Square Enix: Nintendo saying no to cross-platform MMOs

Final Fantasy XI producer says publisher is not looking at Nintendo's system for titles with cross-platform play.

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AUSTIN, TX--Given Nintendo's spotty online gaming support for the Wii so far and the lack of a hard drive, owners of the system likely aren't especially optimistic about controlling massively multiplayer online role-playing games with the motion-sensing Wii Remote anytime soon. Final Fantasy XI producer Hiromichi Tanaka further ruled out the possibility during his keynote address at the Austin Game Developers Conference today.

Hiromichi Tanaka during his keynote address.
Hiromichi Tanaka during his keynote address.

During his talk on designing Final Fantasy XI to support cross-platform play among the PlayStation 2, PC, and Xbox 360, Tanaka brought up the other cross-platform MMO game he's currently working on, which was originally shown to the world as a next-generation tech demo during Microsoft's E3 2005 press conference. Tanaka said development on that game was proceeding smoothly, and while he didn't confirm which platforms it would appear on, he said, "it is safe to say it won't be much longer until I'm able to unveil more secrets about what the future holds for Square Enix."

Don't hold your breath for a Wii version, though. Answering a question from an audience member after his keynote address, Tanaka addressed the possibility of his next game winding up on Nintendo's system.

"As for Nintendo Wii, it will be pretty difficult if you were to cross-platform for a couple reasons," Tanaka said. "One is that Nintendo's currently not allowing different cross-platform titles, and as you know, the resolution differences make it harder for us to make cross-platform games. Currently we're not looking at Nintendo Wii as a platform."

He did note it was technically possible, however, as long as the system receives a hard drive attachment sometime in the future.

This is not the first time Tanaka has given clues to the platforms of his next game. In April of 2006, he told Japanese site Impress that his new MMO project was being developed for the PlayStation 3 and PC. However, since the PC edition is for Windows Vista, it is possible that the top-secret project could be the same "next-gen game" demonstrated at Microsoft's 2005 event.

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