Namco Bandai is backing the PlayStation 3 in a significant way, with two games, Ridge Racer 7 and Mobile Suit Gundam: Crossfire, planned for the system’s launch. We spoke separately with both Hideo Teramoto, Ridge Racer 7 designer, and Gundam chief producer Hirofumi Inagaki about the challenges of developing for the PlayStation 3 at such an early stage. With Teramoto, we discussed the accelerated pace of the series, development communities in Japan, and of course, fashion.
Gamasutra: What do you think of the PS3 so far?
Hideo Teramoto: Well as you can see from the TGS demo, Ridge Racer 7 is running at 60 frames per second at 1080p, and that’s what the PS3 is capable of. Some of the machines over there support online functionality, so you can actually play online here. I think we’re using the power pretty well.
GS: Is it easy to develop for so far, in your experience?
HT: Well since it’s a new piece of hardware, it took us some time to get to the source of the power of this new machine. So it was difficult. But we learned a lot from making this game that we can apply to the next one, I think. It should be easier in the future.
GS: Why was it several years between Ridge Racer 4 and 5, but only one year between 6 and 7?
HT: There are various reasons. After Ridge Racer 5 was released on PS2, we thought ok, that’s Ridge Racer done for now. But then the PSP came out, and we realized how popular the franchise was, so decided to make one for that too. After that, it just became standard to release them quickly.
GS: And what is the thinking behind having a Ridge Racer at every console launch?
HT: Well, my team likes to work on new hardware a lot. We’re kind of hardware nerds, I guess. Any time something new comes out, we want to mess with it.