Team Ninja's Tomonobu Itagaki has confirmed that the studio's next Xbox 360 title will be a sequel to Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball.
In an interview with Famitsu magazine, partially translated by GameSpot, Itagaki said that the team is already hard at work on producing the game's opening and ending sequences. He's also developing some new concepts to enhance the original game design.
Once DOA Volleyball 2 is out of the way, Itagaki plans to bring us another "action game" - but he hinted that we shouldn't expect a sequel to Ninja Gaiden just yet. Apparently the key concept for the game is "interactivity", which is probably a good thing.
Itagaki also took the opportunity to apologise for the delayed release of Dead or Alive 4 - a factor which has frequently been cited as contributing to slow takeup of the Xbox 360 in Japan.
Itagaki said he never thought one of his games could be responsible for poor hardware sales, but conceded that this seems to be the case. However, Itagaki went on, there was no way he was going to release an unfinished title and risk disappointing gamers - which he believes has happened with several Xbox 360 launch games in the US.
Itakagaki admitted that there are still issues with DOA4's online mode, and said that Team Ninja is doing all it can to sort the problems out. Apparently the first update, which will fix a load of bugs and add some enhancements to the game's interface, is slated for release around a fortnight from now.
The bad news is that plans to make new fighter costumes available via Xbox Live have been put on hold, thanks to budget and staff constraints. But Itagaki said that fan feedback suggests that extra outfits are something people definitely want, and something Team Ninja is keen to produce. But the other bad news is that if and when said outfits do arrive, you'll have to pay for them. Ah well.