Oh, this has nothing to do with the 3DS technically being able to do it; Resident Evil: Revelations (made by the same company) will have it, and Heroes of Ruin will have four player drop-in/drop-out co-op with voice chat. No, this is just Capcom being stupid, probably not wanting to put the effort into an online system for a portable since the previous portable systems never had it, and it has always been a local co-op focused game. They probably figure it's better for them to invest in a good online system for Monster Hunter 4 if they are going to be using their servers, and the service would be free in the west.
I wonder if tunneling will be big on the 3DS. Regardless, if Capcom adds enough single-player content, I'll get it. This would be a great game to kill a train ride with. A great game to kill the 3DS battery with.
They really should prime the online pumps before Monster Hunter 4, though. Assuming it has online.
Not surprised at this news for Japan, the (hypothetical) western release could still have online added (as per Capcom's TvC, We Love Golf). I think they need to add it if they want this series to grow outside of Japan. Tri did it pretty well, hope they do it again.
Online gaming is not AT ALL a big deal in Japan. Especially for stuff like Monster Hunter. For them, Ad-Hoc multiplayer is where it's at. All the kids get together after school and play games with each other. Or... so I've been told.
I don't know if pushing this franchise in the West would be a good idea. If they could get that series as popular here as it is in Japan, then yeah - I see the incentive. But I don't know if that would work. Westerners (outside of a fairly vocal minority) don't care much for hunting monsters. (unless they're pocket monsters)
It'd be like trying to make a huge push to make something like Bioshock or Madden NFL or Call of Duty popular in Japan. Not sure if that would ever happen.
@GameDadGrant As far as I know CoD still sells decently in Japan... Monster Hunter never will be a blockbuster franchise in the West, and it doesn't need to be. No non-Nintendo Japanese games will be. But Monster Hunter can still become "popular" among the hardcore crowd. Tri was a great game and has a nice following, the online community is still quite active. Capcom knows that West = online, so if MH3G is coming at all I won't rule out the possibility of online based on Japan's local multiplayer-centric gaming habits.
Well I'm talking about "new" franchises. Those ones were established over a decade ago.
These days, even Nintendo has trouble making new franchises reach god-tier status in the West (bar the Wii ___ line).
Now, I know Monster Hunter is not a brand new franchise for the west, but...it might as well be, the PS2 games sold horribly and Tri a bit better. The franchise needs online in the west to be relevant at all.