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Sega bringing Puyo Puyo Tetris to Xbox One, but only in Japan

Puyo Puyo Tetris

When Microsoft launched the Xbox One in November of last year, the company didn't have the supply to meet worldwide demand. So while the console debuted in the US, UK, and several more countries initially, several other markets have had to wait for the system. One country without the Xbox One is Japan, a very tough market for Microsoft to crack.

The Xbox One will finally launch in Japan this September. Once that happens, we'll start to see some Japan-exclusive games for the system. Several of those will be text-heavy visual novels (a form of adventure game) that only fluent Japanese speakers can enjoy. But a much more import-friendly game was announced this week: Puyo Puyo Tetris from Sega! If Ubisoft's Tetris Ultimate looks too dry for you, prepare for a splash of color and whimsy when Puyo Puyo Tetris graces the Japanese Xbox One in December.

Puyo meets Tetris

Puyo Puyo Tetris is a cross-over between Sega's Puyo Puyo series and Tetris. Puyo Puyo, also known as Puyo Pop, is a falling-block puzzle game in which players match groups of colored blobs called Puyos. The Puyo Puyo series originated in 1991, where it gained a loyal following in Japan.

Only a few Puyo Puyo games have been released in the west, sometimes with the original characters changed to capitalize on existing brands – namely Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine for Sega Genesis and Kirby's Avalanche for Super Nintendo. A few legitimate Puyo games made it to America too, most recently Puyo Pop Fever for Gamecube and Nintendo DS.

But how do you mix a game about forming chain reactions of blobs with the original falling block game Tetris? Puyo Puyo Tetris combines the two series in a variety of different ways. For one, you can play normal Tetris or normal Puyo Puyo without breaking away from those games' rules.

But that's not all! Another game mode has players switch between the two games at set intervals, sort of like Hot Potato. There is even a mode in which Tetris and Puyo pieces fall onto the same playing field. In that mode, the Tetris pieces can squish the Puyo blobs.

Puyo Puyo Tetris

Being aimed at the Japanese market, Puyo Puyo Tetris features an extensive story mode in which humanoid Tetris blocks (?!?!) travel to the Puyo Puyo planet and meet the characters who live there. It's wacky and told through Japanese text, but not something you will have to understand to enjoy the game.

More excitingly, Puyo Puyo Tetris will feature local and online multiplayer modes for up to four players. Besides the game types described earlier, you'll have the option of playing Puyo Puyo against opponents as they play Tetris, and vice versa. All of the mixing, matching, and mashing-up should make for a much more fun and varied multiplayer experience than Tetris traditionally offers.

Puyo Puyo Tetris launched on Playstation 3, Vita, Wii U, and 3DS in Japan earlier this year. The Xbox One version will come with all of the DLC released for those versions built-in. Xbox One games are region free, so puzzle fans outside of Japan will have the option to import Puyo Puyo Tetris. If you're interested, you can preorder the game from online retailer Play Asia for $53.99.

Chaos;Child

More regional exclusives to come

Will Xbox One games made for specific markets like Puyo Puyo Tetris become a trend? Yes, to an extent. As I mentioned earlier, the visual novel genre is big in Japan but would never fly at retail in the US. The Xbox One itself is not likely to catch on with Japanese gamers. But niche-focused developers will likely publish an array of cheap-to-develop visual novels for the Xbox One, as they did for the Xbox 360. The first of those will be Chaos;Child from 5pb, best known in the west as the developer of Phantom Breaker Battlegrounds for XBLA.

Perfect World

Meanwhile, China can look forward to its own lineup of exclusive games when the Xbox One launches there later this year. One of those, Neverwinter (pictured above), will actually receive a worldwide release in 2015. But the truly China-centric games (think boring historical epics) will likely stay within that country.

I can see the same happening with the Indian market – Bollywood-style games don't have much of an audience outside of their native land. But again, thanks to Microsoft's wise decision not to restrict Xbox One software to specific regions, anyone in the US, Europe, and beyond who wants to play a specific country's games can always choose to import those titles.

via: TrueAchievements

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Reader comments

Sega bringing Puyo Puyo Tetris to Xbox One, but only in Japan

65 Comments

What's the point of developing a game and only selling in one country. Seems like they'd miss out on lots of sales.

Indeed, and I cannot imagine the localization costs would be that much, especially if you made it a digital only title. This isn't a 100-hour RPG with tons of text to be translated.

That said, what happens if you switch your region to Japan, download the game, then switch back to USA. I know this is agains the rules, per se, but will the game still be playable? Or is it only playable if the region is set to Japan? As for region switching in general, what happens for someone who moves back and forth between countries a lot? For instance, a U.S. military man or woman may spend a good chunk of the year in Japan and a good chunk in the U.S. Is it okay for them to keep switching their regions back and forth?

Although there are restrictions on switching regions for Xbox 360 use, there is no such restriction for the Xbox One marketplace. People do it all the time (especially UK players since their downloadable retail titles are severely overpriced).

