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'Monster Hunter 4' granted Nintendo's international clearance

Yes, it's going to be released outside of Japan, but no, it still won't be until 2015.

tech reviews Updated: Feb 17, 2014 10:53 IST

Yes, it's going to be released outside of Japan, but no, it still won't be until 2015.

As long as the release date doesn't slip, "Monster Hunter 4" fever should be gripping the Nintendo 3DS this time next year, in early 2015.

During the February 13th Nintendo Direct broadcast, Product Marketing Manager Erik Peterson told fans that it would be "the biggest leap forward for the series yet."

The game has been available in Japan since September 2013 and in Korea since December.

In fact, by the time "Monster Hunter 4" releases in North America and Europe, an updated version called "Monster Hunter 4G" will have hit the streets in Japan.

Fortunately, and following the pattern set by "Bravely Default: Flying Fairy," it's that updated version that's being translated and localized for international consumption.

And as Peterson reminded viewers, by that point it'll include online multiplayer.

For Nintendo's handheld division, it's a big coup, considering how much of a draw the "Monster Hunter" series had been for Sony's PlayStation Vita in previous years.

An earlier entry to the series, "Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate" had been released first for the Wii in 2009 and 2010, and then later for the 3DS and Wii U as part of an exclusivity deal with developer Capcom.

But Western audiences were not able to purchase regional versions for the 3Ds and Wii U until March of last year, which goes some way to explain Nintendo's patience when it comes to launching "Monster Hunter 4" for the same devices.