Sony has stepped up to publish Final Fantasy XI for PlayStation 2, and it also announced during its pre-E3 conference that it would be releasing their anticipated 40 gig hard disc drive simultaneously with Final Fantasy XI sometime during the first quarter of 2004. Unfortunately, no details about pricing or availability were disclosed and will be released at a later date. The Japanese price for Final Fantasy XI is 6800 yen, or 51.00 USD; the Network Adapter and Hard Disc Drive were released together, so no price can be estimated. Final Fantasy XI currently has more than 200,000 subscribers in Japan, with numbers still rising steadily.
Sony has also decided to offer the PlayStation 2 Online Pack this June in North America, which offers the Network Adapter bundled in along with the system. It will also have the ability to play all DVD Media, (DVD-R/-RW+R/RW) a new progressive scan playback, and a new interior design to reduce fan noise. The new PlayStation 2 package will go on sale for the suggested retail price of $199.