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Yuji Naka talks Phantasy Star Universe

The godfather of Team Sonic confirms PSU won't appear on GameCube or Xbox, and offers his thoughts on next-gen

Phantasy Star Universe used to be a the follow-up to Phantasy Star Online on GameCube, and that was all we knew. Then last week we discovered that PS2, Xbox and PC versions were in the mix. Now it seems that Yuji Naka's online MMORPG will be showing up on PS2 and PC only.

Eh? This news comes straight from the horse's mouth - Yuji Naka, Sonic creator and Phantasy Star mastermind, has told US mag Electronic Gaming Monthly that the new instalment in the legendary space RPG series will only appear on PS2 and PC, negating Xbox and GameCube versions.

Speaking of the possibility of PSU appearing on other platforms, Naka-san said: "the PS2 is the hardware with the biggest market right now, and the next-generation platforms won't have a very large installed base at first. It would be fairly risky to launch an online game for these new systems too early."

Still, if you're not a GameCube or Xbox owner choking on your bacon sandwich, PSU sounds like it's going to be a truly fresh instalment. "The series has now entered its fifth year," said Naka-san in the interview, "and this is the right time for a new start. We've gathered a lot of feedback from the users so we certainly have a lot of stuff to include in the game."

Naka-san also offered his views on the upcoming next-gen consoles, and was surprisingly negative. "Personally, I don't want the next generation platforms to come out this early," he said, "because they will be very difficult and expensive to develop for. Seriously, it might take three times the effort to make one game.

"It will be cool when you can play a game that looks like a movie, but there's no way a company will be able to make a game in one year like that. Like Half-Life 2 - it took five years to come out! What's next? Will gamers be willing want to wait 15 years for a game!?"

Naka-san did have some cool ideas about the revolutionary control system of the Nintendo Revolution, however. "When you hold a normal controller, you bend over and don't look very cool: I want a controller that makes you look cool like when you're playing a guitar. I would be really excited if Nintendo does something like that," he told EGM.

And don't be too downhearted, GameCube owners: Naka-san does still love you. "I want to continue to support GameCube," he said, "and I'm currently developing a title for it."

Phantasy Star Universe is expected before the end of the year. No doubt we'll have more news on PSU and Naka-san's new GameCube title soon.