Egads! Square Haven actually did a news update!The following quotes taken directly from a Famitsu interview with Hironobu Sakaguchi, some guy working on some silly underground, no-name video game series called "Final Fantasy," tells a lot about what we can expect in Final Fantasy XI, the first game in the series to go completely online.
Last night, I played it [Final Fantasy XI] with my co-workers. We walked through the forest and it looked beautiful. The game itself is already connected to the company's local network and we were able to chat inside the game, too. For example, you can set up a PC in the local arcades and play from there. Then you can continue the game once you return to the office or back home. Furthermore, there are possibilities of using cell phones to level up your character's skills or open up your own store and see how well business is going.
Unlike Ultima Online, you won't experience slower speeds when walking through field maps based on your PC specs. Connection speeds will not be much of an issue since the game will be able to run smoothly even on a 28.8 kbps modem. We probably will impose a monthly fee for playing, similar to recent online network titles on the PC. We may eventually release add-on packs as well as downloadable patches for new dungeons and such. The game is only for the PS2 and PC, but I was hoping for a Mac version. Unfortunately, our team is currently too busy with the development.
Strangely enough, the mention of FFXI being only on the PS2 and PC raises lots of interesting questions involving Square's supposed alignment with Microsoft and the Xbox. Could it be that Square isn't developing for the Xbox, as rumored, or is it that Sakaguchi is merely covering up an industry secret? Or was he just simply uninformed? Interesting indeed.
Sakaguchi also touched on a few tidbits about the upcoming Final Fantasy movie, recently retitled Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within.
As for Final Fantasy: The Movie, the script, originally written by Al Reinert, is in its second draft. The studio expects to wrap up production by May 2001, and it [the movie] should be ready for a summer release in North America. We haven't set a specific date for Japan yet, though.
Â In the end, however, with all of the headlines consisting of news on the upcoming Final Fantasy IX, Final Fantasy XI, and the Final Fantasy movie, one has to wonder what happened to Final Fantasy X. Other than a video shown at the Tokyo Game Show last spring, close to nothing is known about the 10th installment, and it's leading some in the industry to believe that either Final Fantasy X is currently on the shelf as Square awaits their decision to side with either the PS2 or the Xbox, the original game concept has been scrapped completely, or that Square is simply tight-lipped about the whole thing. Stay tuned to Square Haven as we find out more on these interesting issues.