While one might have predicted that Final Fantasy XV would have run its course after almost eighteen months, it's clear that Square Enix want to be able to operate the game much like an MMO, with new revisions coming frequently for the foreseeable future. We've covered in the past that the game has plans going out through all of 2018, but a number of new announcements were made today with specifics for the first quarter of this year.
While we've known since last August that XV was being ported for Windows on Steam, today we got a launch trailer and system specs for the release, as well as a date: March 6. As one might suspect, if you want this game in 4K, you're going to need a serious Windows rig, including a GTX 1080 Ti. Also worth noting for some folks is that the game isn't Steam-only now; the launch trailer also confirms that the game will be available via Origin - the first Final Fantasy game to show up on that network.
For those who don't already have the game on console, March 6 will also debut the Royal Edition of the game on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The Royal Edition will actually be the same game released for Windows, as it will contain the standard game, all current DLC, and a number of new options:
- Expanded Crown City Map with a new challenge dungeon and boss fights
- Control over the party's boat, allowing for shoreline exploration and new fishing spots
- A new accessory unlocking a new Armiger ability
- First-person mode
- New cosmetic items
- New quest for Regalia upgrades
- More worldbuilding content in findable items and conversations
In the meantime, console gamers will get a free DLC update next week. The big news there is that Aranea will be available as a sparring partner at camp, which could be fun for a time. There will also be a "standby" option at camp, though it's not clear what that means exactly, and new shop items at the trading post in Altissia. There will also be the usual bug fixes and minor updates.
In short, it sounds to me like March 6 is going to be the time to try out XV if you've been waiting; or, if you have been resisting buying anything but the base game, it might just be time to dust it off and pick back up. If that $20 price tag is essentially the "GOTY" version that rolls up everything released so far, that's a pretty great deal.
Source: Siliconera, Gematsu
In what should be a predictable theme nowadays, Square Enix today announced that Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age will be released for Steam on Windows on February 1. The HD remake of the original Final Fantasy XII, released on PlayStation 2, first added new gameplay modes and a fast-forward feature, as well as reconciling some other updates between the original and the International Versions of the game. The PC version will take it a bit further, adding in some cheat options to make the game easier, as well as support for 60fps and ultra-wide 21:9 monitors.
Once the game is released, the game's producer and director will be taking to a YouTube livestream to walk through the PC version's new features and respond to players' comments pre-organized from Twitter. That will happen in the wee hours of February 2 for us in the Western Hemisphere.
I personally had waited a while to pick up this game, intending to grab it used at some point. Now that I know it will eventually end up on Steam sale, well, I might just wait a bit longer.
For all you readers out there still using TWEWY pin avatars, this one's for you. At today's Nintendo Direct Mini, a release for the 2007 Nintendo DS game The World Ends with You was announced for Switch. Entitled "Final Remix," the game will provide higher-resolution graphics and controls via both the touchscreen and the Joy-Cons. Additionally, new story content will be added in what Gematsu calls an "epilogue scenario" and the Nintendo Direct video describes as "getting right to the heart of the story."
TWEWY never really did it for me on DS; I found the art style interesting but overly complicated and in the way of the gameplay, and the constant switching between the two screens to be a chore. The graphics still look pretty busy in the announcement video, but perhaps moving it to the larger screen will make it more playable. In any event, the game should find a new audience when released for the first time on console, and it will be coming sometime this year.
Source: Gematsu, Nintendo on YouTube
Jump Festa '18 starts up on December 16, and as always, Square Enix will be on hand for the anime/manga/gaming exposition in Chiba Prefecture. It doesn't appear that there will be any big new announcements there, befitting the expo's slightly lower stature in the industry, but several known properties will appear:
- Dissidia Final Fantasy NT
- Dragon Quest Builders
- Dragon Quest Rivals
- Dragon Quest X Online
- Dragon Quest of the Stars
- Secret of Mana
- Dragon Quest: Scan Battlers
That's right, 2018 plans. In the newest, and reportedly last, Active Time Report scheduled for the one-year anniversary of the game yesterday, Square Enix outlined some new content coming over the course of the game's second year. Unfortunately, the ATR was not subtitled this time around, so there are big parts of it I can't yet report on, such as the survey results from the questionnaire the game served up for a while a couple months back. One takeaway is that anything not explicitly laid out here is still meant to be locked in for plans and timing by the end of this calendar year.
The crux of that survey, though, was asking what other characters in the Final Fantasy XV world needed an "episode" DLC, in the manner that Noctis' party has gotten, concluding with Episode Ignis arriving on December 13. More on that in a bit, but in terms of the survey, it's worth noting that the next episode, centering around Ardyn, will be the first released of the "at least three" scheduled for next year. Ardyn's episode appears as if it might be more of a look back in history than previous episodes, with a focus being put upon worldbuilding in Eos. The dates and other content for other episodes are unclear, but Hajime Tabata expressed in the ATR that 2018 was not a hard-and-fast window, and that episodes would be released only when they were "satisfactory." Tabata also acknowledged that players really want to get more story content for Lunafreya, so I think it's a safe bet that one of the episodes will also center on her. I'm still kind of hoping for an Aranea one, for what it's worth.
The big free December update, though, will be out just before Ignis and will add the ability to switch active party members during battle. For those who haven't played, up until now every battle required you to operate as Noctis, only able to set equipment for the rest of the party and allowing that to influence their battle decisions, as well as giving them orders for special techniques when available. The new update will give a new in-battle option to switch to another member of the four, and use some of the battle mechanics that have been given to those characters in their episodic DLC.
Now, back to Ignis. His episode, as mentioned, will be out in just a couple weeks, and appears to take place canonically in the time immediately after the major plot events of Altissia. It's meant to have a couple hours of plot, but will have two routes of completion, one unlocking only for players who have finished the main game. This secondary route is implied to have some impact on the way that the polarizing ending of the main game has been received; I'll go no further so as to avoid spoilers, but I think anyone who has finished the game can probably guess what that might mean. The secondary route will also have a challenge boss fight, which differs from the other battle available to players who complete the episode via either route - a one-on-one Ignis v. Noctis battle all around Hammerhead.
Stay tuned as more information should lock in over the next few weeks!
Source: Siliconera, Gematsu
Square Enix had a financial reporting briefing today, and the core of it was absolutely Nintendo's new console and mobile titles. As reported by the Wall Street Journal's Tokyo tech reporter, the company plans to "aggressively make games for Switch," ruling out no IPs in the company's stable. They did not go into any detail as to any specific IPs, of course, but they did reference new IP, active IP, or even resurrected IP. You can let your mind run absolutely wild with those possibilities, of course, but we've already seen the concept in action with games like I Am Setsuna or the possibility of Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition.
The company went on to say that the Switch is a great place for mid-level games, and due to the similarities in system architecture with the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, it's very possible that more games could be made cross-platform in the future and include the Switch. I think in reading between the lines, this implies that the games can be ported but might need to be toned down, particularly in the case of games made with the PS4 Pro or One X in mind.
Additionally, as per Gematsu, the company mentioned the existence of unannounced mobile titles to be released in the second half of this fiscal year, as well as "sharp," "powerful," and "well-made" titles to be seen at next year's E3. There's no information currently as to whether these sharp titles are ones we already know are coming, like Kingdom Hearts 3, or whether they're currently under wraps.
Finally, the company dropped a few ongoing sales numbers to show its strength, with Dragon Quest XI having sold more than three million copies, NieR: Automata booking more than two million, and Final Fantasy XV at over six and a half million worldwide.
Source: Siliconera, Gematsu