US, January 29, 2010 -

Follow this if you can. Nintendo bought Xenosaga developer Monolith Software a while back. At last year's E3, the studio was said to be developing a Wii RPG titled Monado: Beginning of the World. Today, an official release list from Nintendo provided a strong hint that Monado's name has been changed to Xenoblade.

So, there's a game with the four letters "Xeno" in the title, and it's being developed by the developer of Xenosaga. Is it reasonable to assume that Nintendo is releasing a new entry in the Xenosaga series?

The Xenoblade name appears in a first party release list in a just released Nintendo financial report. The game is listed as set for Japanese release this Spring. Aside from the time frame, the report contains no details on the game.

The reason we have a feeling Xenoblade is a new name for Monado is due to a slipup of sorts on Nintendo's part. In the English version of the financial report, the release list for the Japanese market has a listing for Xenoblade but no Monado. The release list for the US market has a listing for Monado, but no Xenoblade. Jump to the Japanese language version of the report, and the US release list has Xenoblade but no Monado. Looks like someone at Nintendo didn't feel like putting the Monado name in Japanese characters.

We'll leave further speculation to you. With a Spring Japanese release time frame (a US release is still listed as TBA 2010), expect details on Xenoblade to surface shortly.

Other surprises in Nintendo's release list include a mysterious entry for "The Last Story" and a time frame for the Japanese release of Metroid: Other M.

There's some speculation that The Last Story could be the game that was once known as Cosmic Walker. The name Cosmic Walker no longer appears on the release list. The Last Story is listed as TBA 2010.

Metroid Other M, the new take on the Metroid series from Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive developer Team Ninja, is now listed with a Summer 2010 release for Japan. The US release is still listed as just 2010.

Incidentally, the new Wii Zelda is also in the release list, but Nintendo only flagged it with a general TBA time frame.

In all, a confusing release list. Let's hope Nintendo shares some clarification soon.

If you'd like to see the mess for yourself, visit Nintendo's IR page and click on the PDF titled "Supplementary Information about Earnings Release" under Jan. 29.