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360 signs exclusive football deal


Microsoft has signed an exclusive deal with EA games for Fifa 07 and with Konami for Pro Evolution Soccer 6.


The 12 month deal means that neither buyers of Sony's PlayStation 3 or Nintendo's Wii will be able to play the football games when they launch.


The announcement was made at this year's Games Convention in Leipzig, Germany.

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Heard about this like, and anyone who buys a sole console for a Fifa game needs a bullet to the brain.

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apparently its bollocks anyway (re Pro Evo) according to Konami and Seabass. Plus you could always play the PS2 version on the PS3.


As for not being able to play when they launch thats hardly surprisng. How long did it take for Pro evo on PS2, WXI on cube, Pro Evo on xbox? Certainly didnt get them when the machine launched

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Anyone who buys a console for just any 1 game needs a bullet to the brain tbh



I got XBox Live just for PES Live, would have been worth it if it weren't for the lag.


I think everyone wants shooting tbh.

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The Shingo "Seabass" Takatsuka Interview



Winning Eleven: Pro Evolution Soccer 2007 (or PES 6 in Europe) is one of the biggest games shown here at the 2006 Games Convention for Europeans in attendance. During the show I had the opportunity to interview Senior Producer Shingo “Seabass” Takatsuka and Aki Saito Konami Europe’s Senior Manager with a close personal friend of mine Thomas Puha from Finland’s premier video game magazine, Pelaaja. This extensive North American/European double team interview covers everything from the newly debuted Xbox 360 version, and current PS2, PSP titles. Plus we get details about the upcoming PlayStation 3 version, and the potential for a Wii release (we’re betting on it).


To fully understand this interview, I need to make a few things clear. Winning Eleven is released at different times across the globe with different names for the game. Each year Winning Eleven is released first in Japan – usually in the spring. Then in Europe Pro Evolution Soccer or PES is released in the Fall (which is funny they call it soccer in Europe and not football, but then again PEF looks kind of stupid). In North America the Winning Eleven games come out in Spring, nearly a year after the Japanese version. In Japan Winning Eleven 10 was already released, Pro Evolution Soccer 6 is the next title in Europe releasing this Fall, and in North America the newly named Winning Eleven: Pro Evolution Soccer 2007 is set to be released in Q1 of 2007. After the Japanese version is released Konami improves on game elements before the European version, and the same is done before Winning Eleven is released in the states. So basically, in this interview, a number of different versions are being mentioned. We hope this clears things up before you begin reading. Or there could be the distinct possibility we’ve had too much Wienerschnitzel, and we apologize. Phew! Now on with the interview…


Q: When we spoke at E3 and at the Tokyo Game Show last year you said you were going to the World Cup. I wanted to know how you liked the experience of the World Cup this year.


Shingo “Seabass” Takatsuka: I stayed in Frankfurt and traveled all across Germany. We saw five matches and all of the matches were exciting. The atmosphere was terrific. The best match I saw was Argentina vs. Serbia. Going to the match you could see the supporters and how big the Serbia people are and I thought Japan would have a very tough time facing them.


Q: Was there anything that you’d witnessed at the World Cup that you’d like to bring to your games?


Seabass: Well yes it influenced a lot, and actually we implemented it already in our PES 6 for Europe. I’ll give you three examples. One is the ball keep. When you have your defender and you’re keeping him blocking, that up until PES 5 and Winning Eleven 10 no matter which player, you were invincible, and we thought that wasn’t true while watching the world cup.


So now in PES 6 according to the body strength of the defender and yourself you might lose even though you might be blocking the ball. Also the pass speed we thought that the game was too fast for all teams. We decided to slow down for the weak passing teams. Like for instance Japan could never score by passing, passing, and passing and taking a shot. This is not realistic, but this happened in our past Pro Evo and Winning Eleven series. We decided not to do that and this was influenced by the World Cup. Lastly we changed the positioning of the defenders. We thought that the defenders positioning was much different after we saw the World Cup so that’s already implemented.


Q: I saw a lot of screenshots of the online mode for the PS2 version and it looks like there are a lot of improvements and new options for the online gameplay. Can you give us the details of the various upgrades to the online mode?


