One of the joys of following video game play and development trends around the world is following what platforms people regionally use in particular to play games on. The Xbox 360, for example, is dominant here at home in the United States, but it’s regularly out sold by the PlayStation 3 in Japan and many European countries, not to mention India. There have always been regional differences too. The Sega Master System was an after thought in the US, but it was a force to be reckoned with in the United Kingdom and Germany. Same for the Commodore 64. Japanese gamers enjoyed a train of exclusive consoles and gaming computers back then, from the Sharp X68000 (home to an utterly unique version of Castlevania) and the MSX (birth place of the Metal Gear series.) Part of the reason Jetsetter, Digital Trends’ weekly import and international gaming column, even exists is just how fascinating computer diversity around the world has been in the past.
Today, the machine market is a bit more homogenized. It’s rare to run into wholly regional machines like the MSX anymore. They do exist – like China’s hilarious failure, the Eedoo – but they’re an endangered species. Still, it’s interesting to track how machines perform outside their homelands. Just look at Sony’s intrepid portable device.
PS Vita gets a huge price drop in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong, that glorious den of hotly contested political dominion and bizarre bootleg NES games, is a gem in the video game world. When an import-only game like Sony’s old safari sim Afrika is out of reach, you can always rely on Hong Kong to get an English edition of the game. Right now Hong Kong’s gamers are enjoying the Hong Kong Computer and Communications Festival, a local version of our CES. Sony fans are getting a treat at the show: a wild price reduction for the PS Vita. As noted by NeoGAF user $h@d0w, Sony is selling PS Vita bundles with Modnation Racers and an accessory set for $165. USD. That’s far below the Japan-only PS Vita price drop Sony delivered earlier this year (around $214.) It’s unclear based on promotional images whether this is a limited offer or now. Regardless, Sony is getting serious about pushing the PS Vita throughout Asia.
Atlus rolls out Persona 4 Arena sequel in Japan.
Atlus just keeps trucking. The threat of closure, new ownership, and a busy release schedule doesn’t keep the Shin Megami Tensei company down. Next up is a sequel to the 2012 fighter, Persona 4 Arena. Famitsu magazine spoke with the developers and shed some light on what’s new in the game. There are new characters naturally, including popular Persona 3 cast members Yukari and Junpei. The most significant change from the first game, though, is that there are now alternate versions of every character. As in the role-playing games the fighter’s based on, these are Shadow characters, sinister reflections of the person they’re based on. These fighters can go into a sort of rage mode that boosts strength. Right now, the game is only playable in Osaka and Akihabara in Japan as the developers are testing it for balance issues.
New Dehli studio Tiny Mogul Games preps Shiva
Tiny Mogul Games, a subsidiary of India’s Bharti SoftBank, is just getting started. So far the studio’s only release is a music trivia game called SongQuest for Android. Those without a keen knowledge of Indian pop music will be a little lost while playing it. The studio’s next game, Shiva, is a little more culturally accessible. An endless runner in the vein of Cannabalt, Shiva‘s twist is that you can rewind time rather than get booted back to a checkpoint. As in Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, your ability to rewind is limited. The game will be out soon and you can read more about on the studio’s Facebook page. It looks cool, as the teaser above demonstrates handily.