Following the surprise announcement from earlier this week of Ace Combat's defection from PlayStation exclusivity and on to the Xbox 360, Bandai Namco has opened up the official Japanese website for the title. Access it here, or read on below for all the details.
While our earlier report on the game included preliminary details on the type of online play Bandai Namco is working into the title, the website has managed to clear up one burning question: player count. The game is being developed with a target of up to 16 player simultaneous play, according to the site. The online ranking mode should also add to the game, as Bandai Namco is planning on rewarding players with badges based on performance. The top pilots in the world can look forward to exclusive badges to show off just how good they are.
The screenshots distributed today by Bandai Namco (see the media section below) provide a tantalizing look at next generation Ace Combat, with realistic planes, awesome cloud effects and even lots of detail way below on the ground. Based on the shots, the game seems to use real time cinematic scenes this time around rather than pre-rendered scenes that filled you in on the story between missions in previous titles.
Ace Combat 6 is scheduled for release some time in 2007, which could mean that it's still a ways off. But Bandai Namco is already promoting the title with marketplace downloads. Now available on the marketplace are gamer icons (80 points), and themes (100 to 150 points) for the game. The website has a section for "trailer," so hopefully we'll get some video footage in the near future as well.