Next Generation Console Support Strong

(First published in the May 23, 2005 issue of Jon Peddie’s TechWatch)

With the announcement of next generation consoles in triplicate during E3 last week, we hit the show floor to see what software publishers had to say, mostly with their actions, about their support for the boxes.

Universally, publishers indicated that they would certainly be support one or more of the next generation consoles at some point. But details were short in many cases. A number of publishers indicated that they would announce specific titles in development at some point after E3 as they did not want to distract their audience from current generation console titles they were working on or releasing. Others indicated that they were still in negotiations with the console makers.

It’s perhaps not well understood, but game console makers have enormous influence in the development of new titles for their consoles. Such influence includes required approval for the creative concept, on-going evaluation of the title during the development process, usability testing, conformance testing, and more. So in addition to facing internal resource allocation issues and deadlines for development, publishers need to also make sure the console makers stay appeased. One European publisher we spoke to complained that a title they had ready late last year and had announced for shipment in time for the Christmas game buying season, didn’t make it out until E3 because the console maker’s European and American offices kept ping ponging the product and its approval between each other, and telling the publisher it was the other’s responsibility. And without the console maker’s approval, they could not ship.

With respect to our man on the street (or on the show floor, in this case) survey, those who were willing to share specific titles were typically vague about release dates, as well as support for anything beyond the soonest to ship console, namely the Xbox 360. With one exception, no company was willing to publicly commit to support for the Nintendo Revolution. That should come as no surprise with Nintendo keeping details about the Revolution very close to the vest, however.

On the flip side, Electronic Arts announced quite publicly at the Xbox 360 media briefing six specific titles they intended to release at or near launch. They also showed yet another title in development at the Sony PS3 briefing earlier that day, and as if that weren’t enough, issued a press release stating that they actually had 25 games in development for next generation consoles. That means 18 more titles they will be telling us about in the coming months.

And Microsoft announced that more than 160 titles were in development for the Xbox 360, and that of those 25-40 would be available at or near the launch date later this year.

While the original intent of our research was to create a chart to show which games will be available on which combination of consoles, we found virtually no overlap in titles between the Xbox 360 and Sony Playstation 3, the stated reason being that the Playstation 3 launch date is approximately a half year after the anticipated launch date of the Xbox 360, and as stated before, publishers are taking a “first things first” attitude.


Titles Announced for the Microsoft Xbox 360:

Publisher
(Developer)

Title

2K Games (3DRealms)

Prey

2K Games (Bethesda Softworks)

Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

2K Sports

Amped 3

2K Sports

NBA 2K6

2K Sports

NHL 2K6

2K Sports

Top Spin 2

Activision

Call of Duty 2**

Activision

Quake IV

Activision

Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland

Activision (Neversoft)

GUN

Atari

Test Drive Unleashed

EIDOS

Tomb Raider Legend

Electronic Arts

FIFA 06

Electronic Arts

Madden NFL 06

Electronic Arts

NBA Live 06

Electronic Arts

Need For Speed Most Wanted

Electronic Arts

The Godfather: The Game

Electronic Arts

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06

Majesco

Darkness*

Majesco

Demonic**

Microsoft Studios (Bizarre Creations)

Gotham Racing
3

Microsoft Studios (Epic Games)

Gears of War**

Microsoft Studios (Mistwalker)

Blue Dragon

Microsoft Studios (Mistwalker)

Lost Odyssey

Microsoft Studios (Rare)

Kameo: Elements
of Power

Microsoft Studios (Rare)

Perfect Dark: Zero

Midway

Stranglehold***

NAMCO

City
Killers

Sega of America

Condemned: Criminal Origins

Sega of America

Full Auto

Square Enix

Final Fantasy XI

Tecmo

Dead or Alive 4

THQ

Saint’s Row

THQ

The Outfit

Ubisoft

Ghost Recon 3

Vivendi Universal
Games

Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction

Vivendi Universal
Games

Scarface

* = Announced for both Xbox 360 and PS3

** = Exclusive to the Xbox 360

*** = Midway says Stranglehold will be available for all three next generation
consoles


Sony PS3 Games:

Publisher
(Developer)

Title

Bandai

Gundam

Capcom

Devil May Cry 4

Electronic Arts

Fight Night 06

Evolution Studio

MotorStorm

Guerrilla

KillZone 2

Incognito

WarHawk

Insomniac

I-8

Koei

Ni-oH

Konami

Metal Gear Solid 4

LiverPool Studio

Formula 1

Majesco

Darkness*

Midway

Stranglehold***

Namco

Tekken

Ninja Theory

Heavenly Sword

Polyphony Digital Inc

Vision GT

Rockstar

Untitled**

Sega

Fifth Phantom Saga

Sony Computer
Entertainment of Japan

Eyedentify

Square Enix

Final Fantasy VII

Square Enix

Final Fantasy XII

Soho

Getaway Screen Test

Ubisoft

Killing Day

* = Announced for both Xbox 360 and PS3

** = This may be a sequel to Rockstar’s Red Dead
Revolver – we only saw a Western gunslinger sort of clip at the Sony PS3 briefing
from Rockstar.

*** = Midway says Stranglehold will be available for all three next generation
consoles


Nintendo Revolution

Publisher
(Developer)

Title

Midway

Stranglehold*

Nintendo

Metroid Prime
3

Nintento

Legend of Zelda**

* = Midway says Stranglehold will be available for all three next generation
consoles

** = A commitment was made to a new Zelda product on the Revolution, but
the exact title was not revealed.