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Games, dates for 360 in Japan

Final Fantasy, Sakaguchi titles, new games, Live Arcade support.

Microsoft's announced a raft of Japanese-developed games for Xbox 360, along with more support for Xbox Live Arcade in the region - where it claims the downloads-per-unit-sold ratio is at its highest with 520,000 pieces of content retrieved.

Speaking at a press conference in Japan, Microsoft announced that a new, unnamed Final Fantasy game would be released on Xbox 360 in 2007, while Tri-Ace (Radiata Stories, Star Ocean) is at work on an unnamed action RPG.

Hironobu Sakaguchi was on hand, too, to reveal that one of the two RPGs he's overseeing, Blue Dragon, will be released before the end of 2006 in Japan, while a demo of the other one, Lost Odyssey, should turn up this autumn.

There was also news of a new shooter from Square Enix and Game Arts called Project Sylph - prompting commentators to ask whether it's a continuation of the Silpheed series, which appeared on Mega CD and PS2 during its time.

Microsoft also showed off a trailer for a Gundam shooter, and spoke a bit about the system's involvement with anime - Zegapain will appear in some form with downloadable content - and hinted that Namco's Culdcept Saga could be playable over Live.

More interesting from an international perspective, perhaps, was talk of Japanese publisher support for Xbox Live Arcade from Konami, Hudson (rumoured to be considering a Bomberman port), SNK, Namco, DS Publisher and Bandai.

Pac-Man and Galaga are shoe-ins for Live Arcade, according to reports from the press conference, and given the amount of retro compilations some of that lot have produced over the years, it's easy to let the mind wander into exciting territory.

We'll bring you more on all of that as and when we hear it.

Sources - 1UP, Spong