Toshihiro Nagoshi, creator of Sega's immensely popular Ryu Ga Gotoku series (called Yakuza internationally), held a news conference yesterday to make some announcements. Nothing unexpected, really, but it did confirm what a lot of people were already assuming. Namely, Yakuza 5 is in development for PlayStation 3 and Black Panther 2 is being made for PSP. The original Black Panther: Yakuza New Chapter was released on PSP last October to good success.
It was revealed that Yakuza: Of the End (released in Japan this past June) was titled such because it was a last hurrah for many of the current systems in place in console Yakuza games. Nagoshi says he's done with it, and his newly launched "Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio" is moving on, hoping to try some new things.
He seems confident that fans will be pleased with the staples they keep. One key thing he pointed out was wanting to take greater advantage of the hardware available, so perhaps that means a little more of a graphical kick for the next Yakuza. Nagoshi said that at these very early stages of development, it's too soon to say when Yakuza might be released, or if any of the new titles would be shown at the Tokyo Game Show.
Frankly, I was hoping for Vita if there was to be another portable Yakuza, because I don't feel the PSP has the power to do what Sega was trying for with the original Blank Panther. The set camera angles change way too often when exploring the city and the city lights are extremely blurry as a way to "artistically" mask the fact that the portable can't handle PS3-level detail. Just too many things seem clipped for me, but I can't blame Sega for going where the guaranteed money is; PSP hardware and software sell godly levels in Japan.