April 18, 2007 - Following rumors surfacing from retail channels last month, Bandai Namco's next generation sequel to Katamari Damacy has been confirmed in the latest Famitsu. Beautiful Katamari Damacy, as it's to be known in Japan, is in development for the PS3 and Xbox 360.
While retaining the general look of previous entries, the move to the new platforms makes possible improvements to the technical areas of the game. Stages are larger and include more junk to add to your growing katamari. One screen in Famitsu shows a katamari rising above 7,000 kilometers, on its way to the 10,000 km mark (yes, it nearly covers the entire Earth at this point).
Bandai Namco is also taking advantage of the online capabilities of the PS3 and Xbox 360 for online play. It's unclear what form the online play will take, although Famitsu speculates that we can expect cooperative and competitive play.
The control sceheme remains the same as in the PS2 versions. Both next gen versions make use of dual analogue controls for all movement. Speaking with the magazine, director Jun Moriwaki (who also worked on the PSP entry in the series) pointed out that those who mastered the PS2 controls may initially have some difficulty with the Xbox 360 controls, as the system's analogue triggers aren't horizontally aligned. However, he expects players to get used to the change quickly.
Also returning from previous Katamari games is the use of singing in the background music. All the performers in the Japanese version will be new to the Katamari universe, but Morikawa promised that players would be able to recognize the names.
Moriwaki addressed the possibility of Katamari coming to other platforms. Asked if the Wii was originally considered for the game, he stated yes, noting that he's interested in trying out a variety of interfaces, including the PC keyboard and the DS stylus. Pressed about the possibility of the game still coming out on the Wii, he said, "The controller is very special, so how to clear that is a big problem."
Beautiful Katamari is 50% complete, Famitsu reports. It's currently without a final release date in Japan.
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