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Squenix talks next-gen Final Fantasy, new MMO

Tanaka, Kitase drop hints.

Japanese publisher Square Enix has confirmed that among the projects it is developing for next-generation consoles are a new Final Fantasy game from the team behind Final Fantasy X, and a new massively multiplayer game from the FFXI team.

Speaking in separate interviews in Japanese magaines, FFXI producer Hiromichi Tanaka and Final Fantasy X director Yoshinori Kitase both confirmed that they're working on projects for next-generation platforms.

Kitase, who's currently overseeing the development of PS2 action title Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus, declined to give any further detail about the PS3 Final Fantasy title mentioned by Square Enix president Yoichi Wada in Los Angeles last month, but did hint at which staff might be involved.

In his interview with Dengeki PlayStation, he commented that he had supervised the creation of the real-time FFVII demo shown off on the PS3 at E3, while the actual work on the demo was done by a team under the control of Motomu Toriyama, who worked with Kitase on FFX and went on to direct FFX-2.

Additionally, much of the programming on the demo - which was built in just six weeks, according to Kitase, who believes that given more time the team could have pushed the hardware further and created something even more impressive - was done by Koji Sugimoto, who was the lead programmer on Final Fantasy X.

The implication is certainly strongly that a new Final Fantasy game, quite possibly Final Fantasy XIII, is being built by the team which created Final Fantasy X - but as yet the only thing confirmed is that the game isn't the often-predicted remake of Final Fantasy VII, and the E3 demo was really just a demo.

On the massively multiplayer side of things, FFXI producer Hiromichi Tanaka was equally evasive - admitting that his team is working on a new MMORPG for next-generation platforms, but declining to give any further details. He did, however, admit that the tech demo shown off at Microsoft's pre-E3 conference was one of the team's experiments with next-gen graphics, which tends to suggest that Xbox 360 is seen as a target platform for the game.

One might reasonably expect PlayStation 3 to be the other target platform, but Tanaka seems perturbed by rumblings from Sony which suggest that the hard drive may not be included as standard with the console.

He told Famitsu that he was surprised to hear that Sony is considering shipping without a hard drive, saying that unless broadband connections are suddenly upgraded to fibre optic speeds, the PS3 will need a hard drive in order to support the kind of character development required by massively multiplayer games.

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