With PC gamers assured that they'll be playing Final Fantasy XI this fall, owners of the PlayStation 2 have been wondering when Square Enix's MMORPG will appear on their console. At the opening press conference of Sony Gamers Day 2003 attended by top Sony officials, those questions have been finally answered.
Final Fantasy XI requires the PlayStation 2 Hard Drive to facilitate gameplay; because of this the game will be bundled with every hard drive sold, and will not be available separately. The launch date has been set for March 2004, with a suggested retail price of $99. The hard drive will also be bundled with product demos, a media player designed to handle games, audio, video and even photos, as well as many other goodies that have yet to be revealed.
The final pricing details for Final Fantasy XI were also revealed at the event. The costs for the first month will be included in the price of the hard drive, and following that, each month will cost an additional $12.95.
Of particular importance is that, essentially, everyone who buys the hard drive will also be paying for Final Fantasy XI, whether they want the game or not. Whether or not different flavors of the PlayStation 2 Hard Drive pre-installed with other games will be available remains to be seen.
Edited 09.17.2003 to add monthly pricing details.