Rising Star Games - a joint venture between Japanese publisher Marvelous Interactive and Bergsala AB - has been set up to help reduce the period between Japanese and Western release dates. They even claim that there will be occasions where the European release is ahead of the Japanese street date, if this is true many gamers will feel a lot happier.

"Japan is the most vibrant and creative territory for videogames with global appeal," said Mr. Owe Bergsten, CEO, Rising Star Games. "Rising Star will identify the best Japanese titles which are most suitable for European gamers and work closely with our development teams to ensure that they can be published, fully localised, of course, on or ahead of their native release."

Mr. Shigeki Takeuchi, Managing Director, Rising Star Games, added: "Rising Star is a radical new concept for the global interactive entertainment industry - reducing the delay European consumers would ordinarily expect. By removing the gap between Eastern and Western releases, we're giving the European games industry a legitimate domestic business, and European gamers the titles they crave."

The company will initially publish titles for the PSP, Nintendo DS and PlayStation 2, introducing new games alongside enhanced versions of existing games. The first 3 titles released will be Bubble Bobble Revolution and Space Invaders Revolution, both of which are enhanced versions of the classics for the Nintendo DS as well as an original PlayStation 2 hack and slash adventure called Sword of Destiny.

Not content with this they also promise the first ever appearance of a Harvest Moon title on PlayStation 2, along with new iterations on Nintendo DS and Nintendo Game Cube. European gamers will be treated to four new versions of Harvest Moon. Harvest Moon: Oh Wonderful Life will be available on the GameCube and PlayStation 2 in September and October 2005 respectively. Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town will be available on the GameBoy Advance in June 2004, with an all-new Harvest Moon game for the Nintendo DS in November 2005, which is current called Harvest Moon DS. Each of these versions will offer a slightly different twist on the Harvest Moon theme.