October 27, 2006 - Japan isn't into the whole first person shooter thing, so unless Genji is really, really good, Ridge Racer 7 is going to be the title to beat at the 11/11 Japanese PS3 launch. Bandai Namco Games seems to be putting its best foot forward with the game, based on comments shared by producer Hideo Teramoto in the latest issue of Famitsu PS2.
Teramoto seems particularly proud of the game's technical merits. He feels that no other machine in the world is capable of producing Ridge Racer 7's combination of 1080p and 60 frames per second visuals. He also made a note of the game's 5.1 support for both sound effects and music.
But in Teramoto's mind, the robust online experience offered by Ridge Racer 7 is equal in importance to its technical merits. The game offers the 14 player races that Ridge Racer 6 offered last year on the Xbox 360. But Teramoto feels that the RR7 online experience has evolved beyond that title. Players enter a virtual world in which they compete against other players for money and rank. There's no separation between the main mode of play and an "online mode." Your money and rank are used both for single and online battles.
Famitsu PS2 quizzed Teramoto on one area that's on everyone's mind right now: hard disk support. Ridge Racer 7 makes extensive use of the PS3's hard disk. In addition to saving your game and saving future download contents, the hard disk is used for speeding up gameplay. The game does a hard disk install to the tune of five gigabytes.
The hard disk use could actually increase with Bandai Namco's download plans. Teramoto hopes to make stickers, music and race events available for download. Race events will be downloadable for free from the PlayStation Store. New music tracks will cost money, but Teramoto hopes to make available tracks that are worthy of the download.
Teramoto expects players to get a full half year of play time from Ridge Racer 7, which should be perfect if the PS3 sees a PS2-style software drought following launch.