Team Ninja’s lead designer Tomonobu Itagaki got interviewed in Hawaii (lucky!) last week by IGN about the upcoming Xbox 360 sim/volleyball game Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 (DOAX2). Luckily for us the interview strayed onto other topics as well, like Ninja Gaiden 2, DOA: Code Cronus, TGS announcements, and the possibility of Team Ninja’s entree into PlayStation 3 development. Singled out is the Ninja Gaiden 2 info (You can read our review of the first Ninja Gaiden for Xbox here).
IGN: Has it been interesting or difficult for your team or you to work around the three core processors?
Tomonobu Itagaki: Well, for anyone who is having a hard time programming the Xbox 360 on all three cores, they’re welcome to come over to Team Ninja and we’ll help them out. (Laughter.) No, I don’t think the Xbox 360 is difficult to program for.
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IGN: It’s really interesting, some of the first developers didn’t get their kits until very late, and they were using G5 Macs to program for, and they weren’t used to programming for multiple processors. What do you use the six different threads on the three cores for?
Tomonobu Itagaki: Well, for instance, if you were to shut down two of the threads in the engine, then you wouldn’t see some of the hair blowing or some of the ribbons or strings moving in the wind. So even on the same hardware, how we really use the hardware really depends on the title. So if you’re working on a game like Ninja Gaiden 2, where it’s really important that enemies are smart and challenging, then we might use up to two threads on AI. But for a game like this, where our main goal is to make the girls look good, then we can use two threads for hair and cloth physics. So it’s really important to make the hardware do what you want to show.
IGN: So you said that this game will ship around Thanksgiving in North America. Will this game ship in Japan, Europe and North America simultaneously?
Tomonobu Itagaki: It will ship around the same time in all three regions.
IGN: Looking into the future, does Team Ninja have plans to develop PlayStation 3 games? And will there be any announcements of said games at TGS?
Tomonobu Itagaki: Yeah, we have seen the PlayStation 3 hardware and we’re studying it. We’re messing around with it right now. I think it’s a good machine. But I think the most important thing is for people to have good games that they want to play on good hardware, so if there is a demand for it, we may follow that path some time in the future. Obviously, we are big supporters of the Xbox platform. There are a lot of fans of the Xbox that support us and are with us because of that, so I just want everyone to know that we are going to continue bringing out the newest releases on the Xbox platform before they’re on other systems.
IGN: Nice. Are there any new announcements you are making at TGS that you’d like to tell us now instead? Like for instance, something about Dead Or Alive Code Cronus?
Tomonobu Itagaki: Yeah, at the moment I have a number of games for the Xbox platform in mind, enough to fill up the fingers on one hand. You know, Code Cronus is one of those. So, it’s a possibility.
IGN: So if Code Cronus is one of those, and Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 is on another, is Ninja Gaiden 2 on another finger?
Tomonobu Itagaki: I won’t upset anybody by denying your expectations. I like to see people’s expectations fulfilled.
You can read the full DOAX2 interview here.