The launch date for the Xbox version of id Software's Doom 3 is "still up in the air," according to company CEO Todd Hollenshead, with a strong possibility that technical and gameplay issues could hold the title back to 2005.
Speaking to CNN/Money's Chris Morris at QuakeCon last week, Hollenshead said that while a 2004 release for the SKU "could happen," "that's not our focus right now - our focus is on the gameplay."
"Doom 3 is a game that on the PC is very finely tuned," he explained. "There was a lot of play balancing. The stuff that was supposed to be tense resulted in a lot of tension for players. The stuff that was supposed to be scary makes people crap their pants. We want the Xbox version to be just as good."
The Xbox version of the game is being created by Vicarious Visions under the watchful eye of id Software, and like the PC version, will be published by Activision - who are reportedly still pushing for a 2004 launch.
However, as well as the gameplay considerations, questions have been raised about the ability of the Xbox to run the game acceptably without significant graphical compromises being made. The Xbox hardware is effectively a 733Mhz Pentium processor, a GeForce 3 chip and 64Mb of shared RAM - far, far below the minimum specification for running Doom 3 acceptably on a PC, even at the lowest detail and resolution settings.
Also at QuakeCon, Hollenshead confirmed that id is already working on its next title - a totally original franchise which will not be as technically innovative as Doom 3, but will focus instead on building a new IP - and that work is continuing on the long-mooted Doom movie.
The Rock was originally tipped to play the "Doom Guy" in the movie, but has now been ruled out for the role; instead, he is believed to be in the running for the character of "Sarge". A script is finished, pre-production is underway, and shooting will begin in Prague in autumn, according to Hollenshead. "I have never been more confident that there will be a Doom movie in the next 18 months," he said at the Dallas event.