NEWS - Thursday, September 23, 2004

Capcom Confirms Next-Gen Support

Japanese publisher Capcom has confirmed that it will be providing software support for all three forthcoming home console platforms, but concerns over the firm’s financial health have precipitated a drop in its share price. "We will be supplying games for the next-generation video game consoles that should be released around the end of 2005 by Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo," according to Capcom board member Kazuhiro Abe. At present, it’s expected that Microsoft will launch the Xbox 2 in late 2005, with Nintendo and Sony following with their next-generation hardware in 2006, but Abe’s comments may fuel speculation that PS2 and Revolution have moved up the schedule. Despite Capcom’s commitment to the next-generation hardware, however, the firm has experienced a significant fall in its share price on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in recent days as concerns mount among investors over its financial health. These latest concerns come from two factors, the first being a new 10 billion Yen comparative bond issue by the company, redeemable in 2009, which will be used partially to refinance its outstanding comparative bonds of 12.2 billion Yen, which are redeemable in September 2005. Investors fear that this issue will dilute the company’s stock value, and the announcement of the issue was met with a fall on the stock exchange, as it built on recent market speculation over the value of the key Resident Evil series. The latest title in the series, Resident Evil Outbreak FILE 2, sold less than 100,000 units in its first week in Japan, compared with around a quarter of a million units for the previous Outbreak title, and much higher figures for previous games in the series. Capcom will be hoping that the launch of the hugely anticipated Resident Evil 4 for the GameCube, which reinvents and updates many elements of the popular series, will revitalise the fortunes of the franchise - and, presumably, reassure investors of its long-term value to the company.


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