Koei unveiled two new PlayStation 3 titles at a press conference in Japan today and showed what it described as "CG concept work" on another - before pledging support to all three next-generation formats and saying some nice things about the newly announced Revolution controller.
The new games come from Koei's Omega Force studio and its new Canadian outpost. Omega Force, best known for its work on Dynasty Warriors, is working on a game called Bladestorm: Hundred Years War, which is - yes - about that rather lengthy medieval conflict. Producer Akihiro Suzuki said it was "an age that hasn't been covered as much in games," and that Bladestorm would be "a type of action game that presents something you've never seen before" - and indeed haven't seen yet, since Koei declined to show anything other than the logo.
Koei Canada meanwhile is working on a racing title called Fatal Inertia, of which more a bit later. In short, it's a combat racing title that lets for which Koei is pushing the physics side heavily [very good - Ed]. You'll be able to fire non-lethal weapons at opponents, and even at the landscape - sending rocks crashing down to derail your enemies. We saw some demo footage of this - CG and early in-engine prototypes - and it'll be a neat concept if it's realised properly.
Speaking of CG, Koei also showed "concept work" on a Romance of the Three Kingdoms title, which saw a highly detailed warrior character controlling a metal ball on the end of a bladed staff, moving it lightly with the tip and performing exotic sweeping moves before catching it again - before diving into a fight sequence and continually juggling the ball in-between cutting through enemies. Eventually he cuts through the facemask of one of his enemies and it reveals a girl. "Koei is Koei, and we have a historical game base, and we will continue that base [...] into the next generation," general producer Kou Shibusawa told us. "What you saw in that video was actual PlayStation 3 footage filmed in real-time."
On the subject of PS3, Koei had previously announced that it was working on a historical action game called Ni-oH for the PlayStation 3 and planned to make a movie to go alongside the game. The movie part has now been shelved, apparently "due to a variety of different circumstances", but the game will continue "maxing out the performance of PlayStation 3" according to Shibusawa-san.
Having shown off so much PlayStation 3 content - indeed, having included "PS3" in the wording of the press conference literature - Koei founder and chairman Keiko Erikawa was inevitably asked about its commitment to other platforms during a Q&A session later on. "We also have plans for the Xbox 360 and Revolution as well [...] and the PC is included in that as well," she said. "We are committing ourselves to creating new types of games for each of those platforms, so we hope you'll look forward to those," she added.
As the conference trailed off, one Japanese hack asked why Koei was making such an effort this time given its tendency to release Mah-jong games at console launches. The bubbly Erikawa-san, clearly pleased with the showing, started off by talking about how the company hoped to sell a million copies of Fatal Inertia worldwide, and then joked, "Of course we're going to put out a Mah-jong title for the PS3." We think she was joking anyway.
More on Koei's PS3 line-up as soon as our brains and fingers form a suitable union.