You can follow this guide:

NeoGAF

Interesting. Thanks.

I imported Puyo Puyo Fever on Dreamcast back in the day. Imported quite a few stuff back then from both Japan and Europe, like Rez, Ikaruga, and Headhunter. I had soldered the motherboard of my Dreamcast to bypass the region lockout. Ruined my first DC and had to use my backup. Second time was a charm. Now all these young'ens are beating the system digtally with phony mailing addresses and whatnot. Times, they are a changing.

Hey, what a coincidence. I imported Puyo Puyo 4 for Dreamcast. Ikaruga I have for the Japanese GameCube. I then bought it on XBLA even though I don't really like it - guess I forgot that, or my tastes changed.

Shame about your system getting ruined. I had both a Japanese Dreamcast and a US one. Later had a friend mod them both for me. Nowadays, I can do it myself - my unloved Wii is modded so I can play the retail Bomberman it got, and their unique version of Tatsunoko vs. Capcom.

but if the game is only available digitally, region-free doesn't help.  the US marketplace won't show the game like the Japanese marketplace does.

maybe changing the location of the Xbox might work.  but that messed up a lot of Xbox LIve accounts (changing regions and not being able to change back; that's how my friend got stuck wtih an African Xbox Live account).

This is a retail game. It's actually up in the air whether there will be a digital release (we don't know since the Japanese Xbox One market hasn't started up yet).

But downloading games from other regions is possible and allowed on Xbox One. See my reply to another user for a link that explains the process.

Because it's the only foreign console out of the big three. They'd much rather go for a PS4 or Wii U.

Not racism really just very "made in Japan first, always and only". They will support a Japanese company first and to the exclusion of others especially in the area of electronics.

I have to say that is true. I guess it's pride in Japanese technology or just lack of trust for foreign products? But then again they love Apple.

Apple is different because it's a status symbol. It is an expensive name brand and therefore in a separate bracket to the Japanese.

Meh. I never really understood the status symbol thing with Apple. All I see with iPhones is an overpriced piece of hardware. I wonder if there are still Windows phones in Japan? I've been living in the US all my life but I want to go to Japan for grad school. I may end up temporarily leaving WP for Android.

Yeah, I find iPhones overpriced too, but what can you do? They will continue to be a symbol as long as people are willing to pay premiums for old tech and the app store.

How Apple fanboys justify the price: "we don't care about specs" (which doesn't make sense because price is based on hardware), "it has more apps than WP or doesn't 'lag' like Android" (again, nothing to do with price), or "you just can't afford it."

Overpriced compared to what? I see prices aligned pretty well with other devices... $99-$199 and full retail between 450-850 depending on capacity and model.
EDIT: Nevermind... At full retail there is a clear difference in pricing. They WAY overcharge for more capacity.

Overpriced in terms of keeping the hardware feature set the same for long stretches of time and calling newer features that WP and Android have, like NFC, useless until adding it in years later. Off contract, they are still more expensive than the competition.

Compared to everything. Right now, the iPhone 5s full retail is the most expensive phone on T Mobile. More expensive than the Galaxy S5, Note 3, LG G3, HTC One M8, etc because Apple doesn't do price drops. Besides, a phone with <720p display, 1GB RAM, 16GB storage with no expandable memory in 2014 for $650? Seriously? Only Apple can pull that off, which I have to admit is pretty impressive. Also, the 32GB and 64GB models cost an extra $100 and $200, respectively. The actual cost of those 32GB and 64GB chips are estimated to be an extra $10 and $20, respectively. Sure, you can argue that high end Android phones are overpriced, especially when compared to similar-spec'ed phones such as the One Plus One, but at least the specs are still top-of-the-line.

Ignore subsidies, they don't count (and carriers hate paying the iPhone subsidies most of all, by the way...). And yes, smartphones can indeed get pretty expensive, and I agree Apple makes some mighty fine quality hardware and software. Nonetheless, I do still feel the Apple logo inflates the price a lot more than it really should. But it all depends on the person, their budget, and what they want from their smart device.

You do you, I say.

Everything has to do with price. You're paying for an overall experience.

I have a WP but let's not kid ourselves here. These are honest advantages iOS has and to some they are worth the price:
The best app store by a mile
Apps that work on tablet and phone (WP is getting there, may overtake it in future)
A proper Apple TV to stream your phone to
A fully fleshed easy to use iTunes store
A fantastic backup system
Warranty that gets your phone swapped out on the spot when something's wrong.
Great integration with macs, unfortunately WP besides a few universal apps has almost no communication with Windows.
You know if you buy the latest phone you get guaranteed support for two years or more
Carrier free update process.

I love WP but Microsoft would do well to learn from Apple's strengths.