Seabass: I can’t give you all, but I can give you the main topics of the new online mode. We expanded the multiplay much more so if you have four consoles and two players on each console there’s a maximum of eight players for online. Also we decided to have the PC players and the PS2 players play for the first time together online. Those are the two biggest things that we implemented in PES 6.


Q: Are there things like more statistics for players? How many matches you won, lost, and the percentage? Do you have goals scored, passes made, things like that?


Seabass: Well, sorry to say but we didn’t make any drastic changes to that part. Of course we did balance parts, and maybe there are some new things in there. But we didn’t so much increase that data screen. What we tried to emphasize this time was having more fun with the multiplayer and allowing users to play multiplayer online for this version.


Q: There were screenshots that we saw for the PS2 version that said things like “group” so can you organize things like tournaments for your friends online now?


Seabass: Sorry we can’t really say it officially but if you saw it in a screenshot you can kind of guess what’s going to be in there. We can’t confirm yet, and honestly we don’t know if its going to work out. We might pull it out, but we are trying to get a lot of stuff in there. As I said, the emphasis is on the PC and PS2 working together, and the 8-player multiplayer, and we don’t want to sacrifice any of that so if there too much more lag or server trouble we might pull some out. That’s why we can’t really confirm at this time


Q: Is the Xbox 360’s online component exactly the same as far as the options?


Seabass: 360 is on the next gen, meaning we went back to the drawing board because the next-gen and the old-gen can’t really match when you play online, therefore 360 we regret to say one vs. one. But we had a different goal to maximize the one vs. one. on the next-gen 360 version this year for intense one-on-one play.


For the PS2 and PC version you might have found from time to time that there were some awkward moves and some jumping movement. We won’t do this on the 360 because we concentrated on this tightness for intensive gameplay. For the 360 our main goal was to let the users play online as if there was a stand alone and you were playing with your friends right next to you.


Q: What are your plans for Xbox 360 modes and do you have plans for any downloadable content?


Seabass: Of course we want to pursue this one-on-one, the more precise gameplay because the game control is everything in PES. We don’t want to lose that if you play online. Offline or online we’re going to deepen and enrich the soccer feeling when you play the game with upgraded AIs.


If we talk about modes, I want to make the master league completely different and make it completely fun for the audience. That’s in the future line-up. We’re even thinking about online master league in the near future. Multiplayer we’re going to expand, even though the 360 is one-on-one this year, we’re not satisfied with one-on-one. We want to first create the base and then expand to multiplay. We already have a good main core system for this year set up. Meaning, like your FPS online game. You will have no lag and you will feel comfortable playing online. We’re almost up to that point that we can deliver that next year.


You aked about Live downloads - this is a little bit difficult issue. Once we have the license and political stuff sorted out we are trying to get the downloadable upgrades on your stats, teams, rosters, whatever. But this is all in our future plans.


Q: So you won’t have roster updates in this version?


Seabass: No, we’re not cleared for the license issues just yet for this year.


Q: So that’s the reason PES 5 didn’t have any updates because of legal reasons?


Seabass: Yes, that was the main reason. Technically speaking from a programmer’s side this is all possible. We can do it and we want to do it, but we don’t want to get sued by doing it so we have to clear a lot of things first.


Q: Why can EA do it? Is it the FIFA license?


Seabass: Well, EA is still a little ahead in terms of licenses. As you said they have the crown and are the most prestigious and the biggest. As you know from our series we’re trying our best and always expanding.


Aki Saito: Sorry, but I have to say one thing about the Microsoft presentation. The presentation was misleading. We never said exclusive for one year for the next generation. We said this year. We were agreed that it was this year.


Q: So up until January 1?


Saito: Yes. In a sense. If we’re going to release PES 7 next year during this time, yes it may be one year. But we never agreed that we were going to say that officially. It was kind of misleading and a misunderstanding. What we meant or agreed with Microsoft was this winter or this season for PES 6 – this is exclusive.


Q: I wanted to ask about that. Was that agreement you came to the conclusion that you couldn’t get a PS3 version out anyway or was there some sort of marketing involved or incentive from Microsoft to make that announcement?


Seabass: It’s a very difficult question to answer and there are a lot of company politics involved.


