware. In particular, he feels Nintendo's Wii offers enormous potential.

Miyoshi's colleague at Sega, Yuuji Naka, was particularly interested in the new input devices (the Wiimote and the PlayStation 3's SIXAXIS controller). Since games were, unlike movies, interactive, Naka felt these new input schemes will become very important in the future.

Nippon Ichi Software's Souhei Shinkawa offered a less enthusiastic view. He pointed to a shrinking market and declining sales of high profile games. Hence, the key to survival would be the creation of games by making good use of the next generation console's capabilities, focusing on one's idea, while balancing rising development costs. His main ambition for 2007 was the creation of a game fans could truly enjoy. While we was likely talking about Makai Wars, Shinkawa did not mention the title, which was first announced at Electronic Entertainment Expo in May.

Bandai Namco Games' Tales series producer Makoto Yoshidzumi also chose his words carefully. He explained that, traditionally, the Tales series wasn't about the latest technology and CG. Instead, the developers focused on using existing technology and offering players a story they can freely enjoy. However, the producer said he had no idea what the future had in store for the series. He feels the time has come for the entire concept behind Tales to be re-built.

Level 5 president Akihiko Hino, on the other hand, apparently has had no such trouble adapting. His Fukuoka-based company is currently hard at work on its first adventure title, Layton Kyouju to Fushigi na Machi, and Dragon Quest IX Hoshizora no Mamori Hito for DS. Hino did not comment on Shirokishi Monogatari, the PlayStation 3 RPG Level 5 is developing for Sony Computer Entertainment, as it is still early in development.

From Soft's Atsushi Taniguchi promised the announcement of a DS title would be forthcoming. The game is a new installment of an existing franchise and will feature multiplayer support.

It goes without saying that RPGFan will bring you the latest news about upcoming RPG releases as soon as they break in 2007 as well.


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Chris Winkler




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