The last time gamers heard news about Phantasy Star Online 2 was back at the Tokyo Game Show 2011. Sega recently announced that the sequel to Phantasy Star Online will adopt a free-to-play business model.
According to Famitsu, the massively multiplayer online role-playing game will be using an item transaction system, so players will need to pay money for items or certain benefits to speed up level grinding. In addition, Sega announced that the game will be out on iOS and Android. Previously, the game was confirmed for the PC and the PS Vita platform, with the latter being announced early this month.
Series producer Sakai Satoshi mentioned that both the PC and PS Vita versions would be played on the same server, meaning that players can use the same character from one platform onto the other. The smartphone versions will offer a simpler character creation option, a modified control scheme, and social game elements. In terms of connectivity, the smartphone versions will share data with the PC and PS Vita versions of the game.
According to Satoshi, the Vita version is just 10 percent complete, and Sega plans to have the game running at the PC version's highest visual resolution and specs. Sega also announced that the PC's second alpha test for the game was recently completed and reached the scale of 50,000 online users. The closed beta test will be scheduled for late April with a scale of 100,000 players.
While the PC version is slated for this early summer in Japan, Vita owners will have to wait until 2013 for their version to begin service. The smartphone versions will be out in winter 2012. There is currently no word on any release date outside of Japan at this point.