I am very excited about Monster Hunter 3. It is one of the criminally few games on the Wii in which one look at it is a message from the developers saying, ‘Yeah, we tried hard on this game.’ And according to separate interviews, the developers are considering adding even more value to the Western release.
First is the inclusion of WiiSpeak. While the Japanese release of Monster Hunter 3 had USB keyboard support for easy communication, WiiSpeak support was absent. The developers are currently investigating whether including WiiSpeak is technically possible, as the game already pushes the Wii hardware near its limit. If included, Monster Hunter 3 could be the killer app for WiiSpeak.
Capcom is also looking into waiving the monthly fee for Monster Hunter 3 in the west, but that is a double edged sword. Monster Hunter 3 online sessions are hosted by Capcom’s own internal servers rather than the Nintendo Wi-Fi connection servers. This provides advantages as Capcom is not bound by Nintendo’s draconian friend codes system, but it also means Capcom must front the money to maintain the servers. They offset this expense with the monthly fees, charging a little extra no doubt for some profit. Until now, the population of the western servers of previous Monster Hunter games were negligible to the point that Capcom just took the hit and made the game free to play online in an effort to create more customers. However Capcom hopes 3 to be the breakout hit for the franchise in the west, and may charge a fee accordingly.