Square Enix 'considering' FFXIV Online for 'Microsoft hardware'

E3 2009: Japanese publisher calls PS3/PC-only release of its new MMORPG into question; "We are considering all options," says SVP; full Q&A inside.

by

LOS ANGELES--Square Enix's announcement last year that Final Fantasy XIII would arrive on the Xbox 360 in addition to the PlayStation 3 was one of the biggest news items from the 2008 Electronic Entertainment Expo. This year, the company delivered one more shocker, abruptly announcing during Sony's E3 2009 press conference yesterday that Final Fantasy XIV Online is due for release on the PS3 in 2010.

A Final Fantasy for a persistent, online world.

Final Fantasy XIV Online will be the second massively multiplayer online role-playing game in the franchise. 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 follow-up announcement, Square Enix said that FFXIV Online will also see a global release on the PC, with localized editions appearing in Japanese, English, French, and German.

Thus far, the only hard detail Square Enix has shared about FFXIV Online is that the game will be set in the world of Eorzea, a new setting that has not appeared in previous franchise installments. However, that will soon change, as Square Enix is hosting a press conference today, the second day of the 2009 Electronic Entertainment Expo, to discuss the new title.

[11:27] A mob of journalists are standing outside the theater, waiting to be let into the Square Enix conference.

[11:29] Journalists are chattering about what the announcements will include. Speculation abounds that there could be other games besides FFXIV Online, but chances seem unlikely.

[11:30] Press conference is due to start right now. No word as to when the conference will actually start.

[11:32] No filming is allowed at the event. Hopefully non-flash photography is still within the rules.

[11:32] Conversations have drifted away from Square Enix news to, oddly, 50 Cent.

[11:34] Square Enix employees are shuffling in and out of the theater.

[11:39] People are beginning to sit down, but it doesn't look like Square plans to open the doors anytime soon. No updates either.

[11:41] Frazzled-looking tech people have exited the room.

[11:45] Two lines have been consolidated into one, perhaps this means something.

[11:45] ...and we're entering the theater. Hooray!

[11:49] Square Enix PR is standing at the podium on a makeshift stage. A panel with three name cards is present.

[11:51] The panelists include director Nobuaki Komoto, producer Hiromichi Tanaka, and senior vice president Shinji Hashimoto.

[11:52] Only thing Square Enix has announced so far is that no filming is allowed. A large screen with the company's logo is displayed on a wall in the front of the theater.

[11:54] "Sorry we're running a little late," a rep tells the amassed crowd. "We'll be bringing our speakers on right now."

[11:54] Hashimoto, Tanaka, and Komoto are walking in now.

[11:54] Hashimoto would like to clarify some confusion regarding the exclusivity.

[11:56] Through a translator, he says that some folks interpreted that it was an exclusive, the announcement would be coming to the PS3 and PC.

[11:56] "We are considering all options at this time, including Microsoft hardware." (Emphasis added.)

[11:56] The QA session is about to get started. Mics are being passed around.

[11:57] A question is being asked about old races: "What are the ties to FFXI?"

(Left to Right:) Hashimoto, Tanaka, and Komoto

[11:58] Tanaka says, "These are different races, a different world than FFXI, the name of the world is Eorzea."

[11:58] "The reason we made them similar in FFXI was so that the players who have been playing XI and liked the character can choose a similar type of race," he says.

[11:59] "An example of why we did this," he says, "is like we have one actor in many movies--in one movie he's an assassin robot, in another it's a spy, but it's the same guy. We want you to think of it the same way."

[11:59] The next question: "What happens to FFXI now?"

[12:00] Tanaka says that the development for FFXIV started appearing four to five years ago.

[12:01] "We started going into full gear the past few years. This has been going along at the same time as FFXI."

[12:01] "We still plan on continuing developing for FFXI," he says.

[12:01] "We have a year planned for FFXI still in the works."

[12:01] He confirms that there are no plans in the near future to stop development.

Hashimoto, Tanaka, and Komoto onstage, flanked by an MC (left) and translators (right).

[12:02] Next question: "What kind of influences from other MMOGs like World of Warcraft have there been on FFXIV?"

[12:02] Komoto responds, "As with WOW, they're aimed at the casual user. We're aiming for more casual users. However, we don't want to make a copy of WOW. We want to be unique."

[12:03] "Is the action going to be action or turn based?" asks a new questioner.

[12:03] "We can't answer that yet" is the succinct response.

[12:03] Next question: "FFXI has evolved a lot over the years, with the ability to play solo like WOW. Will you be carrying over the ability of being able to play solo?"

