Monster Hunter Returning to a Sony Platform Is A Big Deal
The Monster Hunter series has been running ever since 2004 with its first installment on the PlayStation 2. Monster Hunter Portable Third for the PSP, a portable remake of Monster Hunter Tri for the Wii, was the last main series Monster Hunter game on Sony platforms.
Since then, all installments have been on Nintendo consoles -- and mostly on the 3DS. Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate was named by veterans as the best in the franchise and the friendliest to new players, and it shows. MH4U is the best-selling game in the franchise in North America, with 0.71 million sales in the States.
This fame seems to be fleeting, however, as the newest installment in the franchise, Monster Hunter Generations, only sold 0.32 million -- less than half of what its predecessor achieved.
But now that the Monster Hunter franchise is ending its run as a Nintendo-exclusive series and becoming available on PlayStation once again with Monster Hunter World, things are about to change for the better. This is probably the best move the series has made in a long time.
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More players means more sales
The 3DS is one of the best-selling consoles of this generation. But even so, the PS4 is a much more mainstream console and has a far bigger playerbase. From April of 2016 to April of 2017, the PS4's sales consistently remained higher than the 3DS's sales. And unlike the 3DS, it's not about to get replaced by a younger sister like the Nintendo Switch -- so there's no chance that the fanbase is going to get reduced even more by people who don't have the right console.
Additionally, on a more mainstream console, Monster Hunter World has the potential to pull in many new players that never would have touched the franchise -- whether due to not owning the 3DS or simply being overwhelmed enough by Monster Hunter's reputation to not touch it on hardware they're less familiar with.
As a home console, the PS4 is much more powerful than the 3DS handheld. So by moving Monster Hunter from the 3DS to the PS4, there's a lot more for the game to work with in terms of development options. Aside from the obvious improvement in graphics, Capcom has already shown off a lot of the new features made possible by the stronger hardware -- including larger maps with no loading screen between areas, and advanced AI that makes the monsters seem more natural and realistic.
As the game's Executive Director, Kaname Fujioka, said in an interview with Gamespot:
"The power of the current generation of hardware has really let us make these seamless environments come to life, whether it's just literally the graphical detail, more detailed structures with everything like plants and smaller animals and creatures, up to the big monsters."
With the power of modern consoles, Monster Hunter World has the potential to be the definitive Monster Hunter experience.
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Monster Hunter World changing sides from Nintendo to Sony may not sit well with a lot of fans -- especially those who are waiting for Monster Hunter XX to be localized. But we should look on the bright side. On a more mainstream console, Monster Hunter has the potential to pull in all new fans to the series, potentially getting more people to rally for an XX localization or even and eventual port to the Switch. Plus with stronger hardware allowing for a much larger game, World could be the new highlight of the franchise that begins yet another upward trend to bring this beloved series into the future.
For more about Monster Hunter World as it releases, keep your eyes on GameSkinny!