Square has released a good bit of information concerning its plans for its upcoming games. Most notable is the news that Final Fantasy X, the first in the long-running Final Fantasy series to appear on the PlayStation 2, will not feature online capability as previously expected. Instead, Final Fantasy X will be a completely self-contained title as previous chapters in the series have been. This should not, however, affect the development of Final Fantasy XI, which will be an exclusively online game.
However, more closely tied to Final Fantasy XI was the announcement that Square's PlayOnline service, which will provide online access for Final Fantasy XI among other Internet-related services, will be ready later than anticipated. The revised schedule for PlayOnline calls for testing to begin this coming March, with the full roll-out of the PlayOnline service sometime between winter 2001 and spring 2002.
Finally, Square fans not interested in purchasing a PS2 may find this good news. GameSpot is reporting that during a discussion with a Square representative, it was revealed that Square is currently looking into development for other next-generation consoles. While no specific consoles were cited even as examples, it's worth noting that Square Europe recently ran a poll on its website asking, "Which next-generation console would you most like to see Square developing for?". Of the choices (PS2, Dreamcast, Game Cube, Xbox), the Nintendo Game Cube emerged as the clear favorite, with the Dreamcast firmly in second place. The Microsoft Xbox did not receive many votes.