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Ni no Kuni Press Conference Live Blog

Level-5 lays out its plans for the eagerly anticipated Studio Ghibli tie-up. Read here for a live blog of the proceedings.

Main character Oliver opens up his book of magic early in Ni no Kuni.

It's been one year and nine months since Level-5 first announced its big Studio Ghibli tie-up project, Ni no Kuni: The Another World. But the game remains without a final release date. And, in fact, it recently slipped from a Spring time frame to Fall.

Production does seem to have reached a landmark, though, as Level-5 has gathered the press in Tokyo for a press conference that will detail its plans for the franchise.

That's right, "franchise." There's more to Ni no Kuni than just a DS title. Word leaked out earlier in the week of a PS3 version of the game. Will Ni no Kuni follow in the footsteps of other Level-5 properties like Professor Layton and Inazuma Eleven and see cross media developments as well?

We'll be live blogging straight from today's press conference, so keep this story open in your browser for answers to all your Ni no Kuni questions.

The press conference opens its doors at 13:00. CEO Akihiro Hino will take the stage for the formal introductions at 14:00. After the briefing, attendees will have a chance to sample Ni no Kuni in the game's first playable showcase since last year's Tokyo Game Show.

Check back closer to the 13:00 opening for as-it-happens coverage.

And while you wait, read all our current Ni no Kuni coverage.

[end_preview /]

[live_blog_ended /]

14:58 -- Closing off the live blog! Check the main site for screens in a few minutes.

14:57 -- (Got one last message from Alex before he headed off to play the demo: "Just saw Suda 51.")

14:56 -- More pics from the PS3 version!

14:52 -- (Alex is going to play the DS version. Please stick around for a few secs for some PS3 battle screens)

14:51 -- Presentation is over. Demo corner time!

14:51 -- (back on the PS3 version, here's the logo)

14:50 -- There will be downloadable Ninokuni backstory episodes on Japanese cellphones.

14:50 -- Realtime PS3 shots:

14:49 -- Level 5 will try to make the two versions different games in the same world so players can enjoy both.

14:48 -- It will get its own version of the Magic Master book.

14:48 -- 2011 release date for the PS3 version.

14:47 -- Are these different games?

14:47 -- The PS3 version seems to have a different subtitle.

14:46 -- I cannot believe this is gameplay! Wow. Excellent artwork!

14:46 -- Battles look breathtaking!

14:46 -- Gameplay style is the same as DS, but now the visuals are HD quality.

14:44 -- Realtime and animation look the same!

14:44 -- They're gonna show a trailer!

14:43 -- Now they're gonna announce something else. PS3 version!

14:43 -- They're talking about how the demo was really improved over the TGS 2009 version.

14:42 -- Mouse or rabbit? Decide for yourself!

14:40 -- Demo over.

14:40 -- The graphics during battle are nicely detailed. The waterfall flows in the background.

14:39 -- ... Mouse?

14:39 -- Or rabbit.

14:39 -- The first boss is at the end of the demo. A giant purple mouse.

14:38 -- Demo is coming to an end soon.

14:37 -- Another pic from the live demonstration:

14:37 -- More exploration. I think this game would probably benefit from an analog stick as the movement seems a bit stiff.

14:36 -- Battle won!

14:35 -- Fish!

14:35 -- Err, or was it the bird.

14:35 -- The fish enemy was weak against fireballs, according to the Magic Master. And it worked!

14:33 -- You can use the Magic Master to find out an enemy's weakness.

14:33 -- The protagonists are now exploring an underground sewer and engaging in battle.

14:31 -- (continuing with the demo): The Magic Book shows how to write a spell on the touch screen. There are certain patterns that can be used to open doors.

14:30 -- Live on-stage demo:

14:29 -- You can name your Imagine monster after you recruit it.

14:28 -- The worlds are large and rich during gameplay. Lots of NPCs and buildings.

14:28 -- (continuing with the demo): The Magic Master shows the world map so you can know where you are, as well as basic information on a locale (its inhabitants, etc.)

14:27 -- Here are some pics from earlier in the presentation. The new logo and subtitle are included here:

14:25 -- Mission and map are on the top screen. Action is on the bottom.

14:24 -- A guy and girl are now demoing the game on stage.

14:23 -- Picture of the new logo coming in a sec.

14:23 -- By the way, the game seems to have a new subtitle instead of The Another World.

14:23 -- Now they will have a public demo.

14:22 -- The demo for today can be played while using the Magic Master book.

14:21 -- Under the Imagine system, you encounter monsters and then recruit them. Afterwards, you can raise them.

14:21 -- Now Hino is talking about the Imagine system.

14:20 -- Release date: December 9, 2010! Priced ¥6,800.

14:19 -- It's a good mix of animation and gameplay.

They'll hopefully share it with the public later!

14:15 -- Trailer time!

14:15 -- Hino is no showing off the magic book that's included with Ninokuni. It's 352 pages!

14:13 -- Here's a pic of Hino at the podium:

14:12 -- Inazuma 3's shipment is going to start at 920,000. The game is set for release on July 1.

14:11 -- Inazuma series has sold 1,600,000 units.

14:11 -- He's talking about Layton and its sales. 9,390,000 sold so far.

14:09 -- Hino (CEO Akihiro Hino) has appeared on stage.

14:07 -- It's started!

14:04 -- They're running a bit late it seems.

13:58 -- The conference is only going to be 30 minutes long. At 14:40, we can start trying the demo.

13:55 -- (This is according to the guy who's on stage spoiling all the announcements.)

13:54 -- There will be an onstage demo of Ninokuni during the conference. They're also going to reveal the subtitle, and show the newest trailer.

13:53 -- Some dude is on stage detailing the conference's content and testing lighting.

13:32 -- In other Fukuoka developer news, check out this report about CyberConnect2's new Tokyo office. CC2 does .hack and Naruto and is, like Level-5, based out of Fukuoka.

13:27 -- We're in the front row!

Here are a couple of pics to hold you over until Hino takes the stage.

13:13 -- (We've been let in, by the way.)

13:13 -- They have a few DS kiosks set up, presumably for sampling the game after the press conference.

13:05 -- Of course, the actual press conference doesn't begin until 14:00, so don't expect much to happen until then.

13:04 -- The press is gathering outside of Ebisu Garden Place. We'll be let in very soon, according to Level-5 reps.

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