One of Microsoft's big hopes for Xbox this Christmas won't be on shelves in time for the holiday season, with UK-developed RPG Sudeki officially slipping past the New Year.
The game, which is in development at Climax and is tipped to fill the gap left in the Xbox portfolio by a lack of support from Japanese RPG developers, is the second major RPG to drop off the Xbox radar this Christmas - with Big Blue Box' Fable also now likely to appear in 2004.
Microsoft had maintained until now that Sudeki would meet its late 2003 release date, but word from within Climax has suggested for several months that the game would not be ready for Christmas. According to today's official statement, the delay is in order to "focus on polishing the game and ensuring an even greater experience for gamers".
There was further bad news for Xbox owners hoping for RPG action on the platform this week as Japanese developer Atlus announced that it has cancelled development on Shin Megami Tensei Nine on the platform, moving it over to the PC instead. The company cited poor support for Xbox live as its reason for shifting the first online instalment of the popular Shin Megami Tensei series away from Microsoft's platform.
The only major RPG prospect for the Xbox in the near future, then, is Bioware's well-received Star Wars title, Knights of the Old Republic, which is expected to arrive in late September in Europe. In terms of Japanese titles, the only one we're now aware of is True Fantasy Live Online, which should arrive in the Far East before the end of the year.