The Wii U version is already in development, Team Ninja localization manager Peter Garza told me at the show, with the overall game about 30% finished. Garza said the team has not settled on how Ninja Gaiden 3 will utilize, but it's looking to the DS game, Dragon Sword, for inspiration.
"There was a DS version, so we have some experience with touch controls and it [Dragon Sword] seemed to be fairly well received," said Garza. "So, now we have the chance to give this full console experience with those controls on the Wii U. We've actually started development on it but we don't have anything set. We're just playing with it."
If you aren't aware, Dragon Sword is a seriously fantastic touch-based action game for the DS. Even players who can't get into the frenetic flow of Itagaki's games (me) should give it a look.== TEASER ==
"We're looking forward to emerging of Ninja Gaiden 3 gameplay and visuals with Dragon Sword touch commands," he said. "That's where we're thinking now. Honestly, we're just playing with it, so it might change--that's the focus right now."
I wrote a not particularly flattering hands-on preview of the game, my impressions going astray because of the constant button prompts. I've been told those prompts disappear as the game progresses, but that wasn't clear from the show floor demo. The idea of playing a Dragon Sword-style game with the visual fidelity of a console Ninja Gaiden? Yes, sir, I would like that.
One last thing I have to share, if only because the quote's so ridiculous.
The DS game was not nearly as enthusiastically violent as the console versions. Were Team Ninja to merge Dragon Sword with modern Ninja Gaiden, plus the changes for Ninja Gaiden 3, we'd get something brand-new. Here's what Garza told me about the violence in this new one.
"What does it mean to cut someone with a sword, both physically and mentally?" he said. "You'll notice sequences when time slows down, the camera will zoom in. That's the representation of the sword going into the body, getting caught in the bones and the muscles of the enemy, and you have to really push through the meat of the body to finish the cut. We call that steel on bone."
Because why not, right?