Report: Japanese publishers switching over to Wii

Namco Bandai, Capcom, and Sega are redirecting resources from Sony and Microsoft projects to Nintendo projects, reports <i>Variety Asia</i>.

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According to a report from Variety Asia, Japan's top three third-party publishers are ramping up development for Nintendo's Wii and DS systems, at the expense of rivals Sony and Microsoft. Namco Bandai will reportedly increase Nintendo hardware development by 109 percent to 115 titles, Sega will up its titles by 96 percent to 49, and Capcom titles will rise by 5 percent to 20.

Not only will Nintendo platforms be getting a greater assortment of games, but they will see a greater availability of them as well. Variety Asia says that more than 26.8 million units of Wii, DS, and Game Boy Advance software will ship during Nintendo's 2007 fiscal year. By comparison, 23.3 million units of software for the Sony platform will ship during the same period. Further, Sony machines will see a 30 to 40 percent decrease in shipped units from the three Japanese publishers, while Capcom alone will increase shipments for Nintendo systems by 81 percent to 4.7 million units.

As for the why, Variety Asia states that in addition to the fact the Wii and DS are trouncing the competition in the North American and Japanese markets, development costs are lower for Nintendo's hardware.

The report also states that another Japanese software giant, Square Enix, does not plan to develop any new titles for the PlayStation 3 until the console's installed base rises enough to make increased next-gen development costs worthwhile. However, Variety Asia made no mention that the company has several PS3 projects currently in development, including Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy Versus XIII. Square Enix's president and CEO, Yoichi Wada, recently called the Xbox 360 and PS3 "over-engineered" and "mismatched" to gamers needs in a Financial Times report.

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