Only one next-generation version coming in 2006... and it isn't for Sony's system.
by Jeremy Dunham
July 24, 2006 - There was quite a bit of drama for wrestling fans this weekend, and it wasn't in regards to the Great American Bash pay-per-view that took place yesterday afternoon.
Late Saturday, a number of German SmackDown fans had noticed that the PlayStation 3 logo and game tab had been removed from the official WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007 website for both the North American and German-language versions (though it had remained intact on the UK web-space). Talk on THQ's official German forum began to discuss the issue at a quickening pace, to the point where THQ's own Max Stellar addressed the issue in the primary thread:
"The backdrop for this is that the PlayStation version was going to be finished substantially later than the other versions," Stellar said. "The development team would rather concentrate its resources on the other three platforms."
Not too long after this statement, the entire thread was removed. No other mention of the game from a THQ official was made for the rest of the weekend.
However, early this morning, THQ's European offices issue an official statement and corroborated both Stellar's statements and PS3 wrestling fan's concerns:
"The next installment in our perennial SmackDown franchise is slated for release across multiple game systems this holiday," the statement began. "The highly anticipated WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007 is scheduled to ship for Xbox 360, PSP and PlayStation 2 in November. Consistent with our goal of delivering the highest quality content across all next-gen platforms, we have decided to postpone the debut of the SmackDown series on PlayStation 3 until the holiday 2007 timeframe."
IGN could not reach North American THQ representatives as we went to press.
I don't play the Smackdown series but I know they're big sellers and while the series will make it to PS3 eventually, it may not be there during Sony's most important hour. I think this is really more PS3 related but this section of the forums is pretty small and there hasn't been a post in months.