Level-5 Vision 2011 Recap

TOKYO, JAPAN – October 15, 2011 – The annual live press conference and stage event held by LEVEL-5 Inc., LEVEL5 VISION 2011, has concluded. Previewing the company’s Japanese product line for the coming year and kicking off the company’s first ever consumer exhibit show, LEVEL5 WORLD 2011, LEVEL-5 is proud to present this recap of the projects and intellectual properties presented at the show that will be available to consumers across a broad spectrum of gaming consoles, cell phones, and a variety of other entertainment mediums.

All information and projects marked with * below are Japanese titles only and have no North American releases planned at this time.

PROFESSOR LAYTON VS ACE ATTORNEY* — Opening the event with the trailer that debuted at the Tokyo Game Show, Capcom’s Shu Takumi and LEVEL-5 President/CEO Akihiro Hino expounded on the collaboration that brought the two companies together for this unprecedented project. The title is playable for the first time at LEVEL5 WORLD 2011.

GUNDAM AGE* — GUNDAM AGE is a PSP title based on the TV Anime of the same name with scenario created by LEVEL-5’s Akihiro Hino. Bandai Namco Games will publish and LEVEL-5 will develop. The latest trailer was revealed at LEVEL5 VISION 2011.

PROFESSOR LAYTON ROYALE* Professor Layton Royale, a new social mobile game developed in collaboration with DeNA, combines LEVEL-5’s internationally popular Professor Layton series with DeNA’s flagship “Royale” franchise of social games on the Mobage platform.

INAZUMA ELEVEN* — A wealth of new information was revealed at LEVEL5 VISION 2011, with trailers, a presentation on the game systems, and an overview of the products. A total of four titles were showcased, including the movie and two newly announced games in the series: Inazuma Eleven Strikers 2012 Extreme*, as well as the arcade machine LEVEL-5 Station Inazuma Eleven Strikers2012 Extreme*.

LITTLE BATTLERS EXPERIENCE BOOST* — The definitive version of Little Battlers eXperience, LBX Boost charges up with new LBX battlers, weapons, and moves as well as a number of gameplay enhancements. The title is scheduled to be available in Japan in UMD and digital format on November 23, 2011.

NI NO KUNI: WRATH OF THE WHITE WITCH – The RPG planned and produced by LEVEL-5, with animation by Studio Ghibli and music by Joe Hisaishi will be brought to North America and Europe by NAMCO BANDAI Games America and NAMCO BANDAI Games Europe respectively, who will be releasing statements in the near future.

GIRLS RPG CINDERELIFE* — A game of conversations and fashion, players can customize their avatar with over 1,000 accessories in pursuit of the butterfly of happiness. Two new guest characters were introduced at the show as well as a February launch window in Japan.

LAYTON BROTHERS: MYSTERY ROOM* – LEVEL-5 has announced that this title will put a new spin on the Professor Layton universe with crime-scene mystery style gameplay starring the intuitive son of Hershel Layton. The title is scheduled to be released on the iOS platform.

FANTASY LIFE* — The event debuted an array of new designs by visionary illustrator Yoshitaka Amano as well as a new trailer. The title will be playable for the first time today at LEVEL5 WORLD 2011.

TIME TRAVELERS* — New details on the story, setting, and characters emerged at the event, as well as its release across three different platforms in Japan. It will be playable at LEVEL5 WORLD 2011.

GUILD01* — LEVEL-5’s newly announced collaboration title brings together the talent and artistic vision of four famed game designers under a single package, including LEVEL-5’s Yasumi Matsuno, Grasshopper Manufacture’s Goichi Suda, Vivarium’s Yoot Saito, and Shochiku Geino’s Yoshiyuki Hirai (a comedian belonging to the comedy duo Americazarigani). Some of these creators’ titles are playable at LEVEL5 WORLD 2011.

YOKAI WATCH* — Yokai Watch is a newly announced title from LEVEL-5 that will cross into anime and manga based on the game. Details, including release date, have yet to be confirmed.

*Project titles tentative. All information pertains only to the Japanese release; there are no plans for release outside of Japan at this time All titles are the exclusive property of LEVEL-5 Inc. unless otherwise noted.

