Sega held their second annual GameJam event last week at the Tokyo International Forum. Drawing an estimated audience of 24,760, the two-day event is essentially a public preview of Sega's software lineup. At this year's show however, Sega had several surprises in store for attendees. To begin, SonicTeam producer Yuji Naka finalized details for the GameCube version of Phantasy Star Online. While the finished version is scheduled for release this summer, Sega plans to release a trial version of Phantasy Star Online for the GameCube this May. Players will be able to preorder the trial version and a GameCube modem for 9800 yen. A separate package consisting of the trial game, modem, and keyboard will also be available for 16600 yen. For reference, the finished version will be officially entitled Phantasy Star Online: Episode I & II.
Continuing, Sega-AM2 producer Yu Suzuki confirmed plans for two new GameCube titles, Virtua Fighter Quest and Beach Spikers. Virtua Fighter Quest is described as a mixture of action and RPG elements, and is scheduled for release in 2003. Beach Spikers will be a home translation of Sega's arcade volleyball title, scheduled for release in 2002. According to Suzuki-san, the GameCube version of Beach Spikers will include twice as many teams as its arcade counterpart, and several new play modes including World Tour and A.I., amongst others. AM2 representatives also confirmed plans to release Ferrari F355 Challenge, the second installment in Sega's racing-sim series for the PlayStation 2 this summer. Other titles in development include Power Smash 2 and Aerodancing 4 for the PlayStation 2.
Later in the exhibition, Sega subsidiary Red Entertainment unveiled GunGrave, a new mech-shooter in development for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. Scheduled for release this summer in Japan, the game will feature the designs of famous anime director Yasuhiro Naito. While storyline specifics remain undisclosed, GunGrave was shown in playable form at the show.
In terms of playable titles, Sega had an extensive lineup onhand including Gun Valkyrie (Xbox), Sega GT 2002 (Xbox), Shining Soul (GameBoy Advance), REZ (PlayStation 2), PowerSmash 2 (PlayStation 2), Phantasy Star Online (GameCube), Crazy Taxi (GameCube), GunGrave (PlayStation 2), Switch (PlayStation 2), Maze of the Kings (Arcade), Pinball of the Dead (GameBoy Advance), and Soul Surfer (Arcade), amongst others. Below are a handful of pictures taken on location this weekend, our thanks to Tsuno Okashi and Gpara.
I like what they're doing over there with PSO... now only if they did that over here.