Peggle 2 producer explains exactly what's new for the sequel

Peggle 2 is, simply put, more Peggle. But lead producer Jared Neuss attempted to explain to Shacknews exactly what's new about the long-awaited sequel--and why it's debuting on Xbox One.

"It's a lot more immersive than it used to be in the past, where it felt like you were playing just a series of challenges," Neuss said. Masters are the highlight for Peggle 2, with new over-the-top powers, new Master-specific victory songs, and new art that brings everything together. "You're moving through their world as you progress through the levels. The game feels more seamless than it used to."

With Peggle 2, PopCap wanted to make sure that Master powers have a dual use. For example, at PAX I was able to use a power that lets you shoot through blue pegs. Neuss explained that you can use it simply to go after hard-to-reach orange pegs, ones that may be otherwise blocked. However, you could also save the power-up until your multiplier reaches a certain level, and go after a string of blue pegs.

Still, this is far from a revolutionary concept. So, why did it take so long for PopCap to make a sequel? And why now? "The team has been experimenting with different platforms and different ways of making the game. With every sequel, you want to figure out how far do you push the envelope, how far can you go before it stops feeling like that game anymore," Neuss told us. "A lot of time was spent was just trying new things. Where we settled was: we want the gameplay to feel very similar for people who've played the game before."

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Oddly, Peggle 2 will launch on Xbox One first. Given the game's casual and mass-market appeal, it seemed a curious decision. However, Neuss says that being part of a console launch provides PopCap a "cool opportunity to be something different at that point in the console life cycle." Whereas "you see a lot of the AAA games" during a typical console launch, Peggle 2 can stand out as a more casual offering--one that will be available for the entire life of the console.

In addition, Peggle 2 will feature Xbox One-specific features. "There will be Kinect," Neuss said, while remaining coy about how it will be implemented. "You can opt-in to any of these features, but they won't be in your face," he pointed out. In addition, Peggle 2 will take advantage of Game DVR as well. "One of the things that's really cool for us is people share high scoring shots on YouTube all the time."

Peggle 2 will be available for the launch of Xbox One.