[12:04] "Yes, all of the knowledge and experience we got, we plan on using in the development of FFXIV."

[12:04] "FFXI was originally designed based on party battles. With FFXIV, we'd like to have content for solo players, as well as extremely large battles for players to play together."

[12:05] Next question: "Are there plans for worldwide launch of the game, simultaneous worldwide release?"

[12:06] Tanaka says, "Yes, we will launch worldwide, in all regions, in the same four languages as we already announced."

[12:07] Tanaka also confirms that the servers will be worldwide, and there will also be cross-platform servers.

[12:08] Next question: "Will Square respond to players' feedback like they did in FFXI to make their lives in the game easier?"

[12:09] Komoto: "We believe that the user's voice is very important. We want to keep getting advice. We are currently still getting advice from FFXI users, we hope to get their feedback from FFXIV."

[12:11] "We hope to have users play XI and then another day play XIV. Communities will be independent, but if they want to communicate they can," Square Enix noted.

[12:11] Question: "Are there any plans to translate the game into Spanish?"

[12:12] "Currently we don't have a Spanish development, but if there are enough users that want it, we'll certainly consider it."

[12:12] "To get good translators in Japan, it's very difficult, but if users want it, then we'll definitely consider it."

[12:12] Another questioner queries: "Are there any special elements in the MMO genre that you will improve with this game?"

[12:13] Komoto says, "Our plan from the beginning was to make the best Final Fantasy game available with FFXIV. That was our vision."

[12:13] "We thought, 'How can we make the best FF game?' We decided on the MMO genre."

[12:14] However, we are trying to implement a lot of new systems that other MMOs have not used in the past," he continued. "So in that sense, it may be revolutionary."

[12:14] Next questioner, please. "When did you decide to make this installment an MMO rather than a traditional RPG? It's unusual to have another MMO as FFXIV."

[12:18] Tanaka says, "We've been asked that question by a lot of people. It comes down to, originally FFXI was designed for the PS2, and it moved to Windows and then the 360. A lot of people have asked about making a port of that to the current machine. But unfortunately with an MMO of this size, you have to be maintaining and developing new content."

[12:18] "Was yesterday's trailer the same quality that we'll actually see in the game?" is the next question.

[12:20] Komoto says, "Yes, there were parts that were prerendered, but parts were running on the in-game engine."

[12:20] "Is that then the actual quality that you are aiming for?" the questioner asks as a follow-up.

[12:21] "Are the fights many vs. many rather than one vs. one, and will there be changes in the battle system?"

[12:21] "Good question, but I don't know how much I can answer. But we will have battles against many vs. one or many vs. many."

Unfortunately we've yet to see any more footage of FFXIV. The Square Enix logo sits motionless on the projection screen.

[12:22] And the next question is: "What's different from FFXI, and what would they like to do in this game?"

[12:23] "We will have the same type of storytelling and expand on in-game systems. The player will be able to grow and develop in a natural way. It shouldn't put a lot of weight on the player itself, and through this, we'll develop the job system into something quite different."

[12:24] Tanaka follows up with: "FFXI has gotten better. For FFXIV we want to make it so that if you want to play in a party, you can, if you want to play solo you can, or if you want to play all day, you can. We will have game systems and content there for all types of people."

[12:24] "Have you given any thoughts to your beta testing? Will you let FFXI users into the program?"

[12:25] Tanaka says, "As with the actual release, we don't have a concrete beta schedule yet. All we can say is that we will have a beta. When we do have a schedule we will give that to you."

[12:25] "Is there any possibility of porting FFXI characters to FFXIV?"

[12:27] Tanaka says, "The game is completely different. There won't be any way to take your character from XI and take it to XIV."

[12:27] He continues, "Since the character design is very similar, you can create a new character that will be like what you played in FFXI."

[12:28] "Also, FFXIV will not be using the PlayOnline system. However, the friends list will be transferred over to the FFXIV system."

[12:28] Last question, "If I'm new to the MMO genre I have many options to choose from. Why would I choose FFXIV over these games?"

[12:28] Komoto says, "We believe that players will fall in love with the world we've created and the story we have to offer. That's probably our biggest thing."

[12:29] And that's it!

[12:30] Check back throughout the day for GameSpot's continuing coverage of the 2009 Electronic Entertainment Expo.

