This Week in the Magazines

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Another quiet week in the magazines. Everyone wants new information but there doesn’t seem to be anything out there. What few mentions came out this week were all tied to FFXI but, even still, there were some interesting ideas and something to look forward to in the future.

Let’s take a look at the magazines for the week!

This week all of the publications we are talking about are under the Famitsu label from Enterbrain. They are responsible for a lot of publications including a wide range of magazines, the periodical Vanatsu Mook, and even the publisher of Final Fantasy XI novels. (The other major source of Final Fantasy XI guides, and most likely FFXIV in the future, is ASCII Media Works with their publications like Dengeki PlayStation.)

Famitsu PSP + PS3 has gone from a monthly publication to a seasonal publication. The next issue will come out in late September so it will probably have heavy coverage of what happened at Tokyo Game Show. This month, the magazine dedicated quite a few pages to Final Fantasy XIII, including an interview with some of the staff. Final Fantasy XIII is still on track for the Winter 2009 release here in Japan and a 2010 release elsewhere. They said they are 60% complete including the overseas version. Since it is highly unlikely FFXIV will be released until the overseas versions of FFXIII are out, it is nice to know that FFXIII is moving along. FFXIV got about 3/4 of one page of coverage, summing up all the things we’ve already heard before.

You may have seen this month’s volume of Famitsu PSP + PS3 magazine mentioned elsewhere recently. Elmer did a write up about the FFXI related interview with Mizuki Ito and Daisuke Sase talking about Pandemonium Warden. More of the interview is scheduled to appear in a future Vanatsu Mook. What kind of details will be released has been kept secret but based on what they’ve said so far, some people are wondering once again if the developers are really thinking about the players.

Famitsu Xbox 360 magazine had their monthly two pages dedicated to Final Fantasy with their “Behind the Scenes of Vana’diel” series of interview. This month was the last of a three-part interview done with FFXI and FFXIV producer, Hiromichi Tanaka. At the very end of the interview, the interviewer tries to bring up FFXIV but he didn’t get any new information either. There was one interesting quote though. The interviewer asks if they are using a lot of the skills (know-how) they gained from working on FFXI when working on FFXIV now. Tanaka replies it’d be nice if they could use it, but they actually aren’t. This isn’t in reference to learning from FFXI but probably more on the development side of things and programming for a new platform.

Many people are familiar with the Weekly Famitsu magazine which covers all consoles. This time in their Software Impressions section there is a page about one player’s thoughts on FFXI. He intends on playing FFXIV as well, but perhaps while running FFXI at the same time. That way he can play FFXIV while still talking with all their friends in FFXI.

That brings up a really good point. We already know they are planning on allowing you to use your existing friends lists while playing FFXIV. However, it is far much easier to chat in your LS rather than sending POL messages. How many people are going to try running both games at the same time? For example, you run FFXI on your PC but FFXIV on your PS3. This might happen at first for a lot of people since the specs required for FFXIV are thought to be much higher than what is needed to run FFXI. Tanaka said in an interview once that people thought the specs for FFXI were really high when that game first came out too. There are also a lot of people that first started out on FFXI for PS2 but then eventually switched to PC. Square Enix is also really trying to push the idea that you can successfully play FFXI and FFXIV and not have to make the choice to play one or the other. Part of it could be so they don’t lose the subscription fees from FFXI but hopefully it also means they are truly going to make FFXIV an easier game to get into and allow players to accomplish things without needed large groups of people most of the time.

It’s not directly related to FFXIV, but I think it’s worth mentioning an article in this week’s Weekly Famitsu about “The Tower of AION”. This is a game out of Korea that will see service start in other parts of the world this year. It’s getting some attention in Japan and will likely be a rival to FFXIV for subscribers. People will be looking at features offered in AION and seeing how FFXIV compares. (For example, some people are already talking about character creation in AION and wanting to see similar options for FFXIV). Weekly Famitsu reports that over 100,000 people applied for the closed beta test. People are interested in pay-for-play MMORPGs. If it wants to bring people in, Square Enix will need to show what they can bring to the market outside of the Final Fantasy brand name.

Last but not least, something to look forward to! Famitsu WaveDVD magazine is a monthly publication with, you guessed it, a DVD or two each time. This month they have video of the Star Onions putting together their latest CD, Sanctuary. Next month they will have video of an interview done at E3 about Final Fantasy XIV. I’m looking forward to hearing for myself what was actually said at the group interview so I’m hoping that’s what will be on the DVD. This may be one worth importing.

That’s all from the magazines this week. Nothing in terms of new info, huh? I get the feeling we won’t see much until we get closer to Tokyo Game Show.

In the meantime, how do you feel about the idea of playing FFXI and FFXIV at the same time? It seemed to be a reoccurring theme in some of the magazines this week. Also, we don’t know the specs required to play FFXIV yet, but we know they will be top of the line based on things Tanaka has already said. Will you upgrade your computer for FFXIV? Or would you rather stick to the PS3 version for awhile until the required computer parts are cheaper? I’ve been a PS2 player mainly but what about the PC players out there. Do you feel comfortable going back to a console version? Let us know your thoughts on the forums!

See ya next time!

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