Yep, Sony had another worst kept secret. In New York tonight, the company put on a show to announce the advent of the PlayStation 4. The company spent a lot of time early on talking through the specs of the new system, which, while they did a good job of presenting, seemed like they weren't nearly as unique as they wanted the crowd to believe.
There were plenty of developers there showing off some new games, though the tropes all felt familiar. There was a driving game that looked lovely. There was a FPS - being Sony, it was a Killzone game. There's an Infamous game.
There was some interesting stuff. Johnathan Blow was there, he of Braid fame, talking about his next game appearing on the PS4. Blizzard showed up to announce Diablo III for the new console (as well as for PS3). Bungie showed up to tell everyone that Destiny will be on PS4 too, which is a nice slap to Microsoft.
Yeah, though, I intentionally buried the lede. What did Square Enix do, right? Well, not that much. They showed the Agni's Philosophy demo, looked the same as before. However, this time they said it was running on PS4 hardware. Was it always? We don't know. Also, Final Fantasy brand director Shinji Hashimoto appeared to say: "yes, there's a Final Fantasy game coming for PS4" and that it will show at E3. Zero other details. Sorry!
The PlayStation 4 will arrive for Holiday 2013.
Starting today, the North American PSN store has a series of Final Fantasy games half off. Which games, you might ask? Well, a bucket of them. You can get a version of every numbered Final Fantasy game up through IX (not including III, which never has had a Sony release). Most of the games are the PS One versions, including Origins, Anthology, and the three released originally for the first PlayStation. Final Fantasy IV's PSP version is included, as is Tactics: War of the Lions. Rounding out the set are three games from the Dissidia series.
This sale is 50% off the top and will be running for two weeks. The game selection is a little different than the European-region sale that we, uh, forgot to post about until right now. That sale's over, though. Sorry about that.
Source: US PlayStation Blog
It took more than a little while, but the action RPG Pandora's Tower, first mentioned here almost two years ago, has been given a new lease on life with an announced North American release. Announced just yesterday, the North American release will fill the final major gap in the game's worldwide coverage, as Australia and Europe both got the game in 2012.
The game will be published by Xseed, famous for bringing The Last Story here as well. It's assumed that there will be no new localization given that an English-language version of the game already exists, as described above. It's assumed further that the driving force behind getting the game published here was Operation Rainfall, a grass roots gaming group famous also for their campaign to get The Last Story.
Xseed says that the game will be released this spring.
The original Final Fantasy XIV crashed and burned, and was shut down a couple months back. Even before that, though, the reboot of the Final Fantasy XIV universe, subtitled "A Realm Reborn," was announced and put into alpha. The buzz around the new version is pretty positive so far, with the proposed changes and media released to the public all being met with reactions that I would categorize as "generally pleased."
That uptick in user opinion hit its first peak yesterday, as the XIV team at Squenix released an extended Realm Reborn trailer. This trailer is not completely new, but it must be said, it is one of the most visually impressive CG scenes I've seen Squenix ever do. I spent a lot of time watching it and wishing that it was actually a scene from a Final Fantasy Tactics sequel, given the varied job classes and armored chocobos on display throughout. Having that sort of FFT feel even makes me want to try it out a bit, and I've never had any interest in an MMO at all.
Perhaps I could try it out a bit, in fact - as part of this information release yesterday, applications for the Western beta phase were also opened. As mentioned before, there will be four beta phases in all, with the first phase starting in Japan only sometime around the middle of February. The current deployment schedule allows for between seven and eighteen weeks across all four phases; the short end of that window seems really aggressive and pretty unrealistic to me, while eighteen weeks seems more managable and would result in an early-summer release. Only the final two phases will include gamers outside of Japan, and only the final phase will include PlayStation 3 gamers. The final phase will also allow characters created to be imported into the released game.
If you're interested in having a go at this, there are signup pages for both North America and Europe. Good luck to all those who apply!
If you want your news more timely, don't forget that you can always submit it yourself! No, seriously, please.
This is a Tokyo Game Show wrap-up, and it was a little special this year because as we've talked about before, this is the 25th Anniversary of Final Fantasy. Because of that, this year's showing at TGS was as much about history as the future. In fact, there really wasn't anything shocking for the future that came out of TGS this year.
For instance, Squenix showed what all is in the 25th Anniversary Ultimate box, which we've discussed a bit before. They also showed a new dual-wield light-gun arcade game called Gunslinger Stratos, which has some pretty convincing looking guns aside from having analog sticks and buttons on both.
Also during TGS, the company released the first trailer for the Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix coming out next year in Japan. The subtitles are unofficial and are not indicative of a pending Western release, of which none has been announced as yet.
More visually, check out this art gallery celebrating the 25th Anniversary from the booth at TGS. There is some ridiculously awesome work on display from a big chunk of the series - what I wouldn't do to have some of those folks posting here! Also visually, from PAX Prime, Squenix just published a recap video from their sidecar event showing what we all missed out on, with gameplay stations, some toys, and what generally looks like a press conference. Maybe it's just that it's been cut down to a minute-long video, but it looked a little underwhelming to me.
Finally, there've been two releases of note since my last delayed tidbits: Final Fantasy III for PSP came out in North America, and Demon's Score, an original iOS rhythm title, was released worldwide (an Android version is coming soon).
So, if these tidbits are too slow for you, please do feel free to help us out a bit. We credit our contributors and give awards to those who do it often enough, which is obviously the next best thing to getting paid.
Source: Siliconera, Kingdom Hearts Insider, Square Enix North America
While not affiliated with Distant Worlds, the Zellerbach Hall in Berkley, California will be hosting a special, one-night-only concert of symphonic music from Final Fantasy XI on 22 September 2012. Conductor Arnie Roth will take a bit a time away from his Distant Worlds duties to conduct the specially-formed, seventy-member orchestra, and Naoshi Mizuta and Kumi Tanioka (two of the composers for FFXI) will also be in attendance.
Tickets are on sale now, and start at $50, ranging all the way up to $150 for VIP access to the guests and special photo opportunities. Anyone who attends will also get an in-game code to get a special item within Final Fantasy XI, the "Maestro's Baton."
Source: Zellerbach Hall