Fresh off the heels of World Wrestling Entertainment’s Wrestlemania 23, held on pay-per-view in Detroit last night, THQ is rolling out its official announcement of the inevitable production of WWE Smackdown! Vs. Raw 2008.
Although THQ and WWE once again had some well-documented disputes, this time over territorial sales and licensing, it seems all is well as the companies are setting the stage to “deliver more depth and strategy with prominent new features, key annual enhancements and incredible graphics.” Most notably, however, is the extension to new hardware, as the title will debut on the Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, and the Playstation 3 along with the expected Xbox 360, Playstation 2 and PSP releases.
The release quotes Bob Aniello, senior vice president of worldwide marketing at THQ, as saying the title will also be developed for “wireless devices,” which indicates a mobile phone version of SvR 2008 will also see the light of day.
While details are at a minimum at this time, the release describes the bare bones of SvR 2008’s “Superstar Fighting Styles” and “Struggle Submission System features.” This year’s iteration will feature eight styles of fighting that each hold their own strategies and exclusive attributes and a new submission mechanic allows players to manually control the amount of pressure applied on submissions with analog control. While no specifics were detailed in the release, the Nintendo DS will feature the obligatory touch screen controls along with “situation-based fighting with unique holds and a full year of nonstop action in WWE season mode.”
Outside of the immediate game play, Extreme Championship Wrestling will be fully represented in 2008 and a “variety of Superstars, arenas and weapons” will be implemented into the title. THQ is also hearing what fans had to say about the previous effort and the title is being developed with “significant updates” including (obviously) new rosters, more environmental hotspots, a mode combining aspects of the series’ season and general manager modes, additions and improvements to the game’s out-of-ring action, enhanced online features and more.
The 2008 release will mark the second year in the series’ production with the same title being produced multi-platform as opposed to the company’s previous approach, releasing individual titles for each system. No release dates were announced in the release, but given the track record of Smackdown! Vs. Raw titles, the games should start hitting shelves sometime in November.