Sony ships PS2 hard drive, Final Fantasy XI

Console version of Square Enix's MMORPG finally heads to stores--but only bundled with the $99, 40GB HD.

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Four months after it shipped in Japan, Final Fantasy XI for the PlayStation 2 has finally come to America. Sony Computer Entertainment America announced this morning that Square Enix's massively multiplayer online role-playing game has shipped to stores.

Final Fantasy XI is only available bundled with the new hard drive for the PlayStation 2; together, they sell for $99.99. To date, it is also the only game that uses the 40GB drive, although the upcoming Resident Evil: Outbreak and Syphon Filter: the Omega Strain also plan on using the device. SOCOM II: U.S. Navy SEALs will also support the drive with downloadable content.

To play Final Fantasy XI, gamers will have to insert the hard drive into the expansion bay of the console. Although the drive will already have the game loaded onto it (it will also be included in disc form), players will need to install Square Enix's proprietary PlayOnline service, then download and install two patches (one for PlayOnline, the other for the game) before they can play. The game is playable on the same console-agnostic servers as the PC version of the game, which was released in the US last fall.

For more on Final Fantasy XI, check out our full review.

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