The Xbox 360 "Games on Demand" digital retail service has, until now, only featured games that were already available on disc in a given region. Cave is bucking the trend by sending the shmup sequel Deathsmiles 2X directly to Games on Demand in North America, skipping a disc release in the region.

Cave is also skipping localization for the $30 game -- it'll be released in Japanese, which, for a shmup, shouldn't be a problem. Deathsmiles 2X will launch via Games on Demand next Tuesday, May 17. In the Facebook post announcing the unique release, Cave said it "will be giving this format a try for getting some of our Japan-only shooters released overseas." It's kind of an ideal solution for the company -- it gets to self-publish its shooters in North America, without the expense of localization, manufacturing or distribution.

Oddly, Cave told Siliconera that you'd have to use a credit card to buy the game; it can't be purchased with Microsoft Points. (Note: When purchasing Games on Demand titles, the payment option defaults to credit card, though normally users have the option to switch it to Microsoft Points.)

After the break, you can watch some footage of the game that's also unlocalized (because we grabbed it from the Japanese website).

Update: Microsoft told Joystiq that you will be able to use Microsoft Points to purchase Deathsmiles 2X. Retrieve the pieces of that points card from the shredder!

This article was originally published on Joystiq.