Early reports about Sega's new "Next Hatsune Miku Project Diva" title were a bit unclear on if the PlayStation 3 and Vita versions were the same game or entirely different titles. Producer Hayashi Seiji and Director Makoto Osaki clear up this issue and more in a Famitsu interview this week.
According to Sokuho@Hokanko's always detailed summary, the two revealed the Vita and PS3 versions to be the same game. They will have some slight differences in controls methods, but the play content and "enjoyment" will be the same.
The reason they're making the game multiplatform, explained Osaki, is to get as many people as possible playing the game. The closeness of the PS3 and Vita in terms of specs also made this possible.
The developments staff is currently focusing their full effort on the Vita version. They will speak about the PS3 version after a bit.
Elsewhere in the interview, the two shared some development background details. Planning for Next actually began before the previous PSP Miku game, Hatsune Miku Project Diva 2nd Extend. Following Hatsune Miku Project Diva 2nd, the staff began thinking about making their next title on the Vita.
Osaki is the Producer of the Hatsune Miku arcade game. Kobayashi, producer of the home Miku games, explained that his staff sought help from Osaki's team because they had to do research into new hardware and work with a new development environment. Working with new hardware is something that Osaki's team is used to thanks to experience making arcade games.
Osaki said that his team is working hard to make sure the new game displays their top technology. It seems that they're there for mostly technical work, as Kobayashi's PSP Hatsune Miku team is handling direction and planning. Both teams are contributing to the Module creation.
Next features new modeling for the Vocaloids. While based off the PSP models, the staff did not just make higher resolution versions for the Vita title.
Among the visual improvements, you can expect smoother hair movements. Miku's hair will flow more naturally, for instance. So will Lin's ribbons.
The concept of the 3D modeling, said Kobayashi, is to make the cutest, most beautiful and coolest models in series history.
In addition to the modeling, the game will see some changes to visual expression. The game now has real time lightning computations.
Osaki described the visual expression as being improved over the arcade version. Kobayashi got a bit abstract, saying that the big point of the visual expression is that it's reached the level where they can show the movements of the heart.
Gameplay will have the same basic elements as past titles, but will add new elements to this. The game has a new "Scratch" move where you have to rub the screen when star icons cover the the melody icons. There's no requirement for where you touch, allowing for a sensation akin to playing a guitar.
Another new feature is "Chance Time." In the screen's lower left, you'll see a gauge. When this becomes a star shape, you enter Chance Time. Details on just what this is will be announced later.
Edit Mode and Diva Room will be returning for Next as well. Regarding these areas, Kobayashi said to expect some new features that one would expect of the Vita, but he did not provide details.
Development of Next Hatsune Miku Project Diva is currently at 39%, according to Famitsu. The Vita version will be released in the Summer, with the PS3 version following in 2013. A demo of the Vita version will be available for play at the Nico Nico Chokaigi event at Makuhari on the 28th and 29th.
(Note: the number "39" is often used as a promotional gimmick for Hatsune Miku, as 39 can be read "Miku.")