Naka-san speaks about the GameCube version of the über-sweet real time RPG from Sonic Team.
Recently, Core Magazine asked Yuji Naka, the head of Sega's Sonic Team, a few questions about developing for the GameCube and about their upcoming GameCube version of Phantasy Star Online version2. When asked about developing for the GameCube Naka-san responded:
"Nintendo has been dedicated to making sure the GameCube is easier to develop for than the N64, much like Sega did after the Saturn. We're used to working on the Dreamcast which is now three years old, so we welcomed the hardware change. At the beginning of the year our R&D people spent two months just studying the capabilities of the GameCube. When we began actual development, we wanted to have something ready by E3. So we began porting Phantasy Star Online, but we wanted to add new features. During this time, our staff had several machines lineup up side by side, so we could discuss things while we played. We enjoyed it so much, we decided to include the four-player split-screen mode. We're still trying to decide the best way to split-up the screen and make the multiplayer mode work. Outside of that, we're working on several new features for the GameCube version."
Now into the interesting stuff. The last time someone asked Naka about internet play for the GameCube version of PSOv2 he said he was unaware if it could be implemented. Now he responds:
I'm under strict orders from Nintendo not to discuss that. [laughs..] All I can say is, I'm enthusiastic about the possibility.
Finally, Naka made comments on how it seems that Sega developers are each focusing on a different platform:
We're looking into other consoles. Right now we're confronted with the possibility of working on about 6+ platforms. So it's a matter of deciding which games suit each platform. I'm not sure when a decision will be made, who knows, maybe we'll just stick with the Dreamcast for awhile. [laughs..]