Hyper: Oddworld Tells Us About The Xbox! [2001]

Date: January, 2001

Interviewee: Gerilyn Wilhelm

Source: Hyper, Issue 87, p. 8

Oddworld Inhabitants have taken their much-anticipated title, Munch’s Oddysee (the next in the Oddworld quintology), and made it an Xbox exclusive launch title. What was once being hyped as one of the best PS2 titles to look forward to next year, Munch’s Oddysee and the rest of the series will now be for Xbox gamers only, much to the chagrin of Sony Computer Entertainment. Oddworld were keen to announce this move just before the PS2 launched in the USA, so that gamers who were looking forward to the game and were thinking of purchasing a PS2 to play it, could re-consider their choice of console. Munch’s Oddysee has been a stand out title at all the games shows this year, with Hyper even featuring Munch on the cover of the February 2000 issue. The game looked astoundingly good at E3, and we were surprised to hear Lorne Lanning of Oddworld openly complaining about the PS2 at the time and the difficulties they hade faced to get the game looking as good as they wanted. The movie isn’t a surprising one to those who were aware of Oddworld’s seeming disdain for the PS2 hardware. Hyper dropped a line to Oddworld’s producer Gerilyn Wilhelm to find out a little more on their decision to allow Microsoft to publish Munch’s Oddysee as an Xbox-only title…

HYPER: What was the main reason for the move?

Oddworld: Microsoft is the publisher that stepped up to the plate and fully commited to supporting our vision for the future of our games. Second to this, the Xbox is the most powerful system that allows us to more fully manifest our vision of the games throughout the 128-bit era.

HYPER: Does you believe the Xbox is a superior platform to the PS2?

Oddworld: Of course.

HYPER: How will this affect Munch’s Oddysee as a game? (Visually, gameplay-wise etc.)

Oddworld: The most obvious advantage is the boat-load more VRAM afforded to us on the Xbox. This makes a world of difference in image quality. We’ve been struggling to get our texture quality packed into the very little VRAM previously available to us. Next was simply the raw performance. The broader pipeline, faster CPU, and the Nvidia chip meant more characters and overall performance. It will be a richer experience now that it’s on the Xbox and one that is closer to what we wanted Munch to be.

HYPER: Will we see any Oddworld games on PS2 at all?

Oddworld: It’s possible that at some point some Oddworld licensed games may appear on the PS2, but not games built internally at Oddworld…

HYPER: Thanks for your time. Now get back to work! We want that game.

Oddworld: See you next year.