Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney — Dual Destinies will be released as a downloadable only title on Nintendo 3DS because the development team wanted to reduce the delay between the release of the Japanese-language product at retail in Japan and an English-language localized version in the west, producer Motehide Eshiro told Polygon.
Last month, Capcom announced Dual Destinies, the next title in the Ace Attorney franchise, would be released in North America as a downloadable only title this fall. At the time, Capcom said the reason for the lack of boxed product was because "historically it's been tough to attract long term retail support for Ace Attorney titles."
Eshiro said the digital-only release was due largely in part to the game's development schedule.
"The reason we are releasing the game as digital only is not primarily due to a lack of retail support," he said in a recent interview. "One of the main reasons we went for a digital version is it wil be more convenient for the users. We felt that if someone will be interested in Dual Destinies they will want to get it right away, and if we offer a digital version, instead of going to a store however many miles away, they can just download it directly to their 3DS."
"We didn't want to have too much lag time between the Japanese and American versions."
Eshiro also said the developer wanted to release Dual Destinies in the west as close as possible to its initial Japanese launch date, and due to the game's tight development schedule this necessitated the cut. He added that he wanted players overseas to not have to deal with the long wait typically associated with launching Japanese titles in North America.
"We didn't want to have too much lag time between the Japanese and American versions," he said. "Offering a downable version was one of the ways to cut down that lag time."
Eshiro added that if there if fans push hard for a physical release, Capcom will consider releasing a physical boxed version of Ace Attorney — Dual Destinies.
When asked, Eshiro said that while previous Ace Attorney titles have been ported to home platforms — the first three games in the Ace Attorney main sequence were posted to Wii in 2009 — there are currently no plans to bring past or future Ace Attorney titles to consoles.
"The series is popular as handheld games," Eshiro explained. "In Japan, everyone takes the train to work so it's easy for someone to start up the game and play for a little bit while they're on the train. In North America it's a bit harder because everyone drives to work.
"That's something we would have to think about at [Capcom] and see if it's a viable solution for the series."