Genki, the Japanese company best-known for its Tokyo Extreme Racer franchise, has confirmed today that it's working on an installment of the series for Sony's PSP handheld. The new game is tentatively titled "Shutoko Battle Pocket" and will ship in Japan on April 21st. No word yet on a North American or European release, but representatives at Genki have told us that they are talking to a number of companies about an eventual release in both markets.
Like previous installments in the series, this new Shutoko Battle is an "illegal" street racing game set on the actual highways and streets of Tokyo Japan. A large cross-section of the region will make up the game's single free-roaming world, allowing players to switch highways and visit new areas in real-time simply by taking the appropriate interchange or off-ramp. Landmarks such as Tokyo Tower, Akihibara, Odaiba (giant ferris wheel), and the Rainbow Bridge will be readily identifiable.
This new game will include the traditional one-on-one battle mode, where players flash their blinkers at another car in order to challenge it to a race, as well as two team battle modes. The first team mode involves two rival teams of five cars each. Teammates can share drafts and block for one another, with the winning team being decided by the combined finish of all team members. The second team mode is a rank battle, where players try to obtain the highest rank on their team by beating rival cars.
No official word has yet been dropped about multiplayer WiFi capabilities, but our contact at Genki tells us that they're likely going to include (at the least) a two-player "proximity" link mode, which will allow two PSP's in the same vicinity to link-up against each other.
We'll have more on Shutoko Battle Pocket (aka Tokyo Extreme Racer Pocket) as its Japanese release nears.