Late last week, Atlus opened a teaser site with a bright yellow background sporting the text p-atlus.jp. At the time of this writing that site is still not active, but early reports from Famitsu have revealed what is to come. In Spring 2012, PlayStation Vita owners in Japan will be greeted with Persona 4: The Golden, an enhanced version of the PlayStation 2 title.
This version will include 3G and Wi-Fi support which includes the ability to send messages to other players when your characters are about to die in a dungeon. How this works and if this is the limit of the online features has yet to revealed. This new version will also features new events, additional voiced animated scenes that help bring voice acting to one and a half times more than the PS2 version, a new song for opening movie, new personas, and more character outfits. There will be a mysterious new character named Marie and another new element that has been highly requested by fans, whatever that means.
The team is striving to make this as close to the PlayStation 2 version as possible. The game was originally planned for the PlayStation Portable, but the development staff did not want to have to make the same cuts they did with Persona 3 Portable, such as dropping exploration of the world map. With the move to PlayStation Vita, the team aims to make something better than the original version of the game.
That wasn't all the news on the Persona front. In an interview with Famitsu, Katsura Hashino confirmed that the team was working on Persona 5. While very few details were shared, he did confirm that he would be directing the game. Not only that, but Shigenori Soejima would be returning as character designer and Shoji Meguro would once again be composing for the series. The only other detail revealed is that the new title will be using a new internally-built engine. The team will not be reusing the third party engine Gamebryo, as was used for Catherine. Hashino ended the interview by saying not to expect this new game for quite some time.
Finally, on somewhat of a side note, Atlus also announced that the Persona team is working with BlazBlue developer Arc System Works on Persona 4: The Ultimate in Mayonaka, a 2D fighting game featuring characters from Persona 3 and 4. This game will be available in arcades in Spring 2012 before making the jump to PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 next summer. The game takes place two years after the end of Persona 4 and the console versions will come with a story mode that will dig deeper into the plot.
With all of this information coming fresh from the latest issue of Famitsu, there is of course no confirmation of any of these games coming to North America or PAL regions. We will make sure to update you if Atlus USA makes any announcements on any of these titles.