CVG Article with comments from Yuji Naka

Interview Data:

  • Interview Date: 18 March 2002
  • Interview Topics: PSO, Online
  • Interview Source: CVG external.png


Sonic Team chief Yuji Naka has admitted that his killer console role-player may not include online play for GameCube: full story inside

14:35 Speaking in London last week, Sonic Team head Yuji Naka admitted the possibility that Phantasy Star Online may not feature Internet play on GameCube, pointing towards Nintendo's well-documented ambivalence towards online play through its box of tricks as a reason.
"I'm hoping that the GameCube version will [release] at the same time in all countries, although it really depends on when Nintendo is going to launch its online services," said Naka. "There are other technical problems as well, but that's what I'm aiming for. PSO is designed to be an online game, although there is a chance the game will come out before online [play through a GameCube] is ready.

"You can play with four players as split-screen, so there is a possibility for the game to come out first and people will still be able to play multi-player without the online service. I'm trying very hard to talk to Nintendo so that the modem will come out the same time as the game."

Nintendo isn't the only one Naka is uncertain of in the field of online console play. While Xbox global chief J Allard asserted that six online games would be available in Europe through Xbox before the end of this year, one of which he claimed would be Phantasy Star Online, Naka is still in the dark as to what Microsoft's plans actually are, although it's likely the Xbox title will benefit from the wait.

"Microsoft has not been very clear about when it wants to do the online service for Xbox, or what will be involved in it, so it's very hard to tell what new elements will be in the game," said Naka. "It really depends on what sort of timing Microsoft is talking about. The longer we have, as we had with GameCube, the more extra things we can put in it. It depends what Microsoft wants to do."

As for a full sequel to the Dreamcast classic, Naka refused to be drawn. "We're treating the GameCube version of PSO as a sequel anyway, as there's been so much added to it," he said. "Although I have no particular plans for the next one, I hope people can enjoy this one first and maybe wait for the next one later."

Offline? Online? Is the moon made of cheese? Watch this space for all PSO developments in the coming months.


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