Capcom has played down reports that Resident Evil 4 will be released on Xbox, telling journalists that it has yet to decide upon the game's future on other formats.
"At present we are focusing on completing the GameCube version and beginning development on the PS2 version," the publisher said in a statement yesterday. "Whether Resident Evil 4 will appear on other platforms has not yet been determined."
However, if you surfed around the web over the weekend, you might have been forgiven for thinking otherwise. According to one report - based on a conversation with some form of Capcom insider at an industry event last Friday - an Xbox port wasn't just a possibility, it was confirmed.
With Capcom having announced last week that development of a PlayStation 2 version was just getting underway - a bizarre decision in itself given that the Cube original has yet to be released anywhere in the world - it's not hard to see from whence the whole thing spawned.
But whatever the truth, this particular rumour is about as likely to die off as the zombie series itself, and judging by Capcom's statement the publisher isn't prepared to close all doors just yet either, even in spite of its poor hit ratio with Microsoft's Xbox hardware and its lack of penetration in the company's heartland of Japan.
In other words, we wouldn't expect to hear much about a possible Xbox port of Resident Evil 4 in the near future, and we're not convinced Capcom has made its mind up either, but in light of the decision to port the game to PS2 and the company's cautiously worded statement we wouldn't rule out the possibility entirely.
Resident Evil 4 is due out on GameCube in the US and Japan this coming January, and in Europe next spring. The PS2 port should make it out by the end of 2005.