Gundam Extreme Vs. Maxi Boost On was confirmed for North America last week. This is great news for Gundam fans in the U.S., as Gundam Extreme Vs. is actually a very good competitive battling series. If you're hoping for a Switch version though, you may be disappointed.
If you're not aware, Gundam Extreme Vs. Maxi Boost On is the latest version of the Gundam Extreme Vs. series that first hit Japanese arcades back in 2010. Gundam Extreme Vs. was developed for the Namco System 357 arcade board, which is basically a souped up PlayStation 3. This makes porting the series to the PlayStation family of consoles relatively straightforward.
As for the Nintendo Switch, it's a bit harder. Senior Global Manager for Bandai Namco Stephen Akana explains, "From a gameplay point of view, it would definitely be a natural fit. In terms of how the game's internal architecture would work with the Switch console, I wouldn't be able to say for certain that it would be a one-to-one fit."
He continues: "It's not that difficult to do that migration to PS4, but looking at other platforms... there are definitely platforms that the team is looking into, but for this project specifically, they're planning to maintain it just for PS4."
The pity is that Gundam Extreme Vs. is actually a really good fit for Nintendo Switch. In the arcades, it's a 2v2 fighting game that feels like a mashup of Virtual On and Zone of the Enders, which would naturally translate to the Switch's local multiplayer. Indeed, the Gundam Vs. series has appeared on PSP in the past. But for this iteration at least, a port appears to be off the table.
Chin up though, Gundam fans. Gundam Extreme Vs. 2 is currently enjoying a solid run in Japanese arcades, and its Namco System ES3 is based on PC architecture, making consoles easy and relatively inexpensive. It may take a couple years, but a portable version of Gundam Extreme Vs. could happen sooner than you think.
As for Bandai Namco, it sounds pretty committed to bringing the series overseas. "It's not so much that this title has to be successful for us to continue supporting it worldwide," Akana says. "We're looking at all of our Gundam products and making sure that we find opportunities to distribute worldwide, and thinking about the platforms that are best to reach that audience. My hope over the coming years is that the message is, Gundam games that come out aren't just one and done. We're really passionate about the Gundam brand, and we want to see that grow in the west. Whether that's from the arcade side, or from the simulation side, we're willing to look at all of them."
Gundam Extreme Vs. Maxi Boost On is due in the U.S. later this year, and will be exclusive to PlayStation 4.