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Final Fantasy, Anyone?

Square has been busily inundating the news lately with tidbits of Final Fantasy info. Now, some information about the release of Final Fantasy XI has become available. In an interview with Mainichi Shimbun, a media outlet in Japan, Hironobu Sakaguchi, president of Square, stated that it is currently impossible to play Final Fantasy XI on any system save for a PC or a PlayStation2. This obviously spells disappointment for XBox and GameCube fans hopeful for a multiplatform release of the title, as it would appear that no such release is planned at this time. There was a ray of hope, however, as Square's former president, Tomoyuki Takechi, now serving in a lesser capacity with Square, noted he would like to see any online-capable hardware be able to play Final Fantasy titles in future.

Sakaguchi also made known some financial projections concerning the game, as well as Square's infant online gaming site, Playonline.com In order for the company to break even on its investment in the site, they would require 495,000 members to subscribe to the site for a year. Whether Square will hit this mark yet is uncertain, but each of the previous three Final Fantasy titles has sold over 2 million copies, so there is certainly a base of fan support for the titles. Final Fantasy XI still has no confirmed release date.

Aside from this information, Square also made a couple of announcements concerning the re-release of their PlayStation Final Fantasy titles. After confirming the games are under development, the company revealed the nature of the improvements they intended to make on the games. First of all, Square will be enhancing the graphics to PlayStation2 standards. In addition to this improvement, the game systems will be tweaked in order to correct 'all the flaws' that existed in the original games. What this entails exactly is uncertain; tweaking could mean potentially anything from a better translation of Final Fantasy VII or smaller things, such as cutting load times before battles.

Whatever ends up happening, there have still been no release dates announced for the titles. Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII, Final Fantasy IX will all be released separately.


by Andrew Long    
Source: [PS2 IGN]
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