Report from Japan: Xbox development to cost $$$

The latest report by CESA says development of Xbox games cost double those for PlayStation 2 and GameCube games.

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Microsoft's Xbox is the most costly platform for game development, followed by Sony's PlayStation 2 and Nintendo's GameCube, says the latest report by the Computer Entertainment Supplier's Association (CESA) in Japan. This week's issue of Famitsu covers figures from 2004 given by CESA, which calculated the average development costs for games on current-gen platforms. The reported figures are based on development fees that were voluntarily disclosed by 28 companies.

According to CESA, the Xbox is the most expensive due to the platform's high-end hardware specs. Development figures taken from 13 Xbox games came to an average of 202 million yen ($1.85 million), more than double the cost of other platforms.

The PlayStation 2 ranked as the second-most-costly platform to make games for, with development figures for 194 games averaging 96 million yen ($877,000). The GameCube came in third, with figures taken from 11 games averaging 90 million yen ($822,000).

Surprisingly, games for the handheld PlayStation Portable reportedly cost the same to make as GameCube ones. On the other hand, games for the DS only cost 37 million yen ($338,000) to make, which is even lower than the average 53 million yen ($484,000) development cost for Game Boy Advance games.

The full development figure table released by CESA is below.

Platform - average development cost / number of titles used for calculation

Xbox - 202 million yen ($1.8 million) / 13 titles
PlayStation 2 - 96 million yen ($877,634) / 194 titles
GameCube - 90 million yen ($822,857) / 11 titles
PlayStation Portable - 90 million yen ($822,857) / 6 titles
PlayStation - 80 million yen ($731,429) / 1 title
Game Boy Advance - 53 million yen ($484,571) / 47 titles
DS - 37 million yen ($338,286) / 3 titles
Dreamcast - 25 million yen ($228,571) / 2 titles

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