As we reported in this story not even 24 hours ago, Japan is indeed getting Phantasy Star Online this year.. on December 21st to be more specific. Sega of America officials are now saying that the North American version of Phantasy Star Online will ship in January of 2001. That gives the Japanese people from two to six weeks to level themselves up before the Americans come knocking.
Why is there an extra month instead of a simultaneous release? Sega says the time will be used for extra testing. While some speculate that Japan will not get a completely up-to-par version, it is more likely that the testing will go towards the engine that will translate certain phrases between the different languages of the world. Such a script running in realtime can be very complex, and the fact that the game is only coming out a month later is actually pretty decent given how much testing such a script would need.
For those of you who haven't been keeping up, first shame on you. Second, Phantasy Star Online is the online Dreamcast game by Sonic Team. It is a four player online RPG featuring the Phantasy Star universe. For more information about this upcoming blockbuster, visit RPGamer's Phantasy Star Online coverage.