“The main reason for this is that the Japanese market for Xbox One is not strong, so the decision was made to focus on PlayStation 4, rather than to split our efforts across two platforms,” Saito said to Express over the weekend.
“Not strong” is a bit of an understatement. The console has struggled mightily since it debuted in Japan, reportedly only selling about 70,000 consoles in total as of last November.
But the sales figures aren’t the only reason why NieR: Automata is skipping the platform. By only focusing its development efforts on the PlayStation 4 and PC, the game will get more polish than if it had been split among several.
“It is not about whether one platform is better than the other,” Saito said. “It’s that from a development point of view, we can devote more time to one platform.”
Known primarily for incredible action games like Bayonetta 2 and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, PlatinumGames has struggled as of late. The studio’s adaptations of franchises like The Legend of Korra and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were both met with a critical panning, and one of its largest projects, the Xbox One’s Scalebound, was recently canceled. One can’t help but wonder if the timing of Saito’s words was deliberate.
NieR: Automata is out for PlayStation 4 on March 7, with a PC release to follow later this year. Pre-ordering the game in the U.K. will net you a creepy-looking T-shirt, which the developers appear to be quite excited about.