Capcom today officially announced plans to bring the former GameCube exclusive Resident Evil 4
to the PlayStation 2 later in 2005. The latest version of Capcom's survival horror franchise was initially announced as a GameCube-only title back in 2001, and takes place six years after the events of Resident Evil 2
, following the destruction of Umbrella Corporation.
The company has also specified updated release dates for the game, which will still ship for GameCube first, on January 11th, 2005 in North America. This will be followed by its debut in Japan on January 27th, 2005, and followed by a European debut some time during the spring. The newly unveiled PlayStation 2 version of Resident Evil 4
will ship throughout North America, Japan and Europe towards the end of 2005.
The inclusion of a PlayStation 2 port of Resident Evil 4
comes as the definite blow to Nintendo's GameCube, which has seen a shifting of GC exclusives from third-party Capcom, as the hardware's installed base and average game sales figures lag behind PlayStation 2. The Capcom-created GameCube former exclusive, Viewtiful Joe
, has recently been released for the PlayStation 2, with its sequel to be a simultaneous PS2 and GameCube release, and former GC exclusive Killer 7
is also now due on Sony's hardware.
Interestingly, former Capcom boss Yoshiki Okamoto was a significant supporter of the GameCube, telling Dengeki Online back in 2001 of Resident Evil
's GameCube exclusivity: "We chose the Gamecube because of its potential userbase and large RAM. For a series like Biohazard where you’re constantly moving between rooms, the GameCube is ideal for making fast transitions." However, Okamoto's departure from Capcom to form developer Game Republic in July 2003, along with the slowing release schedule of Nintendo's current-gen hardware, may have convinced the company to make an agreement with Nintendo and port the game to the much higher user-base of the PlayStation 2.
Since its 1996 debut on the Sony PlayStation and Sega Saturn, the Resident Evil
series has sold over 25 million units worldwide. The series has also enjoyed success outside of the gaming realm, with the latest movie based on the franchise, Resident Evil II Apocalypse
, receiving the highest box office revenue in Japan and in the U.S. from September 10th - 12th, 2004.