Saito: Seabass is not responsible for that aspect so I should probably answer. As Konami, we always try to be better – this is true. We don’t want to go exclusive on anything basically because we believe there are PlayStation users, Microsoft users, Nintendo users, PSP users, and everything. No matter how much a good marketing deal there is we still believe that we should be equal. And this is a company policy as well.


So this announcement was made, but it wasn’t anything to trigger any issues with the other parties. But actually this one year thing that we didn’t kind of allow, it triggered a little issue right now and we’re trying to sort this out. Microsoft understands that yes, we’re equal, but we’re trying to be fair. So this year, yes, it’s 360 only on the next gen.


Q: Can I just expand on that. At E3 when we talked a PS3 version wasn’t even started. Has it started production, and as you said just now does it mean that theoretically we could have Winning Eleven 10 or PES 6 next spring on PS3?


Seabass: That’s no doubt. We already started, and I said in that interview I think that how we work as fair is that we don’t work on one console anymore. We work on the core and then we spread it out – we have this mentality.


So for next year, if the market is there. If the PS3 doesn’t ship this year, and there’s no users, there’s no meaning for us to present PS3. As long as we hear the users voice, and everyone wants it we will consider it. I already am considering that, and probably PS3 will be released, they’ll be good followers and fans. If it’s up to us, we’re going to deliver it.


Q: Now are you going to continue creating current generation – PS2, Xbox – of Winning Eleven/PES?


Seabass: Yes, we will. If you look back at the days when we jumped from PS1 to PS2 we kept on releasing for about two years on the PS1. This time on the PS2 it’ll probably be much longer because we know that the fans are there. But we’re not going to make the simple conversions and upgrades each year.


From our new development on the next gen, which will be our main on the years to come, we will try to take the best essence of that and filter that to the PS2 or the last-gen machines. We don’t want to do easy data changing upgrades even for the PS2 versions of the future.


Q: The visual upgrades for the Xbox 360 that we noticed – the facial features are fantastic, but the rest of it – the stadiums and the fans in the seats seem like more of a high-res Xbox version. Is this a new graphical engine, or is this a high-res Xbox version for the 360?


Seabass: Since it was next-gen we can’t really make use of the old-gen materials, meaning we did create new things from scratch. In years to come with PS3, maybe Windows Vista, next-gen machines to come, we still think that there’s more space to expand the graphical aspects. Because of my graphics staff working hard, what you see in the 360 version is a kind of real renewed models and everything.


Q: So with the PlayStation 3 version we can expect to see the visuals take a larger step?


Seabass: Don’t get us a wrong, we’re not going to create another engine for the PS3, we’re probably going to use the next-gen engine. But the advances we did for PES 3 to PES 4 to PES 5 – Winning Eleven 7, to 8, to 9 – that kind of upgrade we’ll do for the PS3.


Q: You only released one Winning Eleven for the GameCube, (Ed: Winning Eleven 6 Final Evolution in Japan only) what kind of plans do you have for Wii?


Seabass: That’s not a next-gen engine (laughs) but I shouldn’t say that for good reasons. The graphics are not really the same as the 360 or PS3. But the controller is simply unique. We are already discussing with Nintendo – we have always been discussing with all parties. In our discussions with Nintendo it’s how we utilize this new controller. As a creator I am looking forward to how to make use of the controller. At the same time I fear that it’s going to be tons of work and innovations that I have to come up with to create PES on Wii.


Q: At E3 we talked about PES 6 for the PS2 and you said small changes could be big changes. Now that the game is almost done, what are the key changes from Winning Eleven 10 (the Japanese version that was released in Spring) to PES 6. Has the goalkeeper AI been changed?


Seabass: I remembered you thought that you (Thomas) pointed out that defending was a little weak in Winning Eleven and that the goalkeeper is dumb.


Thomas: I didn’t quite say that.


All: (laughs)


Seabass: We thought so as well. We went back and upgraded those small tweaks but it made the gameplay much different. The version you see here the goalkeeper has much better positioning, however, even today as we speak the team is still brushing this up. PES 6 will be much different than the samples you see at the Games Convention today. The goalkeeper could be super strong and stop super shots but at the same time we created new weak points for the goalkeepers. So if you play like you’re playing PES 5 and you think it’s a goal, it won’t be a goal, and vise versa. If you aim at the weak point you’re more likely to score.


