There are substantial rumours suggesting that Namco Bandai´s ´Beautiful Katamari´ will not be released for the PlayStation3, IGN writes. Originally, the game was in development for Xbox360 and PS3.
Up until recently, the developer continued to work on both versions of the project. However, sources close to Namco Bandai tell IGN that the studio ran into some trouble with the port of the game to PlayStation 3 and these issues, coupled with the stalled sales of the system, have led to the project's quiet cancellation. Looking to better-than-expected sales of Wii, the company has, say insiders, re-shifted resources to ready a Wii build of Beautiful Katamari instead. Given that the title cannot be ported from Xbox 360, the game is being re-concepted for Wii.
´Re-concepted´ might mean a different game, however. Newsweek technology editor N´Gai Croal revealed on his blog two weeks ago that ´Beautiful Katamari´ would become an Xbox360 exclusive.
A little birdie with good reason to know--and to gloat--informed us that the We Love Katamari sequel, Beautiful Katamari, would join the ranks of Xbox 360 exclusive titles. (...) We've since confirmed that an exclusivity deal between Namco and Microsoft is very close to fruition, likely to be announced at the E3 Media and Business Summit in July. Namco is enjoying the warm embrace and ever-deepening ties with Microsoft, while Microsoft sees this as an opportunity to change the perception of Xbox 360 as the barracks for bald space marines and little else.
This doesn't spell the end of the world for the PS3; after all, none of these games will single-handedly turn this generation over to Microsoft, and each is all but certain to make its way to the PS3--eventually. But it demonstrates the impact that the continued weak PS3 sales are having on the strength of the platform: the installed base disparity between Xbox 360 and PS3 means that Sony isn't strong enough--or willing enough to reach into its pockets--to hold on to the types of games and franchises that belonged to it alone during the PS2 era.
Whether or not ´Beautiful Katamari´ will make its way to Wii, the console is certainly gaining rapidly in terms of development focus. Only days ago, the Nikkei newspaper (via VarietyAsiaOnline) revealed that major Japanese studios were switching their resources from the PS3 to Wii, with Namco Bandai implementing the most drastic changes.
Namco Bandai will up its Nintendo titles by 109% to 115; Sega by 96% to 49; and Capcom by 5% to 20. Meanwhile, the three majors intend to cut shipments of titles for Sony machines by 30%-40%. (...)
Square Enix, another Japanese software major, has no plans to develop titles for the PS3 until sales improve enough to make the steep development costs financially worthwhile.
The changes at Namco Bandai should come as no surprise. After all, the company only just shipped their first Wii title, well over half a year after the console´s launch. And the Wii´s success is still more than evident.
This success is already reflected in the number of exclusive titles. The good people over at Gaming Target are keeping score and this is what it looks like:
Xbox360: 91 (+3 from last count: 44 released, 47 announced)
PS3: 44 (+4 from last count: 8 released, 36 announced)
Wii: 76 (+7 from last count: 21 released, 55 announced)
You might want to compare this in detail with the the figures from mid-May. Clearly, developers have already jumped on Nintendo´s bandwagon. And they are continuing to jump.
Sources: IGN, N´Gai Croal´s blog, Nikkei newspaper (via VarietyAsiaOnline), Namco Bandai, Associated Press (via MSNBC)
Thanks to: DreD, ..pakbeka.., Joystiq, Alcibiades