Discussion

1071 comments
detroitfireman
detroitfireman

We're actually in the year 2010 which is what makes this waiting thing so tantalizing. Not knowing at all when my most eagerly anticipated title is coming out. I can only hope that I'm one of the faithful FFXI players that will be picked for beta testing. Go FFXI and FFXIV!!! NIN75, RNG75, COR75, MNK75, BLM75, SMN75, THF75 ^^ Among a few other high level jobs.

detroitfireman
detroitfireman

ZaKarn69, seems like its been a while since you've played an MMO, particularly FFXI. In FFXI you pay once a month to play. Most MMOs are this way. I mean, there are things that have to be done in order to make online play possible. They need servers & other equipment, personnel to maintain, update, repair, etc. Credit card is the only accepted pay method for FFXI. But since FFXIV won't be played through PlayOnline, I would not be surprised if there is a game card that will be used as a pay method. They definitely don't give you any in-game items just for playing each month. However they do sometimes have in-game items that you can buy in their store or during limited time offers.

Vuurk
Vuurk

I really hope this game is available for Xbox 360. If not, I will either be buying a PS3 or playing it on PC.

ZaKarn69
ZaKarn69

I want to know if they will be robbing us blind (with little reward other than the privilege to play a game I already payed for) by being pay to play. If so, will they have other methods of paying other than needing a credit card? Paypal even? Game cards? Will they give out in-game rewards for being a constant member like a special weapon or armor since I will be paying monthly to play. When I buy time will it be time played or a month whether I play or not? These are the reasons I stopped playing MMO's. Which is a shame cause they can be quite entertaining.

B3tches_Killz
B3tches_Killz

im hawt. and this is once again...ANOTHER ! reason to buy a Ps3 (prolly getting this for my Pc though) X3

drakefs
drakefs

@Naicco: Yeah, FFXI used the same servers for all platforms and regions. I don't know if they intend on keeping the cross region idea, I do hope so. @rosk: S-E uses their own server farms btw. They did for FFXI (Xbox live was required for the 360 users but only silver, so no money to MS for the live portal) and I believe they will continue to do so. So, more than likely, for FFXIV, it wont matter how good or Bad the PSN is. ... waiting sucks.

Naicco
Naicco

Couldn't Xbox 360 users play with the PC and PS2 users in FFXI? The game is already going to be cross-platform and cross-region with PC and PlayStation 3 versions, now when (or if) they release the Xbox 360 version I'm sure all players can play with each other. Hopefully the fanboys will have their very own server where they can duke it out... that would be actually quite fun to watch. Even if the PS3 and Xbox 360 are different that doesn’t mean that Square can’t release the game on both consoles. They are using the Crystal Tools with FFXIV and as we have seen with Final Fantasy XIII, it’s working really well. I’m pretty sure that the game is a timed exclusive for now, maybe we will hear more at this years Tokyo Game Show :P

B3tches_Killz
B3tches_Killz

if they actually add this to the 360 (if not im getting it for my PC) I would LOVE to see linked network on this Mmo. i mean ps3 users could play with pc users and also 360 users (if they decide to let it out for the 360 that is.) and square enix would make good money if they make FFXIV for the 360. Though nothing beats PCs. Mmos are made for PCs so i wouldn't buy this for my 360 anyway.

lucky789
lucky789

im not into mmo but ill give this one a try.

Chidorifreak
Chidorifreak

360 has completely different hardware. Sony has got some top of the line stuff crammed into that little black console they developed. So from a hardware standpoint Playstation 3s beat Xbox360s. But they're both awesome systems. and JimmeyBurrows... They addressed Xbox360 because it is possible that FFXIV will be open to 360 owners. note the: "including microsoft hardware"

SkeithHaseo122
SkeithHaseo122

360 is pretty much like the ps3 except for wireless compatability and few games thts it

JimmeyBurrows
JimmeyBurrows

I love how Gamespot throw XBox360 into the title of the topic, when it's not mentioned throughout the interview, rofl... just fueling the arguements... anywho I gotta say I like using a controller for fps's... analog sticks for movement allow for smoother aiming... rather than jumpy hand movements and keyboard is effectively just a d-pad... me likes the analog sticks... also can't limit the speed of aiming with a mouse, which lets people turn at silly speeds... just prefference though, everyone likes things different. probably wont bother with this game unless it have a free trial version, in whichcase I'll try it and not bother, lol... mmo's are too much of a money stealer. everyone saying how bad it will be to use a controller for an mmo are badly mistaken... using a mouse to click to move gets a bit annoying and boring... an mmorpg with controller movements would be nice... also if it's got an improved FFXII gameplay, that would pretty much be perfect for mmorpg's... lets just wait and see... less of the "my consoles better than yours" bull crap if you please :) PC's win out, but only if you wanna shell out waaaay more than you want... consoles are great 'cos they're cheap (sold at less than it costs to make, except Nintendo stuff) and (if they hadn't released god knows how many variations of each console) every game would run at it's best on it

itachi100
itachi100

@rosk lol, comparing the xbox to the PS3 in terms of technology is something to laugh at. if it can't support an mmo using new advanced technology, then how could it do so on the PS2.

