Japanese Xbox owners will get a chance to purchase Shin Megami Tensei Nine not once, but twice in the coming months. The reason why? Atlus has announced it is splitting the game into two separate versions, a standalone title and an online offering. The offline version will be a standard RPG, and will bear marked resemblance to the online version; the reason Atlus has decided to divide the title's release is because its development team has not had adequate time to fully integrate all the online features planned for the game. Officially, the company is also stating it did not wish to hold up the game's release.
Japanese gamers eager to pickup the offline version of SMT 9 will be able to do so sometime this winter, while the online version is on hold until spring 2003. The game's chances of reaching North American shores are dubious, although the possibility is not altogether unlikely.