Publisher Namco has confirmed that the company is planning to release Ridge Racer 7 as a launch title for the PlayStation 3 this November, following a limited preview of the title in the latest issue of Japanese consumer magazine Famitsu.
The game is to be headed by Hideo Teramoto and Masaya Koyabashi, both veterans of the series, and will be set in the year 2010, with over 200 cars available to drive. Namco plans to include multiplayer options allowing for at least 16 players in one race.
Although now only a moderate seller, the series remains an important mascot for the PlayStation brand, with a new title launching alongside the PlayStation, PlayStation 2 and PSP. The release of Ridge Racer 6 for the Japanese launch of the Xbox 360 was considered a significant coup, and despite overall disappointing sales, it proved to be the most successful launch title for the format in Japan, selling around 30,000 units in the first week of release, twice as many as closest rival Perfect Dark Zero.
Although a version of Ridge Racer 6 was widely expected for the launch of the PlayStation 3, a full blown sequel was not, and illustrates the continued strong influence that Sony has over Namco in particular and Japanese publishers in general. The game is expected to be shown at E3 in May, although not necessarily in playable form.