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Why Catherine Has Two Packages

The development staff provides a surprising amount of insight into the area of packaging for the upcoming PS3 and Xbox 360 title.

 

The Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of Catherine have different packaging. The Xbox 360 version focuses on Katherine, main character Vincent's girlfriend. The PS3 version focuses on the blonde Catherine, some chick he hooks up with one night.

Why did the two packages end up the way they are? For that, we turn to producer and director Katsura Hashino and character designer Shigenori Soejima, who addressed the issue in the latest issue of Famitsu Xbox 360.

The reason for using two different packages was not to get people to buy two versions of the game, joked Soejima. They decided to do this because they just thought it would be interesting to have the illustrations be different.

As for the design of the packaging, they wanted to have Catherine and Katherine each be the focus of an individual box because of their desire to treat the two characters equally despite Catherine tending to get more attention due to her having a more sexual air about her.

The packaging work is pretty much all all Soejima's. Hashino gave little instruction for the packaging, only asking that they catch the eyes of customers when placed at retail. Hashino also recalls that the Xbox 360 packaging originally didn't show any of Katherine's back. He told Soejima that he wanted Katherine's shirt to be falling due to Vincent climbing up. Soejima also recalled having to do redrawings a couple of times because Hashino told that the drawings weren't revealing enough.

In thinking up the package designs, Soejima had take care to make sure both characters showed the same amount of appeal. This is a concern because Catherine is a master of sex appeal while Katherine is the opposite type. Originally, they were planning on having both characters be nearly naked and showing the same pose, but they were worried that in this case Katherine would lose out to the younger Catherine.

Soejima drew a number of pose ideas, printed them out, placed them on the packaging, and made revisions, repeating the process over and over. One early image that did not go through was one of the girls holding a knife and the other girl holding a fork (Soejima didn't saw which was which -- actually, he did, but in Japanese both names are written the exact same way so I'm not sure who he was referring to).

The use of ass and cleavage poses was to emphasize different areas of the characters -- the youthfulness of Catherine through the cleavage, and the the "motherliness" of Katherine through the ass (I'm not sure if Hashino was joking when he said this). Hashino noted that most guys can be split into ass types and breast types. He has no preference, he said when asked by Famitsu, although he quickly added that this is just regards to the packaging. Soejima jumped in and said that he's on the ass side of things.

Famitsu's interviewer said that he personally likes Katherine's pose. Hashino selected this from a bunch of rough sketches that Soejima presented him with.

So why did the PS3 get Catherine and the Xbox 360 Katherine? Famitsu asked if it might be because the Xbox 360 has a more adult userbase. This wasn't the case, explained Soejima. They simply made the decision. He doesn't recall ever struggling with the decision. Upon hearing this during the interview, Hashino was surprised, saying that he himself had thought Soejima had made the decision due to the differences in packaging shape.

Closing off this lengthy discussion of packaging, Famitsu noted that some gamers might find buying either copy of the game difficult. Hashino joked that for people who are already married, they should perhaps release a limited edition that's just a plain box with a sticker saying "We've made it so that you don't know what's inside." Soejima suggested that people who are concerned about their family seeing the box should flip the coverslip around, although Hashino joked that they'll probably be putting a kiss scene from the game on the flip side.

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