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Microsoft expands World Collection

Japanese get Buffy, Simpsons, Wolfenstein and Wakeboarding.

GameSpot reports that Microsoft Japan is expanding its "Xbox World Collection" range for the Pacific region, repackaging another batch of relatively accomplished English language titles with Japanese manuals and letting them go for a song.

The World Collection push began earlier this year with games like Tao Feng: Fist of the Lotus, baseball title Inside Pitch 2003, American football title NFL Fever 2004, Outlaw Golf and Outlaw Volleyball. Like these titles, the new batch will be released in their original English form with a Japanese manual, but no Japanese dialogue or subtitles, for 4,800 yen (€38).

Obviously the feeling is that the titles - Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chaos Bleeds, The Simpsons: Hit & Run, Return to Castle Wolfenstein: Tides of War and Wakeboarding Unleashed - are not worth the time and money to localise for the market, but do stand a chance of selling untranslated at this slightly lower price point (Japanese games usually cost one or two thousand yen more).

Given this approach to the Japanese market from Microsoft, it seems incredible that some Japanese and even American titles fail to make it to Europe because the companies involve don't want the hassle of translating them into a bunch of European languages. How about it, Sony? Nintendo? Why not do something like this for us? Ah they never listen...

The above four games will apparently be released in Japan on December 25th, and should be joined by another 20 or so titles by the summer of 2004.