It's nearly a year since the last E3, and that means it's nearly a year since Sega first whet our appetites for Phantasy Star Universe with a teaser trailer. But we've been starving hungry ever since thanks to a lack of any more details whatsoever - until now.
So here's the big news: Phantasy Star Universe is being developed for PC and PS2 exclusively. Yes, 'fraid so, it's official - Sega R&D executive Yuji Naka said so himself in a recent interview with US magazine Electronic Gaming Monthly.
And it's not just Xbox and GameCube that are getting left out - there are no plans to develop PSU for next generation consoles either. Speaking to EGM, Naka-san said: "The PS2 is the hardware with the biggest market right now, and the next-generation platforms won't have a very large installed base at first.
"It would be fairly risky to launch an online game for these new systems too early."
That includes the next-gen handhelds, said Naka-san. "I don't think it's possible to put PSU on the PSP, as we're using the full power of the PS2. But if the network gets better and it's stable, maybe we could conceive of porting Phantasy Star Online to PSP." Hmm.
Naka-san also suggested that there could be some way of linking up the PSP with the PS2 version of the game. "It does appear that you can download things from a PS2 game to a PSP, so if that's possible, we'd like to do something like that," he said. "If everyone tells Sony that it's a cool idea, maybe they will let us do that in order to make games more fun."
Quashing recent rumours that PSU would be a traditional-style single-player Phantasy Star game, Naka-san confirmed that it will indeed be online. "The series is now in its fifth year, and this is the right time for a new start," he said.
"Online RPG games are basically limited, but I want to move on and make a difference in the genre... We've spent many years gathering a lot of feedback from the users, so we certainly have a lot of stuff to include in the game."
So there you have it - online PSU for PS2 and PC only. GameCube owners can cheer up a bit though: "I want to continue to support GameCube, and I'm currently developing a title for it," says Naka-san. So that's something, eh. Phantasy Star Universe is slated for release by Christmas in the US, with a European launch to follow shortly.
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