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Microsoft TGS 2010 liveblog


We're queuing up outside Convention Hall B at Makuhari Messe convention center for Microsoft's TGS 2010 keynote, titled "Xbox 360 Vision and Strategy 2010." If you can't tell from the title, it's all about the Xbox Vision camera which is coming back in a big way. Watch out, Kinect!

Oh, and here's an interesting note: We spotted Metal Gear Solid: Rising producer Shigenobu Matsuyama entering the room. You know what that means, right? Kinect support for Rising totally confirmed. Zan-Datsu!

11:34AM "Please visit the Microsoft booth after this. Thank you very much for your attention." That's it! Thank you for reading our liveblog -- keep an eye on the site as we try to learn more about these new partnerships.

11:33AM Sensui returns, and gives us a summary of the keynote. "Today, Xbox 360 and the Kinect, it's something more people can enjoy." We can expect more "blockbuster titles" for Xbox 360 and Kinect from Japan, he promises, and notes that "Xbox 360 will support those creators more than ever."

11:31AM "Japanese will never lose ... but now we're losing, though. Let's try hard!" Inafune wants Japanese games to rise above the world's other games.

11:30AM Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor is for "core gamers," Inafune says, and notes that it's what Capcom and From are good at, though it's still a "very big challenge."

11:29AM Keiji Inafune is up on stage, introducing -- oops, his phone rings. "Not stylish at all, huh?" Capcom is publishing this, collaborating on this "new interpretation" of Steel Battalion. The basis of the game? "What if computers disappeared?"

11:27AM The last game Sensui will show us is "coming back to Xbox with Kinect enablement." A trailer starts up. "Manhattan 2082" planes and ships head towards a dreary, ruined city. Soldiers pour out onto the beach, mowed down by turrets and mechs. "Get off the beach!" From Software is developing this ... Steel Battalion! (Wow, now it only needs a $150 controller. That's a $50 saving!)

11:25AM Okay, lots of screaming, scary nurses and torture devices in this trailer. "I knew I'd ... die here." Okay, that WAS scary (sorry, Haunt!). Rise of Nightmares is coming exclusively to Kinect in 2011.

11:23AM Sensui's back, and moves on to the "dark horror" world. A new game from Sega, exclusive to Kinect, is called "Rise of Nightmare."

11:23AM Mizuguchi has a music conductor in mind with Kinect, which allows you to "conduct" the images in the game. "Please look forward to it. Thank you very much."

11:22AM Tetsuya Mizuguchi is here. The Q? Entertainment creative director is happy to introduce Child of Eden -- "the convergence of games, images and music." He shows an image of one of the stages, "Beauty." It's nature-rich, and is one of several visually disparate stages. It's the player's goal to "purify" the world archived in "Eden" -- which is basically the internet. Ubisoft is publishing the game.

11:20AM Tetsuya Mizuguchi's Child of Eden will be shown now in new footage. A thumping techno track starts up, and we see a cursor locking on to abstract visuals and firing off multicolored lasers. A first-person REZ, if you will.

11:18AM Sensui calls third-party Japanese developer cooperation "indispensable," and starts discussing some more games. He noted Dr. Kawashima's Body and Brain Exercises, a Kinect game from Bandai Namco (we heard about it earlier this month). It's only coming to North America and Europe in 2011.

11:16AM Spencer signs off, and Sensui returns to the stage.

11:16AM Black-and-white footage (with a few bursts of color). A man walks into a weird amusement park, baseball in hand, and he's surrounded by people in weird costumes (a football player, an giant tiger). Things explode! Everyone explodes! It's called Codename D. (Yup, this is definitely a Suda 51 game.)

11:14AM The Microsoft/Grasshopper partnership has prompted "very new innovation," Suda says. "With a new interface we are confident in creating games." He can't reveal too many details yet -- there won't be guns, there won't swords. But it's a core action game, Suda says, and it's for the studio's hardcore action fans. Trailer time!

11:12AM The Grasshopper CEO explains that "many fans" have requested an Xbox 360 title -- and "now we are able to respond to such requests." He's eager to work with Microsoft -- "it was a long dating period. We both like David Bowie."

11:11AM Spencer introduces Suda 51, designer behind titles like Killer 7 and the recently announced Shadows of the Damned. Hmm, a Kinect game from Grasshopper Manufacture?

11:10AM Not much there -- a couple of red dragons flying through the environment -- and it's got a 2011 date.

11:09AM "What I wanted to do most is to fly," Futatsugi explains. A trailer starts -- we're immediately getting a Panzer Dragoon vibe from the music and mountainous environments.

11:08AM Next up: A company called Grounding Inc, which is composed of developers behind the Xbox's Phantom Dust. Yukio Futatsugi takes the stage to introduce "Project Draco." What excited Futasugi most, he says, is being able to use your body with Kinect.

11:07AM He thinks a "horrible" game is being created, and it's called "Haunt." We see a first-person view of a spooky mansion, with a flashlight peering around. Then we're attacked by a cartoon ghost. Okay, we think Matsuura was kidding about the "horror" aspect. Also, we spotted a Zoe Mode logo on there -- looks like there's more than one collaborator on Haunt.

11:05AM The next partnership come from Parappa the Rappa creator NanaOn-Sha. Masaya Matsuura is on video, and will announce his Kinect project -- still in early stages. It's .... a "horror game." What.

11:03AM "We asked Japanese creators to bring us their wildest, craziest ideas." Spencer adds that MS encouraged a focus on digital distribution too.

