Xbox looks to RPGs to boost 360 in Japan

Microsoft has unveiled the range of RPG titles it hopes will reverse its fortunes in Sony and Nintendo-loving Japan.

At a press event in Tokyo yesterday, Xbox execs introduced a series of titles, which will be released in Japan over the next 18 months.

The Xbox 360 is famously struggling in the region – with the latest Famitsu figures putting it firmly behind PSP, DS, PS2, PS3 and Wii in hardware sales.

The biggest property shown at the event was Square Enix’s Star Ocean 4 (pictured). Square’s Yoshinori Yamagishi confirmed it will be released on the 360 next year – but didn’t say anything about platform exclusivity.

According to an article on IGN – which helpfully blogged the full conference – it represents the first time a Square Enix franchise will be available on a Microsoft platform.

Other Square Enix JRPGs shown at the event included Infinite Undiscovery – which producer Hajime Kojima confirmed will be released globally this September – and Last Remnant – which will be released on Xbox 360 before any other format in the winter.

Namco Bandai demoed Tales of Vesperia, which will come to Japan and North America in August, and in Europe in 2009. Xbox is planning a premium console bundle for Japan with the game, a 20GB hard drive and mystery bonus item.

Trailers of first-party RPG releases Mass Effect and Fable 2 were also shown at the event.

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