Birth by Sleep scheduled for delivery in September

by: Chad -
Those planning on returning to the Kingdom Hearts universe will be able to do so when Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep is released on September 7.  Coming exclusively to the PSP, players will "explore iconic Disney worlds" long before Sora got his dirty hands on the Keyblade.  That's right, it's a prequel to the action-RPG series you know and love.

There will even be a limited edition PSP bundle later this year.  I'll cry myself to sleep tonight waiting on a full-fledged PS3 sequel, but everyone else can read more about Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep in the press release.

RETURN TO THE MAGICAL REALM OF KINGDOM HEARTS ON SEPTEMBER 7, 2010
Square Enix Unveils KINGDOM HEARTS Birth by Sleep Launch Date and
New Limited Edition PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) Entertainment Pack

LOS ANGELES (May 17, 2010) – Square Enix, Inc., the publisher of SQUARE ENIX® interactive entertainment products in North America, announced today that KINGDOM HEARTS Birth by Sleep will be available at North American retailers on September 7, 2010. KINGDOM HEARTS Birth by Sleep brings to life unexplored worlds from everyone’s favorite Disney stories, and will be appearing exclusively on the PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system.

A prequel to the mega-hit series, this pivotal installment takes players back to the beginnings of the KINGDOM HEARTS saga, long before Sora was chosen by his Keyblade. Players will explore iconic Disney worlds in a unique gaming experience that unfolds through the perspectives of three different main characters: Terra, Ventus and Aqua. Their journeys will take them through Sleeping Beauty’s Enchanted Dominion, the Dwarf Woodlands from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Deep Space from Lilo & Stitch. Additionally, KINGDOM HEARTS Birth by Sleep includes four all-new multiplayer modes that allow players to enjoy the action with their friends.

KINGDOM HEARTS Birth by Sleep is being brought to life through voice talents including Mark Hamill, Willa Holland, Jesse McCartney, Leonard Nimoy and James Woods. With an enhanced and action-packed battle system accompanied by stellar performances from pop-culture icons, KINGDOM HEARTS Birth by Sleep continues to push the franchise forward.

In celebration of the game’s launch, Square Enix and Sony Computer Entertainment America, LLC are introducing a limited edition KINGDOM HEARTS Birth by Sleep PSP Entertainment Pack, which brings together the stunning visuals of KINGDOM HEARTS Birth by Sleep and the robust portable gaming experience only possible on the PSP system. Available in North America, this GameStop exclusive bundle will include a “Mystic Silver” PSP-3000 system, KINGDOM HEARTS Birth by Sleep on UMD® (Universal Media Disc), a movie (title to be announced; movie content will not be related to KINGDOM HEARTS series.) as well as a 4GB Memory Stick PRO Duo™.

“The entire development team is extremely happy to announce the North American release date for KINGDOM HEARTS Birth by Sleep,” said Tetsuya Nomura, director of the KINGDOM HEARTS series. “We hate to keep fans waiting, but we’ve added some brand-new features for the North American version, so even those who have been following the Japanese version are sure to find a few surprises. In addition, we’ve put together an outstanding voice cast. We can’t wait for everyone to experience this game!”

With more than 14 million copies shipped worldwide, KINGDOM HEARTS is one of the most beloved video game series. Discover the origins of its captivating story on September 7, with KINGDOM HEARTS Birth by Sleep.

Story
Long before Sora was chosen by his Keyblade, the worlds’ safety lay in the hands of true Keyblade Masters.

Three youths — Terra, Ventus, and Aqua — have been training long and hard under Master Eraqus to prove that they, too, exhibit the Mark of Mastery.

But they will soon find themselves in the middle of a crisis affecting worlds far beyond their own — just as another Keyblade Master, Xehanort, goes mysteriously missing.

Three friends, three destinies. Everything will link back to the beginning.

Features
· An essential piece to the KINGDOM HEARTS series arrives on the PSP system: From world-renowned creator and character designer Tetsuya Nomura comes the latest installment in the beloved KINGDOM HEARTS series. The vibrant and colorful KINGDOM HEARTS world comes to life in 16:9 widescreen presentation, through stunning graphics made possible by the PSP system hardware.

· Disney worlds and characters new to the KINGDOM HEARTS series: Disney worlds and characters never before seen in KINGDOM HEARTS, such as Enchanted Dominion (Sleeping Beauty) and Castle of Dreams (Cinderella) will make their first appearances in KINGDOM HEARTS Birth by Sleep.

· Three distinct gaming experiences through the eyes of three protagonists: Unravel the mystery surrounding the origin of the KINGDOM HEARTS saga through the tales of three unique characters—Terra, Ventus and Aqua. The whole story is revealed only after playing through with all three characters.

· An action-packed combat system with intuitive controls: The familiar action-packed experience that KINGDOM HEARTS fans have come to embrace returns with an enhanced battle system and all-new features such as Command Styles, Command Decks, Shotlocks and Dimension Links. KINGDOM HEARTS Birth by Sleep is the most advanced KINGDOM HEARTS title to date.

· Four exciting multiplayer modes: Experience the excitement and fun with your friends with four brand-new multiplayer modes: Versus Mode, Arena Mode, Command Board and Rumble Racing.

· New game features: The North American release will include a number of new features including an extra boss, additional multiplayer options, and Crown Stickers: a reward system where players earn prizes by collecting and placing stickers into an album.

· An outstanding voice cast: KINGDOM HEARTS fans will surely be in for one unforgettable experience, thanks to an impressive voice cast featuring the talents of Mark Hamill, Willa Holland, Jesse McCartney, Leonard Nimoy and James Woods, among others.

KINGDOM HEARTS Birth by Sleep is rated E10+ (Everyone 10 and older). Please visit the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) website at www.esrb.org for more information about ratings. KINGDOM HEARTS Birth by Sleep will be available for the PSP system at North American retailers nationwide for the suggested retail price of $39.99.

The official website can be found at http://na.square-enix.com/khbbs.

About Square Enix Co., Ltd. and Square Enix, Inc.
Square Enix Co., Ltd. (Square Enix), with headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, develops, publishes and distributes entertainment content including interactive entertainment software and publications in North America, Europe and Asia. Square Enix brings two of Japan's best-selling franchises — FINAL FANTASY®, which has sold over 96 million units worldwide, and DRAGON QUEST®, which has sold over 53 million units worldwide — under one roof. Square Enix is one of the most influential providers of digital entertainment content in the world and continues to push the boundaries of creativity and innovation. Square Enix, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd. with offices in Los Angeles, California. It handles operations in North America, including development, localization, marketing and publishing of Square Enix, Eidos and Taito titles. More information on Square Enix can be found on the Internet at http://www.square-enix.com.

About Disney Interactive Studios
Disney Interactive Studios, part of Disney Interactive Media Group, is the interactive entertainment affiliate of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS). Disney Interactive Studios self publishes and distributes a broad portfolio of multi-platform video games, mobile games and interactive entertainment worldwide. The company also licenses properties and works directly with other interactive game publishers to bring products for all ages to market. Disney Interactive Studios is based in Glendale, California, and has internal development studios around the world. For more information, log on to http://www.disneyinteractivestudios.com.
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