At Space World, Sonic Team head Yuji Naka spoke about the state of the games industry today, and how Nintendo's strategy with the Gamecube fits in with the current landscape. In particular, he explained why SEGA as a company has been such a key third party partner for the platform - and it's because he feels that Nintendo has the ability to inspire players.
In a feature published in Core Magazine, Naka-san explained:
The gaming industry is in a depressed state, but I think the GameCube will trigger a resurgence of players. Nintendo is focusing on fun original software with multiplayer compatibility, and I think people will be delighted with the GameCube. In terms of Sega software, Super Monkey Ball will be available at launch. We believe the GameCube could trigger an industrywide turnaround, and we're proud to be a part of it.
Nintendo has claimed that software development on the Gamecube is easy - something that Naka was happy to support, noting that Sonic Team has found porting its Dreamcast games to the platform relatively straightforward:
I believe it's true. If today's showing is any indication, we've been able to transplant Sonic Adventure 2 and Phantasy Star Online easily to the GameCube. The short translation time is allowing us to focus on adding new elements to both games.
Finally, even though we already know that Nintendo is targeting an early 2002 launch of its Gamecube modem adaptors - and that Phantasy Star Online as a result will likely release in March 2002 - Naka was unable to firmly state when we might see the online RPG.
Because it involves the modem which Nintendo has control over releasing, I can't give a specific release date yet. However, we've been working with Nintendo on the online aspects and scheduling a release date. On the development end, we've been focusing on adding new elements lately, and we look forward to bringing network gaming to the GameCube in the near future.
Source: Core Magazine (via Sonic HQ)
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