Square Enix adds to strategy in postconference Q&A

Yoichi Wada-led session sheds light on Final Fantasy XI; Xbox 360 gamers will share servers with PC and PS2 users.

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LOS ANGELES--On Tuesday, Square Enix opened a Q & A session, where president Yoichi Wada and corporate executive Shinji Hashimoto appeared to clear up any of the inquiries that industrialists may have had from its own press conference and other's that followed.

A few key points surfaced, carried first in Impress Gamewatch.

- Although Xbox Live is an independent online service, Final Fantasy XI players on the Xbox 360 will be able to play with other users on the PC or PlayStation 2. In other words, all three versions of the title will run on the same servers.

- When asked by the press if Square Enix will release any other games on the Xbox 360, president Wada was less than decisive, saying, "We announced only one game this time, but we hope to establish a comprehensive relationship while examining the Xbox 360's capabilities." Wada also said that Square Enix will be considering the release of Final Fantasy XI on other platforms if it has the required environment.

- When asked if there were plans to port other PlayOnline games to the Xbox 360, Wada commented that Square Enix is examining the possibilities.

- Square Enix hopes to release Before Crisis - Final Fantasy VII in America as soon as possible, but Wada commented that mobile phones in America haven't gotten to the point yet where they have good enough hardware specs to run the game. He said Square Enix hopes to release the game on multiple phone carriers and that it's physically possible for users on different phone carriers or different continents to play online together, though there are some huge issues in the way (phone-carrier policy, for one). Wada added that releasing mobile phone games in different regions also has a number of hurdles to overcome, such as differences in hardware specs, programming languages, and business models.

- Final Fantasy XII isn't playable at this E3, but Wada comments that it was simply an issue of timing. He added that Square Enix will have it playable at the end of July, at which point the company will hold a private show in Japan.

- Square Enix plans to dub Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children in English for the American release. When asked by the press if there were any plans to release Advent Children with Japanese voice and English subtitles, Wada said he would consider the possibility.

- The trailer of Crisis Core - Final Fantasy VII shown during Square Enix's pre-E3 conference had an anime-like appearance to it, but it's not clear how the end product will look since it was created just for the purpose of the presentation. Wada comments that he expects the title to feature a new game system that takes advantage of the PSP's hardware.

- Square Enix plans to expand The World of Mana franchise using its "polymorphic content" strategy. As Wada explained during Square Enix's press conference, the "polymorphic content" strategy refers to a method of taking an original concept and developing it simultaneously across multiple media, including novelizations, film, games, and other products, such as manga. Wada stated that The World of Mana is still in its early planning stages, and there aren't any details that can be discussed, including what kind of media aside from games it will be released on, when it will launch, and what platform the game will come out on.

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