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Sony plans major Monster Hunter push

Reeves dates game with bundle, demo.

In one of his last public appearances as president of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, David Reeves last week paid tribute to Capcom and announced details of the two companies' plans to introduce Monster Hunter Freedom Unite to PAL territories.

Reeves announced that MHFU would be launched as part of a PSP hardware bundle when the game goes on sale on 26th June, and that a demo version would be released beforehand on both UMD and as a digital download.

The idea is to encourage people to discover the game's ad hoc wireless mode, which has been wildly popular in Japan, where the game - known as Monster Hunter Portable 2G - has already sold more than three million copies.

"We know that our own Sony software line-up, and to some extent the third parties', has not lived up always to expectations. But tonight is a prime example of how that has been rectified," Reeves told a gathering of the world's press at Captivate 09 in Monaco last Tuesday evening.

"Monster Hunter Freedom Unite will spearhead the PSP resurgence of 2009, we believe, and I would like to thank Capcom for their unwavering support in this endeavour."

"One of the key demographics for PSP in Europe is the ten to 16 year-old male - the ideal demographic for Monster Hunter Freedom Unite," Reeves explained. "By combining the skills and know-how that Capcom and PlayStation possess, we feel we can excite this audience with this fantastic game.

"We firmly believe that if we can get people actually playing Monster Hunter Freedom Unite together in ad hoc mode - which not many Europeans do, but Japanese do all the time - even if it's only for a few minutes, we can create enough intrigue and excitement for them to want to experience more."

Reeves also thanked Capcom for its unwavering support for PlayStation during his nearly 15 years at the head of Sony's European division. Senior Capcom personnel indicated that the tenor of the outgoing Sony boss's speech was not decided in advance, and came as a pleasant surprise.

"I'm here talking to you because I believe that the relationship between Capcom and PlayStation is one that's been cultivated over the years to create some of the greatest partnerships that the game industry has ever seen," Reeves said. "And it's a relationship that promises to continue for years to come."

"The reason these relationships have remained so strong is because we are indeed like-minded, iconoclastic companies, companies that strive for the same goal, to create innovative, and more than anything, fun experiences," he concluded.

You can read the full text of David Reeves' speech, and that of Capcom R&D boss Keiji Inafune, in a Captivate 09 Editor's blog special.