11:01AM Next up, we're turning our attention to Kinect. We'll be seeing a new set of Kinect titles -- are the next three partnerships all for Kinect titles?

11:01AM Did we just hear a terrible cry of anguish? It came from the direction of eBay.

11:00AM The next collaborator is Treasure. They proposed an Xbox 360-exclusive version of one Japan's favorite shooters. Radiant Silvergun! It's got Xbox live co-op play, HD visuals (though it still looks like a fighting game) and an "Ikaruga" mode.

10:58AM First: Spike, known for its wrestling games. They're doing an Avatar-based wrestling game. "Fire Pro-Wrestling."

10:57AM Spencer says that it's important to "nurture" established brands, but also important to create new franchises and stories. "And we at MGS have never been more comitted to Japanese creators." He's announcing five new partnerships, for Xbox 360-exclusive games.

10:56AM Online players broke the franchise record for most Xbox Live simultaneous users, Spencer adds. The new Xbox 360 is the number one selling system in North America for the third month in a row, and "based on our data", the Xbox is also the top console "across Europe."

10:55AM "Japanese publishers have reaped the benefits." This applies to XBLA, with five of the top six sellers coming from Japan, Spencer says. Halo Reach generated $200 million in sales on its first day, Spencer announces.

10:53AM "Games like Dead Rising, Tales of Vesperia and Star Ocean: The Last Hope show Japanese game developers leading the way," Spencer explains. Global sales of Japanese-published games "continue to be impressive," selling more than $2.1 billion to date.

10:51AM Spencer notes the "essential role" of Japanese game developers. "They were born in the arcades," he says, and encouraged players to come back day after day with coins in hand.

10:50AM Takashi Sensui returns to the stage, and once again emphasizes the importance of Japanese developers. Next up: Phil Spencer, veep of Microsoft Game Studios.

10:49AM Shigenobu explains the game is being developed "according to schedule," and thanks the audience for watching. (It's no problem, really!)

10:48AM Mr. Kimura has "practiced this tremendously." He's going to try and cut the pins as they fly through the air. He got one on a second attempt! "It was exactly according to practice." Uh oh, it's getting recursive, with the robot holding up another, identical robot. The top one gets sliced ... and the second one doesn't last much longer. Aww.

10:47AM The cuts are calculated in real-time, Matsuyama says. A three-armed sphere robot (you'll recall them from Metal Gear Solid 4) pops up on the table. "In Rising, we decided this character would be appearing." He's "participating in the demo today. He lifts up the watermelon and spins it on one of his fingers -- before Raiden cuts it in half! Now the robot is juggling the bowling pins.

10:45AM We see Raiden standing in a street, surround by tables with various objects on them. Raiden is chopping bowling pins to pieces -- the angle of the slice can be tilted, and the an on-screen plane shows how the cut will go. We're moving on to watermelons. PREPARE TO DIE.

10:44AM "I'd like to show you that watermelon ... and a few other things." We'll be seeing the game's cutting on an actual machine - presumably the game running in real time. "The actual cutting will be done by our creative director, Mr. Kimura."

10:43AM Oh, that was actually a shortened version. Metal Gear Solid Rising producer Shigenobu Matsuyama takes the stage, noting that the game was very well received at E3. Today, we'll get a "surprise."

10:41AM First: A trailer for Metal Gear Solid: Rising. It appears to be the same as the one shown at E3 2010 (you know, the one with the guy getting sliced while he's getting sliced).

10:40AM He's going to introduce ten titles today, all born from the "imagination of Japanese creators." These will "define the future of Xbox 360 and Kinect," and "provide fun for users throughout the world."

10:39AM Today, he'll be showing what efforts Japanese developers have made to develop for Xbox 360. Three years ago, he explains, the Xbox 360 software by Japanese publishers had reached $1 billion dollars in sales. He considers their games "essential" to the overall success of Xbox 360. This also involves Kinect and its future potential.

10:37AM Takashi Sensui takes the stage, and welcomes attendees. He's happy to participate in this keynote, he explains. He wants to introduce the "world's finest games" to Japanese fans, and spread Japan's works to the rest of the world.

10:36AM It's starting! The Tokyo Game Show 2010 Forum Keynote session is underway.

10:30AM Oh, you know what's neat? This carpet pattern.

10:28AM Also, we're really sorry that we've already started posting updates about the venue's musical accompaniment. You deserve so much better.

10:26AM They've started playing some tinny music in the hall -- we think it's from an elevator music compilation album. "Hold the Doors: Music to Raise You Up - Vol. 3"

10:20AM Huh, what's this? Grasshopper's Suda 51 is at the Microsoft keynote. His Twitter feed @Grasshopper_EN says, "First day of TGS! I'm off to the MS press conference. Why? Damned was just the beginning!" Assuming we'll be seeing more of his XBLA/PSN game Sine Mora. OR MAYBE NOT?

10:17AM We're sitting next to Engadget's Paul Miller. Uh, Paul, they're not announcing any netbooks or pico projectors at this venue. Perhaps there'll be a new Xbox Live headset to justify the trip.

9:50AM We've been let into the conference room and, we'll be honest, things are pretty sedate. The press rows are filling up but the rest of the auditorium is curiously empty. Then again, we still have 45 minutes before things get down. Alright, let's play a game: Guess the number of times either Phil Spencer, veep of Microsoft Game Studios, or Takashi Sensui, general manager of Xbox Japan, use the word "experience."

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