Also about the positioning of defenders, in PES 5 and Winning Eleven 10, we saw that there was some easy goals. You know what I’m talking about – when you go down the side but you don’t cross but make a pass, we changed the positioning so you can’t do that anymore. You’ll have a totally different gameplay feeling and you’ll need a little work to crack at it.


Q: PS2 was the lead platform for Winning Eleven/PES. It was basically your bread and butter and where you sold millions of copies of games. What do you think your lead platform is going to be in the future?


Seabass: It was a natural flow from our development from PS1 to PS2 and it’s a natural flow to understand that it’s going to be PS3. But with the 360 version in development and its going to be out this fall (in Europe) this natural flow might not be the natural flow in the future.


We still think that the PC, 360, PS3, and Wii considered as next gen, we will not differentiate or create specifically for those. Our goal is to create something in the center and then spread out where the audience is. However, frankly speaking, with controller matching the best controller that matches our game is the PlayStation controller. In that sense PS3 is definitely going to be a good match in terms of play feeling and control, but even so I am trying to adjust control feel so you will have no awkward feeling in all platforms if we bring them out.


Q: Does the lack of 360 sales in Japan affect your decision at all?


Seabass: Yes, to some extent maybe you could say that because in Japan the hardware itself is not really selling as everyone expected. But that’s just a fraction of what we think - it doesn’t affect our work. It’s more of a sales and marketing side, but on the developer side we don’t try to differentiate with that decision.


Q: Expanding on that, the franchise sells over a million copies in Japan, and two to three million copies in Europe, and the Japanese version is always a bit different than the European version. Are you going to do anything for our friends in North America, because that game is still huge in that market.


Seabass: Yes, definitely. We’re not not thinking about North America. We know that there are many fans in Mexico as well. We would like to not stop trying to expand minor things like doing languages, voice overs, and text. We have not forgotten about the American market.


Q: We were playing the PSP version and it’s greatly improved and we were wondering if you could talk about the link with the PS2 version and how has that been improved.


Seabass: We can’t really discuss that right now. There are still issues on the R&D end, and we can’t say anything at this moment about the link up with the PS2 and PSP – what is new and what is refined.


Q: One of the things that you promised last year that didn’t make it into the game was being able to bounce back and forth between the PS2 and PSP with your Master League season. Are you shooting for that at least?


Seabass: That’s a very difficult question to answer. It might not be. We were understaffed and we had 360 coming up – oh I’m starting to make excuses now. (laughs)


Q: Going back to rosters, the game is going to ship in Europe in October, and a lot of the fans want to know what is the roster cut off date?


Seabass: We have always tried to make the most to date game as possible. Currently Rigatoni - the Italian - is up for grabs right now. We don’t know how that’s going to be. Even the team is wondering what we should do with Rigatoni. We can’t tell you the cut off date, but we are trying to please the users as much as possible and make the most up-to-date version.


Q: Your fan base in North America, Europe, and Mexico – a lot of us have Japanese PS2s because we have zero patience. Europe gets the game before North America does, and Japan is before that so we import the game, and then get the game again when it comes out in our own country. Next year would mark the year that you will be releasing Winning Eleven 11 in Japan, and I’ve asked you this question before, but I’m curious if you’re planning on releasing some special edition of Winning Eleven 11 for PS2? And what are you planning on calling it because Winning Eleven 11 sounds kind of silly.


(laughs) Speaking of title names, Winning Eleven 11 is actually one of my favorite title names and I’m trying to push within the team, and within the company to call it as is – Winning Eleven 11. It could be fun. It’s not decided.


For the U.S. version we have a gorgeous title Winning Eleven: Pro Evolution Soccer 2007. I like that as well because it sounds very gorgeous. This is an on going battle, but my preference is Winning Eleven 11. It’s my favorite.


Q: So you think that’s what it’ll end up being called?


There are still a lot of people in the company that think we should not use Winning Eleven 11. It’s a tug-of-war right now within the company.


Everyone kind of thought that when we started Winning Eleven – two or three Winning Elevens. We didn’t actually think we’d do 11 Winning Elevens.


Sounds like they're really focusing on tackling the lag problems.

Edited by luckypierre

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signing up to xbox live next week. cant wait!!!


PS3s are going to be shit. FACT!






Thought you wanted us to get you one by signing up to a pyramid scheme thingy?

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