PlayStation Meeting 2005 Report
07.21.05 - 10:51 PM

At today's PlayStation Meeting 2005, Sony Computer Entertainment showed off new titles for PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable and PlayStation 3.

As far as PlayStation 3 is concerned, five new titles, among them From Software's first PlayStation 3 title Project Force, for the next generation platform were announced, and trailers of several previously announced titles shown. Sony Computer Entertainment president Ken Kutaragi re-confirmed the schedule leading up to the spring 2006 launch, by hinting that the first playable demos will arrive in time for September's Tokyo Game Show 2005. Prior to the PlayStation 3's launch, the company will also hold a special PlayStation Conference in February 2006.

A total of 18 PlayStation Portable games were shown to the audience, among them Capcom's upcoming Rockman Dash (Megaman Legends), Super Robot Taisen MX from Banpresto and Atlus' Akuma Shoukanshi Devil Summoner. 150 PlayStation Portable games are scheduled to be released until the end of the fiscal year. While Square Enix's Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII was not on display at the event, producer Shinji Hashimoto showed off an animation demo of the action RPG and confirmed its 2006 release date.

Sony Computer Entertainment also used the event to exhibit a massive line-up of PlayStation 2 titles, headed by the recently announced Level 5 RPG Rogue Galaxy. Level 5 president Akihiko Hino was present to talk about his newest project. The game has been in development for 2.5 years and has become the biggest project so far for the Fukuoka-based studio. Hino said he would like Rogue Galaxy to compete heads-on with the two most popular RPG franchises made in Japan, Square Enix's Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. Popular J-Pop artists Aya Ueto and Hiroshi Tamaki have been casted to lend their voices to the game's lead characters. In addition to Rogue Galaxy, trailers of the following PlayStation 2 RPGs were on display at the event:

Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII, Square Enix, tba
Kingdom Hearts II, Square Enix, 2005
Kidou Senshi Gundam SEED Destiny: Generation of C.E., Bandai, August 25th
Code Age Commanders: Tsugu Mono Tsugareru Mono, Square Enix, October 13th
Grandia III, Square Enix, August 4th
Tales of Legendia, Namco, August 25th
Devil Summoner: Kuzuha Raidou, Atlus, tba
Phantasy Star Universe, Sega, winter 2005

Every year the PlayStation Meeting is also the event where the developers behind the best selling PlayStation games are honored with the annual PlayStation Awards. The sole Triple Platinum Award went to Square Enix and Level 5 for Dragon Quest VIII: Sora to Umi to Daichi to Norowareshi Himegimi (Dragon Quest VIII: The Cursed King). In accepting the award, series mastermind Yuuji Horii said he was amazed that even after 20 years three million fans were still buying copies of the series' eighth installment. He also thanked the development team and mentioned that he would like to continue working on the series for another decade or two. Composer Kouichi Sugiyama said he was both a professional gamer and a composer, hence one could say that creating music for games was his dream job. Gold awards for games that have sold more than 500,000 copies in Japan, went, among others, to Namco for Tales of Rebirth and Banpresto for Super Robot Taisen MX.

Chris Winkler