Microsoft TGS Keynote Finished
Microsoft announced a release date for the New Xbox Experience dashboard update, unveiled Halo 3 Recon and announced that Tekken 6 would be released on Xbox 360 during John Schappert's busy old Tokyo Game Show keynote earlier.
We got up in the middle of the night to relay the reporting of Eurogamer's Ellie Gibson, who was on the scene to bring it to you live. You can check out the full transcript below.
Other announcements include Metal Slug 7 and King of Fighters 98 Battle Match for Xbox Live Arcade, some stuff from Taito, a new Ninety-Nine Nights game, and a walkthrough of the New Xbox Experience. Read on.
Our live coverage has now ended. Here's what you missed: Updating...
Hello! The lecture - and it is a lecture - is about to begin. We're just waiting for our Japanese correspondent to get into gear. Don't panic.
And so it begins! Nearly. They're starting off with a Last Remnant trailer. No sign of Schappert yet.
It's out on 20th November, but then we probably knew that [yes we did - Ed]. And that it would have loads of spiky-haired people in like in the trailer.
Schappert's on stage. He says Last Remnant will "premiere exclusively" on Xbox 360 in Japan on November 20th [we knew that, too - Ed].
He "couldn't be more excited" to be back in Japan. Now he's going on about how marvellous Japanese developers are. "Back when I was in school, my idols were people like Miyamoto-san."
"As an industry we all look to Japan, because this is where iconic franchises are created." He loved the Super Famicom.
He reckons the industry ought to provide world class development tools, an online service and a console "at a price the world can afford" to help developers reach "consumers anywhere", but especially in Japan.
Oh come on John, say something about Halo. Or the New Xbox Experience. Or something else that doesn't include the world "global".
They're showing off some graphs - following the recent price reduction of 360, sales are up 62 per cent in Europe, and five-fold year on year in Japan.
Consumer purchases of Japanese-developed 360 games are up 60 per cent to reach 811 million dollars, compared to 512 million on Xbox 1. "By the end of this holiday, we estimated total worldwide sales of Japanese games will top USD 1 billion on Xbox 360."
So he's going to show us some titles for Xbox 360 developed in Japan. "Let's start with RPGs." How unpredictable.
He's going to show us Star Ocean: The Last Hope. Trailer time!
Piano music. A submarine. "AD 2064, planet Earth was on the brink of destruction."
"Man began to seek new worlds beyond the stars." Lots of shots of spaceships and planets.
Some spacemen land on a planet. Name of main character is "Edge Maverick", which could well be the best name of any character ever.
He's got some girly friends, they're all wearing futuristic armour and have big swords. They're kicking the business out of loads of enemies in a montage "stylee".
Japan - 19th February, North America - 3rd March, Europe - TBC.
"This title will also come to Asia and Europe," but Schappert's not saying when. Time for action games now, starting with Resident Evil 5 - or BioHazard 5 as it's known in Japan. Let's look at this "intense horror-themed game"; trailer time.
A man is crouched in a dingy room with a hooded figure standing over him. Jeeps thunder through dusty streets; looks like Africa.
The hooded figure circles the man. He looks worried. He grabs the hooded figure's hand, his eyes fill with black ming.
Cut to troops storming out of the jeeps. Back to the man, who's really not very well - black snake things are encircling his whole body. The hooded figure walks away.
Another dusty street. The main lady [Sheva - Ed] is loading her gun. A man wearing a headscarf is giving her and her mate directions.
"You must find a man named Irving, he is our only lead," says headscarf man. "And be careful out there." Thanks for that.
The two Resi 5 leads enter a dilapidated building. Outside, hordes of people with funny eyes are waving weapons and shouting.
A man with a megaphone addresses the crowd. The headscarf man is being held in chains. An executioner wields a huge axe and takes him out.
Our heroes are taking on the army of zombies. Lots of headshots and blood.
A shot of a man wearing dark glasses and a horrible suit. He laughs smugly.
Tentacles burst out of another figure covered in lesions. Now our heroine is fighting the man in the specs.
The hooded figure shows off some Matrix-style slow-mo moves. The specs man, it seems, can disappear and reappear at will in the middle of combat. And it's over.
More than 35 million BioHazard games have now been sold worldwide. The new one is out in Japan on March 12th.
Ninety Nine Nights 2 is coming to Xbox 360. Developed by Q.
It's exclusive to 360.
There's a Namco Bandai logo on the big screen. Snow falls on a huge army of mech troops. "The King of Iron Fist tournament is about to begin."
It's Tekken 6! Tekken 6 is coming to Xbox 360 at the same time as PS3.
"Breathtaking visuals and online modes never before seen." Will launch in Fall 2009.
Now Schappert's on about Xbox Live Arcade. "We've created an ideal eco-system for the most beloved games of all time." Well done John.
The next wave of classic games coming to XBLA will include a couple from Taito, apparently. Space Invaders is on the screen. Are they doing a remake?
Yes. The "modern update" will feature beautiful graphics and online features. It's called Space Invaders Extreme. Sounds and looks a bit like Rez.
Arkanoid Live is on the way, too. 120 stages, with online co-op and versus modes. More Rez-style sounds and visuals. Both titles will launch this winter, says John.