itachi100
itachi100

the 360 is a downgraded PC that you are limited to play on your TV and you have to use a worthless controller compared to the epic combination of mouse and keyboard. i find it extremely difficult to play shooters with a controller. controllers are only good for the 3/10 games that use a lot of button mashing. MMORPGs are no different. the PS3 is fine for no real reason either. but the xbox shows that it's a lazy version of a PC

rosk
rosk

ifxbox 360 is pc then its betta than sony ps3. funny how all the developers end up turning to xbox 360 when talking about MMORPGs. ps3 wont be able to handle it. we might have to pay but ive also got a ps3 and its free and you can tell. i always get a good connection with xbox. thats what you pY FOR. PS3 JUST ROB YOU WITH ITS PSN charging well over the top

Genodude
Genodude

Finally this game has a title and release date and info....oh the long wait...

Sooing
Sooing

All consoles are basically PCs with controllers and games

GaRdYbOy
GaRdYbOy

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Verzingetorix
Verzingetorix

OK, just a clarification. Some people are saying Microsoft hardware is PC. That is wrong. Microsoft Hardware=Xbox systems, Microsoft Software=Windows OS (XP, Vista, etc.) and windows programs (Windows Media Player, Microsoft Office, etc.) You can't call PCs Microsoft Hardware because hey don't make pc hardware (cpu, gpu, motherboards, etc.) A dell pc running XP is not Microsoft Hardware. It is Dell Hardware running on Microsoft Software. I hope i helped to clear some confusion.

sparkypants
sparkypants

I think by microsoft hardware he meant PC. When Sony talked about FFXIV being exclusive to the PS3 I think they meant exclusive to consoles. I think SE just wants the clear up the confusion and make it clear that its also on windows PC.

ag_04
ag_04

360 is just a pc with games, deal with it.

BLuFAlc0n
BLuFAlc0n

As long as what Square Enix meant by "Microsoft Hardware" is Windows PC, we're all fine and everyone will enjoy!

2bitSmOkEy
2bitSmOkEy

Of course if the game was designed from the ground up for keyboard/mouse it could be awesome. Its not really that big of a deal either, how many people don't have a usb keyboard and mouse to plug into their console. But for whatever reason I feel Square will still design the game to be used with either keyboard/mouse or gamepad, which means limited gameplay options. There are only so many buttons on a gamepad compared to tons of options with the traditional pc setup. This isn't just pc elitism, its just the truth. Even still, I wouldn't rule a Square game out just yet. Despite what others say, I think they have a creative spark still in them.

mhatter106
mhatter106

@2bitsmokey and magusa I used to play ff11 on ps2 and it worked pretty well actually. Most every ps2 user also had a usb keyboard too which made it easier for communication, but a surprisign amount can be done with just yoru gamepad if you set macros well. (Although the keyboard was needed to effectively set up ur macros). Soem people had mice too, but I think you can play just fine with a pad and keyboard.

2bitSmOkEy
2bitSmOkEy

How good can an mmo be with a gamepad? Thats the real question people need to be asking.

itachi100
itachi100

why give the greatness of final fantasy to the XBOX fanboys. keep it for the mature players; we don't want 8 year olds on here

NegativeAngel
NegativeAngel

I was a huge fan of FF11, especially the community of (mature) players. I had the best social experience but i knew there was huge room for improvment gameplay wise. Im willing to bet the game will control i bit more like WoW, but with FF style jobs, skills, and spells. Even if they keep it more turn based i will still love it. Is it 2010 yet ?!

magusat999
magusat999

Was FFXI actually playable on the PS2?

sringangel
sringangel

.... what less FF's for the role-playing genre? What am I going to do now D: *sits and waits for FF13/VS

IXIWhistIXI
IXIWhistIXI

Content and gameplay > World and story. While world and story can play an important role, it's all about what you can do, and how long the experience will last. Ie lots of raids and what not.

mariofool
mariofool

PS2 release??????????????????????????????????

chazzx21
chazzx21

Oh there's a big surprise, Square will end up releasing this to as many people as possible to keep interest high (new system releases) and revenue streaming in (multiple platforms). It's a money game for this one.

patsy-cline
patsy-cline

Oh yeh, about final fantasy! yeh I have a suspicious feeling you will have to sign up to play online than PSN or XBL. which means MONEY MONEY MONEY for Square-enix!

patsy-cline
patsy-cline

I agree with therascricket, but not about the processor thing, the xbox 360 has a older processor model to the PS3, but it makes it up because its not '1' three core processor, I think its three seperate processors which is why the xbox tends heat up and basically MELT EVERYTHING INSIDE THREE TIMES IN A ROW FOR ME!!!!

