New information has been disclosed on Xenosaga through the development team. The game's full title has been revealed to be Xenosaga Episode 1: The Will for Power.
According to director Tetsuya Takahashi, since many things in Xenogears "did not turn out to be what they were originally conceived", Xenosaga will "reset" the series. It's "neither a remake nor a sequel, it's more like redoing the original plan." "Xenogears started in a fantasy world, but this time our number one objective is to picture a large "epic poem" in a SF world, set in space from the beginning to the end."
Some new information about the battles and system have also been revealed. The field view is in full 3D. Character designer Kunihiko Tanaka's art has been made into 3D models, and although the camera uses various angles, the player will apparently not be able to rotate the camera angle freely, as in Xenogears.
The battles are not random as Xenogears' were, they are rather triggered by the contact of monsters encountered on the field (a la Lunar). When enemies catch sight of the party, they will start chasing it. It's also been mentioned that you "can ride your robot only once during battles", although no further information on the use of mechas has emerged.
Additonnally, the first bit of character info is now known: the main character is Shion Uzuki, a glasses-wearing girl, who incidentally shares the same last name as Xenogears' Citan - though they're apparently not related.
Xenosaga is 30% developed right now, as Monolith Soft is still in the process of recruiting new staff for the project. The game is planned to be released in December in Japan. There has been no announcement on a possible North American release so far, but we'll be sure to keep you informed as soon as new info emerges.