Although North America has become a key battleground territory for the ever-important console war, both Sony and Microsoft have not forgotten about the still-viable Japanese market either. However, while Sony has its own plans for Japanese gamers, including the cool new PS Vita TV, Microsoft hasn’t discussed the territory all that much.
That should change in 2014, though, as Microsoft‘s Phil Spencer has talked a little bit more about his company’s plans for Japan. Specifically, Spencer revealed there are several unannounced Japanese-developed Xbox One titles on the way, many of which will be revealed next year.
As far as what gamers can expect, Spencer was fairly quiet on the matter. He name-dropped Panzer Dragoon creator Yukio Futatsugi as a key collaborator with Microsoft, even citing Futatsugi’s Phantom Dust as a property with reboot potential.
Similarly, there was talk of using the Xbox One launch title, Crimson Dragon, which Futatsugi-developed, as the basis for an RPG. However, given the tepid response to Crimson Dragoon by critics, there might be some aversion to that idea now.
The most important takeaway from the Spencer interview is that Microsoft is looking to develop “full Japanese games,” not downloadable titles for Xbox One. That isn’t to say Microsoft is against the idea of a Japanese-developed downloadable title, as that is still a viable inroad for gamers around the world.
Historically, Microsoft has only accommodated a small few high profile Japanese game releases, but they are clearly looking to capture that market in the next-gen. Their new indie game initiative, [email protected] has reportedly garnered tremendous interest from Japanese indie developers who are looking to expand beyond the mobile space.
“We kicked off our independent developer program when were at Tokyo Game Show and saw some top talent walk through the door, so I think you’ll see some indies too… I’m committed to the development there.”
When we might hear more about these Japanese games is unclear, but Tokyo Game Show, again, seems like the most obvious place for Microsoft to drop the news. However, if these games are coming from high profile or fan-favorite developers like Futatsugi, E3 might even be a perfect place to reveal them.
What Japanese game franchises would you like to see rebooted for Xbox One? Are there any Japanese developers you hope are working with Microsoft?