FinalDuo1886
FinalDuo1886

It going to be terrible day for FFXI, cause people 9-10 people are going too up and leave that game for this. But I'm ready for another 5 yrs out of my non existing social life again too play this, and get into a another great guild, so I'm ready :D.

therascricket
therascricket

All this is is pandering for the PS3/Squenix stockholders. Most of you are too young to understand this and think its all about a "console war". Morons. 360 and PS3 have basically the same exact processor to begin with as BOTH chipsets were designed by the same company. But most of you kids dont know that...do you? No, you dont. And you wont beleive me either but it just shows your comprehension of how big business works. On topic, of course its coming to 360. Why limit their sales to the dreadfully third place PS3. And yes...PS3 is in DEAD last place and when it comes to devs thinking which system they want to make a game that can SELL SOME COPIES, theyll go with the 360.

cocacolafresh
cocacolafresh

idc if it ports to 360, just have it on ps3 so i can play it =]

StephenBassford
StephenBassford

Hope it gets to 360. That'd suck for all those people that have played FF11 on 360 if FF14 didn't release on 360 as well.

Demonkillua
Demonkillua

I think the working title for this MMO was originally Haeresis XIII, but now it's XIV... I knew they've been working on some kind of a MMO for a while, they just did very well with only keeping anything about it secret. Also I think it would be better if this was part of the XIII Installments because I don't like the sound of another MMO for a main title.

nappan
nappan

Oh please, it's a MMORPG... the way you make money with one is: shove it onto anything that can spin a disc. I don't care what kind of MMO it is.. a MMO is a MMO and a waste of talent, time, and money. That said, it's going to be insanely successful.

Hekynn
Hekynn

NOOOOOO don't do it SE it will just screw us PC gamers for good since we would have to pay GFWL to play online with FF14. I'm also keeping my eye on this game as well as other mmorpgs :)

glacierAF
glacierAF

Square put FFXI on the 360 for three reasons. First, no hard drive to buy, so it could be sold cheap. Second, with XNA, the PC code was very similar to the code for the 360, so no real change in production. And third, to see if Final Fantasy could fly on a Microsoft console. It was the project that persuaded Microsoft to put FFXIII on the 360, though I would have rather it stayed a PS3 exclusive, solely so it would be released in the U.S. this year.

blackace
blackace

jemoedr Don't go to xbox don't go to xbox don't go to xbox don't go to xbox don't go to xbox don't go to xbox ****************************************************** That's exactly what I was saying about FF XI. I have no idea why SquareEnix brought FF XI to the XBox 360. The game over a year old and didn't sell that great on the PS2, so why bring it out for the XBox 360? If they do decided to bring it to the 360, make sure it's released at the same time as the PS3/PC version. Front Mission Evolved is coming to XBox 360, but that wasn't even mentioned at M$ or Sqiare's conferences.

Denu1
Denu1

64bits if there wasnt a market for it in europe they would only realease it in japan, as for cutesy wtf have you been watching. scarface dm its still coming out on ps3 so why cry about it? Midnightshade29 you can play mmo's on the free xbox live membership plus pc and ps3 and 360 gamers all have to pay for a internet connection to play online

Clangeddinn
Clangeddinn

need new crystal chronicles to come out.

Midnightshade29
Midnightshade29

This is typical this gen se, announcing excluisivty then backstabbing and saying they are considering ms...hmm waiting to be bribed again? The thing is a mmo is stupid on the xbox as those people are already getting ripped off with monthly fees, then to add another? PS3 and PC = no monthly fee for online, which means more people would be willing to shell out for this mmo. I really hate the se president, I hope he gets dethroned soon!

miraWorks
miraWorks

64bits you do realize theres already a Final fantasy online and thats its been successful...and has been that for bout 4 years? :P also it will be on PC also like all normal MMO but ya..i dont care what console they release it on now that it been confirmed for the PC XD

scarface_dm
scarface_dm

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]