About LEVEL-5

LEVEL-5 Inc. plans, creates, and markets videogame software in Japan. The company’s flagship Professor Layton series has shipped over 12 million units worldwide, while the mega-hit INAZUMA ELEVEN series has shipped over 3.65 million units worldwide (as of end of September 2011). In 2010, the company began a collaboration with the academy award winning Studio Ghibli (to create the animated movies) and composer/director Joe Hisaishi (to supervise the music) that resulted in the development and release of Ni no Kuni for the Nintendo DS™ system. This collaboration is currently continuing to work together on the PlayStation 3® version of Ni no Kuni, which has had a multitude of new elements added to make it a brand new title in its own right. In September 2010, LEVEL-5 Inc. opened an office in Santa Monica, California. While maintaining its base as a game company, LEVEL-5 Inc. continues to actively explore collaborations with other media, as it strives to become a world-class entertainment brand.

More information on LEVEL-5 Inc. can be found at http://www.level5ia.com and http://www.level5.co.jp/.

Well that was some awesome news that Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch will be released in North America & Europe next year via Namco Bandai. Also, I wonder if we will see any of those 3DS games released here, I really want Layton vs. Ace Attorney and all of those other 3DS games lol. Now which platform will I get Time Travelers on, 3DS or Vita? Time will tell…

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Rumor: PS Vita launching on October 28th

I’m sure you’ve heard this rumor before or something close to it. The Playstation Vita has been in the back of our minds every since it was announced. With the horrible sales of the PSP Go, many people wouldn’t think the Vita will do well. That being said, Sony recently announced PS games on Android phones. I wouldn’t expect the Vita to do that well, but then we have heard many positive things about it (like having PS3 graphic capabilities). Below is an article right out of CNET and the link to the article will be below that.

Sony’s upcoming portable game player, the PlayStation Vita, could be on store shelves October 28, a report claims.

According to gaming publication IGN, a reader sent in a flier from Blockbuster in the U.K. that lists the PlayStation Vita as launching on October 28. The flier shows the Wi-Fi-only version retailing for 229.99 pounds ($378.37) and the 3G-capable version at 279.99 pounds ($460.61).

The Vita is arguably one of the most anticipated industry launches this year. The device, which will replace the ailing PlayStation Portable, comes with a 5-inch multitouch OLED screen, dual joysticks, and both front and rear touchpads. The portable also comes with front and rear cameras for so-called augmented reality integration. According to Sony, the Vita’s graphical prowess will easily overshadow its predecessor.

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Sony working on equal amounts of Vita and PS3 games

From CVG:

Sony has told CVG that the number of titles being created for PlayStation Vita roughly matches PS3’s production pipeline – a step change in focus since the PSP days.

Speaking before E3, Sony’s head of WorldWide Studios Suhei Yoshida told us that the company’s decision to concentrate much more on PS3 software than PSP titles was a “mistake” and hurt the handheld.

However, he asserted that it wasn’t an error Sony would be making twice.

“We are doing about the same number of titles [on Vita as on PS3] so that means a lot,” he stated. “One of the things we didn’t do to well to support PSP was that right after PSP came out we moved on to working on the PS3 launch titles.

“So we shifted too much resource out of PSP so after a couple of years the PSP support when quickly down.

“We tried to back it up a couple of years ago but there was a time where we were not offering enough PSP content. So going forward we do not want to make the same mistake so we always look at the balance that we are doing in support of both PS3 and NGP.”

Link

Nintendo talks about Wii U, 3DS, third parties and more

Nintendo of America senior director of corporate communications, Charlie Scibetta:

On Wii U:

“We call them ‘experiences’, as opposed to actual games, because we do want people to experience what the capabilities are of the controller

Third Parties:

“I would hope that any multiplatform games would take advantage of the controls,” he said. “If people just took one game to try and port it over without putting the unique abilities into play,”

Nintendo vs Sony handheld market:

“We tend to focus more on what we have to offer. We certainly wouldn’t change our strategy or our approach based on what a competitor is doing.”

Gamustra

PS Vita hard to hold

According to IGN, the PS Vita is hard to hold and it sounds like the back touch panel could actually interfere with gameplay.

When I’d tell people to play Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, they’d usually make a crack about never using their PSP and then complain about how it hurt their hands to play the PSP for long periods of time. I call those people quitters. Yes, holding the PSP felt weird in the beginning, but when you played a bunch, you figured out how to hold it — hold the sides of the device between the grooves of your palms, index fingers on the shoulder buttons, other fingers sprawled out on the back.