I agree that iOS, just like any other platform, has its strengths and weaknesses. However, I am still not sold on how "everything has to do with price." The only difference between the Lumia 930 and Lumia 530 is hardware. You get the same Windows Phone 8.1 experience, apps, and support. You just pay more for specs. Microsoft adding in comparable features to iOS that you mentioned will not affect the price in any way. Similarly, the number of apps is mostly determined by the number of users rather than hardware, software, or price. Same goes for Android, although not as consistent in terms of which versions of Android the phones get. The good thing about Android phones is that they can easily be rooted, unless dumb carriers like T-Mobile go out of their way to block rooting on devices such as the Xperia Z1s.

Apple definitely has the best system for updates (which is unsuprising, since they only have a few devices, which are their own, to worry about), but I think Microsoft does a good job with developer preview. Android doesn't do so well, so it's more or less up to the users to figure out ways around it.

I have a PhD in sociology. Not only do I know what racism means, but I've published original research on it, including racism in Japan. Japanese consumers are some of the most jingoistic in the world. Many of them will gladly pay twice as much for an inferior product simply because it is made by a Japanese company.

I concur with coip.

 

Japan's culture has an extreme dislike for anything foreign.  They're just very polite about it.  Japan's xenophobic tendencies is one of the primary factors holding Japan back in many different areas.

I guess you're right, since one could consider it prejudice against foreign nations. But the question is rather it's actual prejudice towards other nations, our loyalty to their own.

I always enjoyed Puyo Puyo games, as long as they get the pricing right and don't charge too much for a 20 year old game.....eh?.......$53.99!!!
I'll give it a miss this time thanks.

It's not 20 years old. It's a brand new and creative sequel/mash-up. Your complaint is like calling the latest Mario game a 20-year old game even though it's a sequel.

But yes, Japanese gamers don't mind paying full retail price (technically full retail would be about $80 for most Japanese retail releases) for genres like shoot-em-ups and puzzle games that people in other regions think of as low-value titles.

Not quite, Mario has evolved through the years alot more than Puyo Puyo and Tetris ever have. This is like mashing original Super Mario bros and Manic Miner.
But, each to his own. If you're the type of person who like buying the same game on multiple systems through the years then the future seems bright for you my friend.

It's an important genre, but even if the Xbox One launched with five JRPGs I don't know that the console would sell enough to compete with Playstation 4. Japanese gamers are generally really resistant to the Xbox brand and non-Japanese consoles and software.

I'm sure if they made an Xbox-tan to go along with Inori, Yu, Ai. Claudia, and the other OS-tan's, those sales could get a boost, especially with special themed hardware and software.

(Don't know what I'm speaking of? Search "Inori Aizawa", "Yu Ai Madobe", or "OS-tans" to know more)

Oh yeah, I'm familiar with those. Mascots like that are a good idea, for sure. Better than San Roku Maru (even though I thought he was funny). Microsoft would just have to spend relentlessly and hire truly top-tier Japanese talent at multiple levels, burning money for at least 2-3 years, in order to turn around perception of the Xbox brand. And they have never been willing to do it.


San Roku Maru

I guess they feel it might not be worth the cost or stress, after all it's still 'only' one nation - although a major gaming society, there's still the 'rest of the world'. The overall success of the Xbox will not be made or broken with Japan. It's nice to have to be sure, but it may be much more profitable to invest such efforts to span wider regions and nations that are much more receptive, or direct it towards nurturing growth in already successful regions.

If they could get lucky enough to be able to pull another "Inori Aizawa", it could just work. However, that would rely on a non affiliated group to create an XBOX-tan good enough for Microsoft to officialize.

this is what i hate about developers in japan on xbox... see if we got Stain;Gate or Chaos;Child on Xbox One i here in the states it would be a day one perchase for me, but i will not go trough the trouble of having to import a game with stupid over charges of shipping... i already put up with that stuff when i order hard to get parts from europe for my cars and i hate the waiting 

My guess is that the developer probably doesn't feel like it will be financially feasible to publish their particular game in another market. Sucks, but we just gotta deal with it. I've been waiting for quite a few Japan-only games to make it over here, but they're either (1) going to be released at a much later date, or (2) not going to be released at all in North America.

If it makes you feel a bit better, Canadians usually get hit by customs/duties for imported goods...and it's usually determined by a percentage of whatever value Canadian customs declares the goods to be (yes, they can overcharge if they really want to) =/

Even at $15, I get the feeling that Chaos;Child would sell less than ten thousand copies here. The best way to play visual novels in English is on PC - they get translated and released as niche products and seem to do well enough to keep their US distributors afloat. Also, less or no censorship (which often aflicts visual novels on Japanese consoles).

It makes me happy not to be a strong Nintendo supporter... Their censorship of games in the 16-bit days was so frustrating. And they still do it now, such as altering character designs when publishing a JRPG over here, etc.

It's also a shame that Japanese console games used to be more violent and risque than western games. Yet now our stuff often gets censored over there, and censorship of their games has all but died off over here (other than good ol' Nintendo).