Final Fantasy XIV goes online Sept. 30 on PC

$50 regular version of upcoming MMORPG arrives at end of third quarter; $75 collector's edition to offer early access; PS3 launch TBA.

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At the 2010 Electronic Entertainment Expo earlier this month, Square Enix showed off its upcoming massively multiplayer role-playing game Final Fantasy XIV. Today, the Japanese publisher dated the game, saying it would launch in North America on September 30 on the PC at a price point of $50. The PlayStation 3 version, which was on display at Sony's E3 2010 press conference, has not been given a release window beyond "2010," though it had been set for a simultaneous release with the PC edition.

For $25 more, Final Fantasy fans can pick up the collector's edition of FFXIV and get access to the game eight days early.

Final Fantasy fanatics willing to pay $25 will be able to access the game eight days ahead of the masses, courtesy of the early access codes included in the $75 collector's edition of the game. (Square Enix did add the caveat that "timing of access subject to initial server capacity.") Besides the game disc and manual, included will be the following cache of goodies:

--A behind-the-scenes DVD with the obligatory documentary on the making of the game.
--A travel journal with concept art pages in which players can document their in-game wanderings.
--An in-game item called the "Onion Helm."
--A fully personalized "Right of Passage" certificate.
--Special cover illustrated by artist Yoshitaka Amano.
--An FFXIV-branded security token for use with regular password.

Final Fantasy XIV Online will be set in the realm of Eorzea, a world not seen before in any other installments in the franchise. Like in other MMORPGs, gamers will be able to explore the realm after selecting from a variety of races, combat classes, and professional skills. More information on Eorzea's lore and backstory can be found on the game's Web site.

Final Fantasy XIV will be the second installment in the long-running role-playing game to take on the MMORPG genre. The first such game, Final Fantasy XI, debuted on the PC in 2003 and found its way to the PlayStation 2 the next year. An Xbox 360 edition followed in 2006. In a unique twist, the game allowed players from all three platforms to play together in the same gameworld.

For the latest on Final Fantasy XIV, check out GameSpot's hands-on preview straight from E3 2010 or view the brand-new interview below.

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