Forget retail and renting, if Manhunt 2 maintains its AO rating it won't even be allowed licence or playback on Nintendo's Wii or Sony's PlayStation. In Nintendo's own Nintendo Buyer's Guide the company clearly states, "Please note that Nintendo does not sell or license games that carry the ESRB rating 'AO' (Adults Only)." Joystiq also spoke with Sony spokesman Dave Karraker who stated, "Currently it's SCE's policy not to allow the playback of AO rated content on our systems." Manhunt 2 won't be available on Microsoft's consoles.
And that's the ballgame: Rockstar can either edit Manhunt 2 or -- given its current AO rating -- leave it as a game that can't easily be played or obtained on the PlayStation 2, PSP and Wii consoles. Given the options available to Rockstar, it looks like they'll have no choice but to edit the game or just end Manhunt 2's life and move on.
We asked Microsoft to comment on their AO policy, but they had not yet responded by the time of publication.
Update: Full statement from Nintendo regarding this story after the break.