Report: Square Enix working on PS3, Vista MMORPG

Producer Hiromichi Tanaka tells Japanese news site about game, keeps mum on specifics; says PSP Final Fantasy XI is possible--but unlikely.

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Japanese news site Impress reports that Final Fantasy XI development team leaders let slip some tidbits on their next-gen plans. While talking up Treasures of Aht Urhgan--the game's latest expansion--FFXI producer Hiromichi Tanaka commented that his team is now working on a new massively multiplayer online role-playing game for Windows Vista and the PlayStation 3. He also shared his thoughts on porting games to new hardware, including bringing FFXI to the PS3 as well as the PlayStation Portable.

Tanaka didn't provide any details on his as-yet untitled game for Vista and the PS3, perhaps holding something back for a formal announcement at E3 in May. However, he did make some interesting comments about developing for the Xbox 360 versus the PlayStation 3.

The Xbox 360 operating system shares enough similarities with Windows, he said, so that porting the Windows version of FFXI to the 360 was a fairly quick task. A PS3 version of FFXI, on the other hand, would require redeveloping the game almost from scratch, a process that Tanaka estimated would take two or three years.

As a result, FFXI will emphatically not be a launch title for the PS3. In fact, Tanaka did not commit to bringing out FFXI for the PS3 at any time. He feels that the resources required to port the game to the PS3 might be better invested in a new game that's built from the ground up for next-gen hardware--but his team has yet to make a final decision one way or another.

Asked about FFXI on the PSP, Tanaka notes that although a fully playable version of the game is probably not realistic, he could envision enabling some functions--such as auctions and chat--for PSP users. However, his team has not had time to work on a handheld version of the game, and without evidence of overwhelming user demand, it seems unlikely that it will happen.

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