News from Europe
Last night, a European rating for Final Fantasy IX on PlayStation 4 appeared on the PEGI site, stoking rumors of the game getting a worldwide re-release. Today, at the pre-Tokyo Game Show PlayStation conference, those rumors were quickly confirmed, with the game being released worldwide today.
This release of the game is based upon the Windows/Steam version released last year, which is itself based on the earlier mobile port. That means you can expect higher-resolution FMV and models, as well as all the other upgrades in those previous releases. It also appears that you can expect to be locked into the game's original 4:3 aspect ratio.
Until the 26th, the game will be listed at $16.79, after which it will rise to its standard price of $20.99. Packaged with the download will be a Final Fantasy IX dashboard theme and eight themed PSN avatars. Possibly worth it if you're not a PC gamer, as it remains a great game; for me, I just kind of want the theme without buying the game again.
More Final Fantasy XV stuff from Gamescom, not just the announcement of a Windows/Steam version! First off, it must be noted that Hajime Tabata confirmed, with no ambiguity, that he would not be working on a Final Fantasy XV sequel. As we've already seen, the XV universe has been set up to expand using smaller pieces rather than a standalone game. The episodic DLC for the non-Noctics members of the party reflect that perspective, with the Ignis episode coming at the end of the year. The new multiplayer mode that is coming soon, called "Comrades," does the same thing by filling in a storyline gap without needing to use the main players. I'm not sure that this tack will appease fans whose main complaint seems to be the way the final third of the game played out vis-a-vis the storyline, but I think it's more likely to work than a standalone sequel would.
The other two pieces of XV news from Gamescom don't actually expand the universe in large ways, though they are standalone titles in-universe. The first is the already-announced VR fishing game; titled Monsters of the Deep; while there's no new information about the game as yet, pre-orders have begun and Tabata did bring it up at Gamescom, so it's clear that the game is in fact on the way. Additionally, a new Pocket Edition of the game was announced for release on mobile devices and as a Windows 10 app; it's coming this fall and will be a sort of episodic "de-make" of the core game. From the trailer and screenshots released, it does appear to be a weird little chibi retelling of the game's plot, and the game's mechanics seem to be intact but quite simplified. The first episode will be a free download, with the remaining nine available to purchase on an as-yet-unnanounced schedule. I suspect that the overall purchase price will be too high to justify not simply waiting to get it on Steam, but who knows?
Finally, in the main game, we're getting a bestiary and chapter select option in the near future as a free update, which will be handy for new players and people looking to re-play alike (of course, both of those should have been available from launch, but such is life).
Source: Siliconera, Polygon
Final Fantasy XV is, predictably, now on the way to Windows PCs worldwide early in 2018. The release was announced today at Gamescom in Germany, and without a specific release date; however, the game is looking to be an upgrade in various visual and aural ways, leveraging NVIDIA GameWorks technology:
- 4K textures, scalable up to 8K in config
- Enhanced fluid, fire, and smoke effects
- Enhanced hair and fur effects
- Dynamic shadows on models
- Better grass and foliage animation
- HDR lighting and improved environmental lighting
For some reason, it will have the subtitle "Windows Edition" applied when released on Steam next year. It's going to take a serious, serious rig to max this game out, so start your building plans now.
The worldwide port of the Japanese arcade Dissidia has been officially announced for release in Square Enix' three main territories as of today. Japan, Europe, and North America will all see the game in January of 2018, with the former seeing the game on January 11 and the latter two getting it on January 30. As is typical for major Squenix releases these days, there will be several bundle tiers available for purchase.
While they vary somewhat from region to region, they fall into pretty standard categories. The Ultimate edition will be available only from Square Enix directly, and will include a Steelbook, an art book, a figurine, soundtrack, the Season Pass, et cetera. There will also be versions that have a randomzied Steelbook case, featuring one of three designs each with a different set of Dissidia fighters. The digital copies available will offer up a free alternate skin for Warrior of Light, a mini-soundtrack in digital format, and the Season Pass (in the higher tier of digital purchase). In Europe, the digital packages appear to contain a code to get Cloud's Nail Bat and a PS4 dashboard theme.
I'm still not in the closed beta. Anyone else get word that they got in?
Gematsu reports this morning that a closed beta for Dissidia NT, the home console version of the Japanese arcade entry to the fighting game series, will get a closed beta on PlayStation 4 for both North American and European users later this month. Specifically, noon Eastern on August 26 through noon again on September 4.
Featuring a limited lineup of fourteen characters - the lead characters of each game, generally - the beta will feature three-on-three battles in some selection of the game's battle arenas, and will also contain at least some of the final game's summon lineup.
This is going to be a closed beta, of course. Some folks should be receiving a code to get in already, it appears, though the criteria for getting one of the instant-in codes is naturally not public. There is a lottery to try to get a code, though, if you don't have one - all you need is a Square Enix account. I entered the lottery myself just a few minutes ago, and you can do the same at the links below.
In other news, it was also announced that Jecht, coming soon to the arcade version, will be part of the console release package on day one of next year's release.
Source: Gematsu, NA Beta Signup, EU Beta Signup
Square Enix announced today that they are "withdrawing" from IO Interactive, the gaming studio most recently working on the Hitman franchise, at the end of the conglomerate's current fiscal year on March 31, 2018. This withdrawal appears to be taking the place of a divestment from the developer, and not a winding down and closing of their studios in Denmark; however, should Square Enix and IO not find a new investor in that time, it seems more than possible that the studio would in fact need to close.
IO Interactive have been the sole developers of main-series Hitman games since the origin of the franchise. However, due to Eidos' purchase of IO and Square Enix' subsequent purchase of Eidos, the Hitman IP appears to belong to Square Enix at this time. It's not yet known what would occur with this IP in the case of a transfer of investment; my suspicions would be that it would be allowed to stay with IO if a new investor is found, or kept by Square Enix if one is not. Neither Square Enix nor IO Interactive have put forth any further details at this time.
Square Enix is expecting to take a single-time loss of roughly $43 million to divest from IO Interactive, which is obviously a very large number even for a company of their size. This appears to be an acceptable loss for the company, who commented that they are using the opportunity to "[focus] our resources and energies on key franchises and studios," which likely means reinvestment in Japanese studios and possibly Eidos Montreal? It's hard to tell where all they have active things ramping up these days.