According to a report by Variety Asia, three major Japanese software publishers are shifting their development support to the Nintendo Wii and DS systems.
Namco Bandai, Sega and Capcom have all announced their intention to significantly increase their releases for the Nintendo consoles for the 2007 fiscal year. Capcom will increase its shipment of Nintendo titles by 5 percent for a total of 20; Sega will put out 49 titles for a 96 percent jump; and Namco Bandai will lead the charge with a whopping 109 percent increase in output, for a total of 115 releases. Perhaps even more significantly, the three companies have said they will reduce shipments of titles for Sony systems by 30-40 percent.
The companies are also increasing the number of units shipped for the Nintendo systems, with Capcom saying it will increase shipments 81 percent, for a total of 4.7 million units. For fiscal 2007, shipments of Nintendo titles are expected to reach 26.88 million units, while Sony shipments will be 23.29 million units.
Square Enix, another major Japanese developer, has said it has no plans to develop games for the PlayStation 3 until its sales improve sufficiently to make the development costs worthwhile.
Since their releases, the Nintendo Wii console has been dominating the PlayStation 3, doubling its sales in the U.S. and tripling them in Japan. Its less-sophisticated hardware means lower development costs as well, which combined with the system’s juggernaut popularity make it a very attractive option for game developers.