5pb. Visual Novel Could Signal Major Xbox One Push in Japan

Earlier today, 5pb. Executive Director Chiyomaru Shikura tweeted a photo of a piece of artwork (seen right below) from a forthcoming, undisclosed title that is to be presented at Comiket in Tokyo tomorrow (or Today for Japan #timedifference). Shikura stated that the artwork will be extrapolated on at their developer booth during the Comiket expo. He further went on to say that this new game represents a milestone in the history of visuals novels. Developer Division 8 then cryptically tweeted in response to Shikura-san, saying, “easy to understand, no?”

It was that last bit that left many to interpret his tease as the hint at a remake of YU-NO: A Girl Who Chants Love at the Bound of This World–a heralded visual novel released in 1997 for the PC and Sega Saturn. But all conjecture aside, what we do know is that this project is being developed by Division 8/Asada Productions and led by Makoto Asada. The teaser image located on the studio’s website showed Asada’s two other recent works (Psycho-Pass and Mystereet F), and then a third slot with a silhouette of the image discussed above.


It’s unclear right now if this new project will be another Xbox One title, or not. Asada has always favored Microsoft systems, having produced and developed titles such as Deathsmiles and Espgaluda while heading up CAVE. But, with poor Xbox One sales, it’s not terribly implausible for he and his team to have jumped ship, or decided to at the very least release the next project across various platforms. That being said, two things could prevent him from those two scenarios: 1. Microsoft is investing in he, his team, and his works, and thus wants to keep him exclusive to their console, or 2. He loves the Xbox brand and is unfazed by the sales figures.

That latter part could definitely hold water, as Asada has gone on the record saying that Xbox is his console of choice, and that Microsoft have treated he and his teams very well in the past. In fact, without them, many of last generation’s classic shmups would have never seen the light of day, as Microsoft Japan helped make those titles happen, at least from a financial standpoint with regards to development costs.


That being said, if we just analyze the teaser image, we see the Xbox One logo is pretty prominent. There’s no need for that logo to be on the image at all, let alone at the top where your eyes are naturally going to go first. Thus, from a pure aesthetics perspective, it would almost seem like they’re setting it up so that there’s a third matching Xbox One logo in that far right column.

I don’t know, maybe we’re reading too much into it. But considering this news comes on the very same day that Psycho-Pass’ localization was possibly outed by its own website, we wouldn’t be too terribly surprised to see Microsoft really make a push for a stronger presence in Japan. And having another one of Asada’s projects come to their console exclusively would be in line with, what we presume will be, a more aggressive approach to capturing a segment of the Japanese/Otaku audience, especially after all the management shakeups that came in the wake of that dismal launch.