That crap doesn’t fly with the PlayStation Vita. One of the big bells and whistles for Sony’s new handheld has been the rear touch pad, and that means holding it like a PSP screws up games. I played Super Stardust Delta, tried to hold the PlayStation Vita like the PSP, and I wasted a black hole. I played Shinobido 2: Tales of the Ninja (a third-person action game where you sneak up and kill guards), tried to hold the PlayStation Vita like a PSP, and I accidentally switched into first-person mode.

Sony’s planned for this problem. The PlayStation Vita has two groves on the back that are meant to hold your fingers in place when not fooling with the rear touch panel. I feel like these could be deeper, but they’re a nice idea as I need to relearn how to hold a Sony handheld. And — in a cruel twist of fate from those I mocked for complaining about the PSP — using the grooves kind of felt like it was hurting my hand.

However, these observations aren’t meant to alarm you. I’m still onboard with the PlayStation Vita. I still plan on buying one. I’m just saying that everything I’ve been doing in the portable gaming space for the last six years is wrong, and we’re going to have to learn to get over it by learning to make a new claw with our grimy mitts.

IGN

Sony official announces PS Vita, $249 Wifi/ 3G $299

TOKYO, June 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCE) today announced PlayStation®Vita (PS Vita) (PCH-1000 series) as the official platform name for the next generation portable entertainment system (codename: NGP). Wi-Fi model will be available for 24,980 yen (including tax) in Japan, $249 in US and euro 249 in Europe, 3G/Wi-Fi model will be available for 29,980 yen (including tax) in Japan, $299 in US and euro 299 in Europe and successively launch in global market starting the end of 2011.

“Vita,” which means “Life” in Latin, was chosen as the most appropriate name for the next generation portable entertainment system as it enables a revolutionary combination of rich gaming and social connectivity within a real world context. SCE is aiming to transform every aspect of user’s daily life into an entertainment experience.

PS Vita incorporates a beautiful 5-inch multi-touch organic light emitting diode (OLED) as the front display and a unique multi-touch pad on the rear. Together with the front touch screen and the rear touch pad, PS Vita offers new game play experiences never before seen on any device, allowing users to interact directly with games in three dimension-like motion, through “touch, grab, trace, push and pull” finger motions. Also PS Vita features two analog sticks which enable a wider range of game genres to be brought into the portable experience, such as shooters, action games, and fighting games. Exciting and attractive new titles*1 are scheduled to be released from SCE Worldwide Studios, including “GRAVITY DAZE,” “Uncharted Golden Abyss,” “Little Deviants,” “Hot Shots Golf,” “Reality Fighter,” “Hustle Kings,” “ModNation Racers,” “Wipeout 2048” and “Super Stardust Delta,” as well as from a broad range of third party game developers and publishers, which will deliver value only possible on PS Vita.

Also, by having both Wi-Fi and 3G network connectivity, together with various applications, PS Vita will enable infinite possibilities for users to “encounter,” “connect,” “discover,” “share” and “play” with friends wherever they are. On January 27, 2011, SCE announced the first PS Vita application, “near,” which will come pre-installed. It will let users discover what games PS Vita users in the vicinity are or were recently playing, as well as let users share their game information. “near” also enables location-based gaming features such as “gifting,” in which a user can access virtual game-related items that other users are sharing, through checking in at geographic locations that others have also visited. The virtual items can include content unlocked from games, such as character costumes, weapons, and treasures. Sharing these items between users adds a unique dimension to the portable gaming experience on PS Vita while enhancing the social connectivity among the PS Vita community.

Additionally, PS Vita will come pre-installed with a newly developed application called “Party.” “Party” is an innovative application for a portable entertainment system which enables users to enjoy voice chat or text chat not only during online gaming, but also when users are playing different games or using different applications such as internet browser. Through “Party,” which offers a new form of social networking, and “near,” which enables users to share their game information with other users anywhere, anytime, users can dramatically expand the boundaries of interactive communication.

Also a tutorial application called “Welcome Park,” developed specifically to guide every user about PS Vita’s brand new user interface such as the front touch display and the multi-touch pad on the rear, will come pre-installed. By playing “Welcome Park,” users can easily become accustomed to the three dimension-like finger motions used on PS Vita.

SCE will vigorously promote PS Vita towards the launch as the next generation portable entertainment platform and work towards expanding the portable gaming market.*1 Some title names are tentative. Titles may differ by countries and regions.

Link