The site for the upcoming PSP visual novel game, "Suzumiya Haruhi no Yakusoku (The Promise of Haruhi Suzumiya)" was re-done last month and since then, there's been a fair amount of content added to site. In case you don't know what the game's about, you'll be playing as Kyon and you'll be going through the same story as the show. You'll be able to interact with the full cast of Haruhi characters who are fully voiced, play mini games and enjoy the event illustrations.
Perhaps the most notable update is a Flash demo of the "Motion Portrait" technology that will be used during conversations to make character interaction more natural. No more "Tachie (立ち絵)" where you only see slideshows of characters changing poses during dialogues.
All the cast from the Anime show will be moving and changing expressions in natural real time as you speak to them. By combining this technology with the conversations in the game, Bandai dubs it the "SOS (Seamless Operation System)". I'm very interested to see how it works out when it comes out on December 20th.
You can view a demo of Motion Portrait in action by going to the SOS section of the site. Watch as Haruhi follows your cursor around and when you stop moving it, she'll look about as a real person would. Obviously there will be more expressions in the game. Other similar demos with different characters can be found on the Motion Portrait company's website.
"Motion Portrait" is basically software that can generate an interactive, animated 3D model instantly just by using a single 2D picture as a source. Pretty impressive no? I guess the company's not going to invest in other projects since they have the same name as the technology they invented.
And for Haruhi fans, there's the Premium Box which contains the following goodies:
- Pouch with Kita High's uniform as a motif.
- Soft case with SOS Dan logo.
- A stand for Yuuhi's clock timer in the game.
- Screen cleaner featuring Mikuru.
- Poster sticker set.
- Visual artbook.
There's actually a PS2 visual novel / RPG coming out too "Suzumiya Haruhi no Tomadoi (The Bewilderment)" but, it's from Bandai so it probably won't have this Motion Portrait system. What it does feature is an original story where the SOS gang is trying to create a video game and you're the one who needs to sort out the tasks!
Once again, there will be a pre-order goody. A "Dance SOS Brigade" CD containing the game's concept art, the trailers and the TV Anime "HareHare Yukai" dance but with the gang in their RPG clothing from this game. There's already enough parodies of the dance on Youtube but I'm sure another officially animated version will be very welcome by the fans (and ripped off the disc quickly).
An LE box set version will also be available containing an action figure of "Super Heroine Haruhi" from the well-known figure company Max Factory. It comes with a stand and 4 sets of arms for changing poses.
Loyal Haruhi fans will have a crying wallet after this, especially with another season of the show coming up. I still haven't come round to watching Haruhi yet but I like to keep track of what the Haruhism fans are getting ^^;