SNK Playmore, now. Metal Slug 7 is coming to XBLA, with new weapons, missions, bosses and game modes.
King of Fighters '98 Ultimate Match is on the way too. It will launch in spring next year. No word on Metal Slug 7 date, though.
R-Type Dimensions trailer. Side-scrolling retro fun!
The graphics look pretty, they definitely have a retro feel but some tip top next gen shading.
Local and online co-op for two people, and you'll be able to switch seamlessly between 2D and 3D graphics. Crikey.
He's on about Xbox Live community games now. Over 1000 have already been submitted.
They now have 14 million members on Xbox Live, says John.
"For the first time in history, we will completely reinvent a device through the magic of software." He must be talking about the New Xbox Experience.
He's going to share "the complete" New Xbox Experience with us "for the first time ever". He's inviting Ben from the Xbox Live team to show us how it works.
A group of avatars are on the screen. It's "simple and effortless" to create yours, says John.
His is called "Schapstick". Brilliant. It's got a lot more hair than him, and a gold chain with a dollar sign on.
He's given himself some spiky hair. He now looks like Leo Tan from Capcom.
There are different outfits for different occasions - he's showing a light blue tuxedo and some "street" clothes.
You can use your avatar in your Gamerpic, or choose not to if you prefer.
It's the My Xbox channel. Instead of the blades there are a series of rectangular panels. Your Gamercard will be "much more personal" - there are more rectangles, one for each game you've played, and you can flick through them. "It's like baseball cards," says John.
We're off to the Friends channel. You can have custom environments tailored to the themes you choose.
It's Bill Gates' avatar. He looks awfully young. Nice chinos.
Meteos Wars: coming to Xbox Live "later this year". But then we knew that.
The new games detail page will show everything "in one place": screenshots, back of the box details, videos etc. This goes for XBLA games as well as boxed copies.
Off to Live Marketplace now. Instead of just seeing a list of titles, you can browse images. The best-selling content for each region will be brought to the front of the list. And all of the Marketplace will be on the web, so you'll be able to download stuff via your PC.
More locally produced content is promised for the Xbox channel. There will be daily updates, with event coverage, previews and more.
The Spotlight channel now: your guide to what's on Xbox Live, with the best of the best all in one place. That means movies as well as games.
There's a new guide that lets you go anywhere on Xbox Live with a push of a button. Looks not unlike a mini version of the blades system to be honest.
The new game launcher will let you instantly boot any game you've got stored on your hard drive.
Date time... New Xbox Experience will be released in 26 countries on 19th November.
Halo news time!
"We didn't have much time at E3 to share Halo news - you may have noticed." Oh, a time issue was it? Righto John.
Graeme Devine, the story writer on Halo Wars, is taking to the stage. "Thanks John." He's "thrilled" to be here.
"Halo is the biggest name in gaming." Starting big then. Halo Wars is set 20 years before Halo 1, when the Covenant are at their most evil.
They're going to prove strategy belongs on consoles. Or rather, console, presumably.
Cut-scene time. A shaven-headed chap watches a giant door open through binoculars.
"That's Captain Cutter and Serena," says Graeme. We're being shown how you build a base. Looks pretty straightforward.
There's a radial menu for building barracks and the like. The barracks come up from underground, like you'd see aircraft come up from underneath on an aircraft carrier.
Pressing and holding down the A button will let you paint over as many units as you want. They can then be moved using the X button.
A couple of tanks are leading the charge into combat as marine troops follow. Graeme launches a carpet bomb attack from above as the troops take out a Wraith Tank.
Now there are some Hornets and Vultures flying about. Looks like Graeme is making good progress. He's going to launch a cryobomb to kill the Scout - the most powerful unit the Covenant can field.
Once the Covenant bases' shields are down, they're actually pretty easy to take down, apparently.
There's another enemy you'll be fighting - The Flood. Giant tentacles squirm round what looks like chrysalises as troops of blob-like creatures race about. The image is only shown for a second or two, then the demo's over.
A billion hours have now been spent playing the various Halo games on Live. "We aren't quite done with Halo 3 yet."
He's going to show us the second part of the Madeleine [Keep it Clean - Ed] trailer. Quick shots of towering buildings, as seen through electronic binoculars.
What looks like a meteor storm rains down. "Please remain calm" message flashes up. More shots of those buildings, more meteors rain down, huge clouds of dust billow up to obscure the view.
"Lumumba 2594" it reads in the bottom right of the screen. Now a ship is hovering over the debris, a searchlight scouring over it.
Aha! A chap in a suit emerges from the rubble. Doesn't look like Master Chief, though. He spots a load of Brutes stalking nearby, but they don't see him.
Halo 3 Recon: "New hero, new campaign - Prepare to Drop in Fall 2009."
Some mild clapping. Halo's clearly not that Big In Japan. It'll include new multiplayer maps, says John.
Looks like he's winding up. "As you can see, we're marvellous," he says. I'm paraphrasing.
"Together we will write the next chapter of gaming." Look forward to it.
And it's over. All the Japanese attendees rush out to look up Halo on Wikipedia.