An interview in the latest issue of Famitsu has revealed that Final Fantasy XI producer Hiromichi Tanaka and his development team are currently working on a new MMORPG for next-generation consoles. In the interview conducted with Tanaka, no details on whether this new MMORPG will be a successor to Final Fantasy XI or a new title were given up. But he did mention that the technical demonstration for the Xbox 360 shown during E3 was the result of an experiment his development team conducted to see what sort of graphics a next-generation console could produce.
With Final Fantasy XI in mind, Tanaka stated that the recently-announced Xbox 360 version of Final Fantasy XI will not feature any major graphical enhancements, and will be similar to what the currently available PC version sports. He did add, however, that his team is seeing if the Xbox 360 is capable of displaying graphics for about twice the distance than the Windows version.
The Xbox 360 version of Final Fantasy XI is looking to begin simultaneously with the launch of the Xbox 360 in November. Like the Windows beta before it, the beta testing for this version will take place on servers separated from that of the rest of the Final Fantasy XI populace. One of the main purposes of the Xbox 360 version's beta is to see if any problems with the game's network environment arise, since this will mark the first time that Xbox Live will allow a connection from an external system.
Reports from Japan state that the game is roughly 55% complete. Stay tuned to RPGamer for more details as they come forth.