With photos! I was only able to spend about six or seven hours there yesterday, but I had a blast and met some good people and some great Final Fantasy (and other) cosplayers while I was at the exhibition hall. Being there certainly gave me some good new things to talk about in the next CoNcast (and if you have questions about what I saw, post them here! We're going to be recording a CoNcast later today and I can answer them then or any time).
While some of the interesting stuff for Squenix came out before I could go, I did manage to find some time to check out the FFX HD trailer a bit, and while I didn't come up with any photos of it, it looked solid. I would say it is definitely approaching the level of visual quality that Final Fantasy XIII managed, at least in the cutscenes they showed on the 40" HDTVs they had scattered in the booth. If you're one of the folks who enjoyed Final Fantasy X a decade ago, you should be excited for this, I do believe.
In any event, a good time was had by all. You can see the photos to learn more! Be sure to give props to the cosplayers I talked to, either here or on Facebook, so that they know their hard work is appreciated by the rest of us!
Sometimes, the news coming from Squenix Tower might sound a bit like a broken record - if, indeed, that old phrase still holds any meaning to a great number of our readers. It really does seem sometimes that the company can only pump out news on a couple things at a time, and you just know that those things aren't always going to be things about which you necessarily want to know. But that's why tidbits exist!
It seems like the biggest news of the week is an intentional early leak from this weekend's PAX East; a new trailer for Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 was released early and will be shown in the Square Enix booth in Boston this weekend. (As a reminder, I'll be there on Sunday if anyone wants any particular information that doesn't come out before then.) The game includes Kingdom Hearts Final Mix, Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories, and all of the cutscenes from 358/2 Days. It's just shy of three minutes long, and looks... nicely HD, I suppose. Never gotten around to playing any of those games, so I haven't the slightest clue what's going on! The Remix release will be released for PlayStation 3, sometime this fall in North America.
We mentioned the other day that Final Fantasy V for iOS is a go, coming out next week in Japan (a simultaneous worldwide release isn't out of the question but hasn't been confirmed beyond doubt, as far as I've seen). To celebrate that, though, no matter where Final Fantasy V releases, Square Enix are discounting every other Final Fantasy game on the iOS app store worldwide. The deals are pretty solid - the first two games are dropping to $3.99, while Final Fantasy III is down to $8.99 and $9.99 for iPhone and iPad respectively. The all-devices Final Fantasy IV app will be $10.99 for the duration of the sale. If you're an Android gamer, by the way, Joystiq is saying that an Android release in Japan is coming too.
Final Fantasy XIV is thundering towards release, as well. This week's update from producer Naoki Yoshida explains that the Phase 2 beta will start up in early April, and will enable gamepad support as well as making other bugfixes and changes flagged in previous betas. Over 100,000 gamers are already in, and the new beta phase will add even more to provide more feedback and better stress testing of the XIV server farms. I've got my application in, but, of course, I can't say anything if I get accepted regardless!
We're planning to record another episode of the new CoNcast next week. Stay tuned for that!
Source: Siliconera, AppAddict, Joystiq
A lot of people have been looking for news of the Final Fantasy X HD remake since it was first announced, and those details have been slow in coming. Now, we might know part of the reason why: it's not just X, but also Final Fantasy X-2 that will see the upgrade.
When released for PS3, both games will be on the same Blu-ray disc; for Vita, they'll be separate purchases on separate game cards. There's no pricing and no lockdown release date, though next week's Jump magazine confirms that a 2013 release in Japan is the target.
Both games will be based on the International Edition releases, which is extra grand for X-2 as that version was never released in the West before.
First off, news that's actually been around since earlier int he month. A twitter message from the official account for the game Bravely Default: Flying Fairy has renewed fans' hopes that the title will be brought west. The 3DS RPG, which received both critical praise and respectable sales in Japan, has been out since last October but with no announcement of plans to release outside the island. While the English text of the twitter message is about as perplexing as its title, the Japanese text amounts to "The voices from those folks aboard are definitely getting through!" Fingers crossed.
In somewhat more official news, it's been made known that Wii U beta testing for Dragon Question X is now underway, with the game set to go on sale for that console at the end of the month. The Wii U version features of graphics upgrade, but is still compatible with its original Wii incarnation.
Saving the coolest for last, it looks A Realm Reborn: Final Fantasy XIV will be getting a new mount some time in the future, and one which should be well familiar to any regulars of CoN: Magitek Armor! Check out the first source link; it's from the official FFXIV developer blog. The design is still a ways from play-worthy, but I think you'll all agree that it's pretty slick.
Source: FFXIV Blog, Siliconera, Kotaku
With the beta kicking off, Square Enix released new content yesterday with regards to A Realm Reborn in the form of two new in-game videos and the application benchmark tool.
The videos are both in-game (for the beta, of course). One details a "tour" of several of the game's areas on both Windows and PlayStation 3, in which the environments all look lovely and the battles and events dynamic. Not sure if it's the video or the engine, but the PS3 scenes look to be a bit less fluid and more jittery. I'd assume that the PS3 version hasn't been quite as optimized as Windows as yet.
The second video is a developer's commentary (in Japanese, with some subtitles) in which the use of a gamepad to play is described. Since PS3 and PC users will all coexist in-game, it's important that the use of a gamepad to play the game is as functional and easy as with keyboard and mouse. To that end, it appears that the PS3 (and who knows, maybe 4?) gamepad will have at least three full sets of functionality available to the d-pad and face buttons, toggled on and off by tapping the left and right triggers. The default sets will also be customizable.
In case you've never done a benchmark before, Final Fantasy XIV's is specifically meant to see how your PC would do trying to run the game. Essentially, it tests your system to see its performance and to suggest to you if you need an upgrade of any kind before trying and/or buying the game. It's a 470MB file, so it's not necessarily something you do on a whim.
Of course, I did it on a whim. What they show in the benchmark looks absolutely fantastic. The second scene, which starts with a group of chocobo riders running through windmills, was particularly good looking. And my new PC scored "fairly high" at 1920x1200 with maximum settings and even higher when I dropped one level to high settings , so I would think that a gaming PC build in the last couple years with a less-than-HD video output would do just fine. Heck, it even kind of makes me wish I had the time to try to get into the beta.
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.