Interesting news breaking this morning, as it transpires that beloved developer Treasure will be making software for Xbox 360. In fact, it’s already started a project.
The studio, famed for Radiant SilverGun, GunStar Heroes, and most recently Ikaruga, will be sticking to its two-dimensional roots, releasing what sounds like an impressively large 2D game.
“There is no major difference in terms of gameplay for the games that we develop regardless of whether it is for console or handheld because they are all based on 2D action,” a Treasure spokesman told EGM, raising hopes of a game being seen within the launch window of the Xbox 360 - hopes that were quickly dashed. “..we take pride in developing our games with an elite and dedicated staff, which is small, so it will take longer to develop an Xbox 360 title,” the man from Treasure concluded.
As Sony was the blight of 2D gaming, Microsoft and Nintendo may well be its saviours. Sony is by far the worst offender, its short-sighted QA and licensing procedures actively removing a publisher’s ability to create in anything but three dimensions. Sony even refused to green-light Team17’s Worms for many months, a game that went on to be one of the biggest-selling first generation PlayStation titles.
Nintendo has offered a 2D outlet for many years, with the various iterations of Game Boy and now the Nintendo DS offering commercially viable platforms for the prolonging of such gaming.
All of which leaves you asking, what does Microsoft have to gain in committing to a super-niche 2D (presumably shooter) from a studio like Treasure? Simple really – for relatively little outlay, Microsoft gains the respect of the hardcore and artsy elements of gaming, as well as being able to boast support from yet another must-have Japanese developer. And the winner is you, the consumer.