So I was just passing through the Square Enix booth at E3 and I noticed a door slightly ajar. I can never resist a slightly ajar door so I poked my head in to find Hiromichi Tanaka, senior vice president of software development, sitting down for a Final Fantasy XIV round table interview. There was a spare seat so I sat down, whistling behind a newspaper, and asked a few questions of my own.
As an extra titbit, there was PC monitor running the game in stereoscopic 3D in the same room, although Tanaka told me that this was purely a technical demonstration and he wouldn’t be drawn when I asked if they had any 3D plans for the PS3 version of the game.
How do you feel about the challenge of developing the first MMO on PlayStation 3?
“We had a similar experience with Final Fantasy XI as that was the first MMO on PlayStation 2 [in Japan only]. So this time, things came quite naturally for us and it helped us having the technology in mind from the very beginning.”
How do you intend to reach out to those console gamers that haven’t experienced an MMO before and are used to more instant gratification in their games?
“Because Final Fantasy XIV is designed as a cross-platform MMO, there is no difference between the PC version and the PS3 version. We believe that previous attempts to bring MMOs to consoles have been unsuccessful because they focused too much on adapting their style to suit that audience and they lost the feel of a true MMO. Therefore, regardless of the platform, we are aiming to produce a real MMO with Final Fantasy XIV.”
How much co-operation has there been between you and Sony Computer Entertainment in bringing an MMO to PS3?
“Sony [Computer Entertainment] has been extremely helpful to us, particularly with technical data while we were at the programming stage of development. We’ve also held talks regarding PlayStation Network functionality and we will be making the most of what that offers, integrating trophies and other features.”
What do you think of the PlayStation Move motion controller?
“Unfortunately, we haven’t had chance to try it out yet but we’ve heard very interesting things about it and we’d like to look at supporting it in Final Fantasy XIV, if we get the chance to do so. However, at the moment I would say that there are no current plans.”