Konami producer Shingo "Seabass" Takatsuka says he's "pretty sure" that Pro Evolution Soccer 5 will be on PS2 Online, speaking in an interview that appeared on Konami's official website this week.
The series producer also shed some light on the state of the PlayStation Portable version of Winning Eleven/Pro Evo, the team's expectations with regard to next-generation platforms, and the decision to include online play in the Xbox version, which is due out in Europe at the end of November.
Going online on PS2 would be "quite possible," Seabass says, however there were some things that put the developer off. "In the PS2 service, we have to create our own game servers and that kind of thing so that's why we had to pass on this one. However, we already have PES running in the studio on PS2 Online," he added. "So we're waiting for Sony to construct a better infrastructure for PlayStation and also the users be hooked up on broadband. I'm pretty sure we're going to have [online] in PES5 for the PS2."
Thinking even further ahead, Seabass described the current climate as "the end of the lifecycle for PlayStation 2," which has limited the team's planning to PES5. Beyond that though, "PES6, we're thinking of next-gen platforms so we're just constructing ideas about that." Seabass reckons that moving to next-gen will open the doors to including much more motion capture and AI data.
That's all theoretical for now though, as it seems are the team's plans for PlayStation Portable. When we saw Winning Eleven on Sony's games list in Japan, we were definitely excited. But it turns out there's not much to talk about yet. "We've no concrete specs for the PSP version that we could announce at this time," we're told. "We're not holding back the announcement, it's just that we're in the concept development stage to utilise what's best for the PSP handheld game."
Seabass did admit to some of his ideas for the PSP though, talking about the impact that LAN play could have, although 22 player games will probably have to wait for now, as "the team doesn't believe we can do this on PSP before doing it on a console," even if it's technically possible. There are other options though. "One of the points that I was thinking was, since it's portable, it doesn't have to be the action that's going on. You can take it wherever you like, and configure your Master League teams and that kind of thing. Then, when you go back to your house again, you can play the game. That was kind of the initial idea I had."
You can read the rest of the interview, in which Seabass touches on his Master League preferences, Japanese players' control preferences, and much more, on Konami's official website here.
Pro Evolution Soccer 4 was released on PS2 last Friday and is reviewed here. Xbox Live and PC versions are due out on November 26th.