Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Capcom: "Monster Hunter requires strong graphical chip power"
Nintendo Co Ltd, the world's largest maker of portable game consoles, on Wednesday won an exclusive deal in which major game developer Capcom Co Ltd will supply its blockbuster Monster Hunter 3 action game title for its Wii home-use, stand-alone game machines.
"Due to high development cost of titles for PS3, we have decided to switch the platform to which we release our Monster Hunster 3 title," Capcom managing corporate officer Katsuhiko Ichii said. In unveiling the exclusive deal with the influential game developer, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said that the company is now "entering the third phase of its strategy, aimed at expanding the game player population." "With the release of the Nintendo DS portable game console and Wii stand-alone game machine, we managed to lure those who have never played games or those who have stopped playing games to play them," Iwata said.
"I understand that some experts argue that our success is short-lived and temporary. So, we now need to make efforts to constantly expand the player base by offering services and titles that can appeal not only to those who have never played games but also to those who play them hard," he said. "Wii has so far been successful, but it lacks a strong player base among teenagers, while Monster Hunter is highly popular in this age group," said Hirokazu Hamamura, president of Enterbrain, the publisher of influential entertainment magazines.
"So, the transfer of the platform is a positive surprise for Nintendo and negative news for Sony," he said.
Hamamura also said the decision by Capcom, which has a reputation for creating high-grade graphics, may also help encourage more third-party game developers to enter the Wii business, because it was thought that Wii would not be able to cope with such titles as Monster Hunter that requires strong graphical chip power.
For me, this was the biggest news to come out of the Japan conference. A big blow to Sony and a big boost for Nintendo and the Wii. For a company like Capcom to come out and say that they had to move Monster Hunter 3 to the Wii because of high dev costs on Playstation 3 is not something that happens everyday. Monster Hunter 3 was announced 2 years ago for the PS3 and was supposed to be an exclusive game, it appears that the lackluster sales and bad press for Sony has forced Capcom to go where the money is. Also seeing that Monster Hunter 3 is in fact a "hardcore" game that pushes graphics is a good sign for the Wii also. Capcom went on to say that it was "thought" that the Wii would not be able to handle a game like Monster Hunter that requires a lot of power in the graphics department. Capcom seems to be joining Factor 5 and Nintendo in showing/telling what the Wii can really do graphically and hopefully other 3rd party companies will follow suit. With a big bombshell like that, I wouldn't be surprised if we see a domino effect with a lot of other companies (like Konami) start developing hardcore games for the Wii and less party/mini game collections. One thing is clear from this news: Nintendo has a strong hold on the Japanese market now and it will probably stay that way for a long time to come.