Final Fantasy 14 Online didn't come out on PlayStation 3 in 2010 as once promised. Delays later, the console version has a prospective Q1 2013 release date.
But given the graphical revamp and demands of Final Fantasy 14 relaunch Version 2.0, plus the age of PlayStation 3, wouldn't make more sense to save the MMO for PlayStation 4?
"It still hasn't been confirmed that a PlayStation 4 will be released!" laughed FF14 producer and director Naoki Yoshida, answering a question asked by Eurogamer behind closed doors at E3.
"For the sake of argument, we'll assume that PlayStation 4 will be announced.
"As you know, our goal as a developer and company is we want as many people to play this game as possible. If that means when a new piece of hardware comes out - if putting our game on that piece of hardware means that we'll get to reach out to new people, then we definitely want to do that.
"But the first thing that we have is, we made a promise to our players that we are going to release this on PlayStation 3. So we must first fulfil that promise. That is our first goal. We must work as hard as we can to fulfil the promise that we made to the players.
"Once we've made that promise, then we can move on to the next promise. And at that time, if moving on to a new piece of hardware is there, then that will be our next promise.
With a smile, Yoshida added, "Sony has to first come out and say that there actually is [a PlayStation 4]. We have to wait for that!"
Yoshida classes Version 2.0 of Final Fantasy 14 as a new game. It's got fancy-pants new graphics and the world has been remade. This isn't merely a big patch.
The world of Final Fantasy 14 Online that people inhabit at the moment will be destroyed when version 2.0 launches, and there's a story about the end of the world wrapped around this.
"Of course, because the PS3 has memory limitations - they're limitations that are not on the PC - there has to be some optimising that has to be done."Naoki Yoshida, producer and director, Final Fantasy 14 Online
The PC and PS3 versions of the 2.0 game are being made simultaneously. And the Q1 2013 target for PS3 - "we're currently meeting that schedule", Yoshida said.
"For the PlayStation 3 version, it's not developed at a different time - they're both being developed at the same time. The teams that are working on developing have both the PC version up and the PS3 version up, making sure that development is going at the same time," he stated.
"Of course, because the PS3 has memory limitations - they're limitations that are not on the PC - there has to be some optimising that has to be done. We're working on that currently, right now.
"But as we have stated in our roadmap, which is available on our official site - that schedule we have there, we're currently meeting that schedule," Yoshida added. "So, we're not behind schedule. And we hope to have the game out pretty much at the same time that people expect."
An alpha beta stress test will happen in late-September. "Then, after the alpha server stress test, we'll move into the beta test, when we'll be accepting feedback and implementing the feedback from players," Yoshida said.
"We're going to start the PC beta test first, and once we've got some of the biggest bugs out of the way, got a lot of feedback from the players, we'll start the PlayStation 3 beta test. And that will go along with the PC beta test until the end of the beta test period."
Yoshida confirmed that Final Fantasy 14 Online Version 2.0 will be a subscription-based MMO on PS3, and, "Currently, we're thinking boxed package."
Yoshida demonstrated the new-look Final Fantasy 14 Online Version 2.0. We saw an armoured male character exploring a forest environment outside a city. The game was running on a "good" laptop - but not the best - at maximum graphical settings. The frame-rate was terrible, but we were reassured that this build was at 15 per cent optimisation, with months of work ahead.
"The art chief and technical director on Final Fantasy 14 is the same person as the chief technical officer on Luminous - Hashimoto-san [Yoshihisa Hashimoto]. It's the same person. And so, while the engines are different, it's got the same staff working on it. So we can say that there's aspects that are the same."Naoki Yoshida on FF14's new engine
Yoshida described the new look as "photo-real", and the textures on the armour and skin weren't miles off. It looked very high quality and very Final Fantasy, but not real-life in motion.
Nevertheless, the new engine drew parallels to the the Luminous engine tech demo Square Enix showed behind closed doors at E3. And though Final Fantasy 14 does not use it, there are plenty of similarities.
"This is an engine that we have completely made from the ground up with MMORPGs and FF14 in mind. We made this engine especially for this game," explained Yoshida.
"However, the art chief and technical director on Final Fantasy 14 is the same person as the chief technical officer on Luminous - Hashimoto-san [Yoshihisa Hashimoto]. It's the same person. And so, while the engines are different, it's got the same staff working on it. So we can say that there's aspects that are the same."
Beside from a completely overhauled game world and presentation, Version 2.0 of Final Fantasy 14 Online will also tackle gameplay mechanics. A revamp of the Battle Regiment system will allow all players in your party to combine attacks for one "exciting, graphically stunning" special move. And a new summoning system that will also rely on group coordination to call on "powerful, god-like beings" called Primals.
There will also be more character customisation. You can alter tail length, for example, or make a female character "more buxom".