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Square-Enix News: X360 Final Fantasy XI Requires Hard Drive
Posted by: Cuer - Wed Aug 24th, 2005 03:05 pm EDT
A number of articles recently have been written regarding the upcoming release of Final Fantasy XI on the Xbox 360. The X360 FFXI will require a hard drive on the console, which has surprised some people. An article in Boomtown seems to disbelieve the notion, with further info from XboxAddict:
Reports online are indicating that Square-Enix’s upcoming Xbox 360 version of Final Fantasy XI will only be playable if you’ve got a hard drive jammed onto Microsoft’s next-gen machine. The massively multiplayer version of the popular RPG franchise has already enjoyed widespread success on the PS2 and PC - despite the fact that the game never saw a European release on Sony’s machine. In fact, the 360 version will be the first to hit consoles on European shores, likely meaning a lot of fans will be eager to pick up the title at launch. However, the news that a hard drive is required to play is likely to come as a blow, not only to FF fans intending to snag the cheaper, hard drive-less Core version of the 360, but to Microsoft itself. Since the announcement of the dual packages, the company has been insistent that a hard drive won’t be mandatory to enjoy next-gen titles, but that the inclusion of one will enable developers to offer slicker, enhanced gameplay experiences.

It should come as no surprise that Final Fantasy XI will require a hard drive to be played on an Xbox 360; the game has always required a hard drive, regardless of which platform it was on. The concern regarding this is understandable for the PR team at Microsoft, who has been working overtime to assure prospective purchasers that the 20GB hard drive will not be required for any games. Consumers familar with FFXI or the MMOG market in general will understand the nature of these games, and that FFXI regularly releases massive updates that have to be stored somewhere on the system where it is played. The full PC version of FFXI takes up nearly 7GB of storage, and there is no reason to believe that the X360 will be any smaller; indeed, with the "enhanced graphics" promised for the X360 FFXI, it may take up even more storage space. It is beyond imagination to think that the game could be run on a machine without fixed storage.

The requirement of the hard drive for FFXI will be one more reason that any serious hard-core game player considering the X360 will want to purchase the Xbox 360 Premium, with the hard drive and other "accessories" included. It remains to be seen whether the steep price of that console package will encourage large numbers of potential X360 owners to wait for the inevitable price drops down the road. For Square-Enix, it must certainly be their hope to try to move many subscribers, both new and old, to the X360 version. Not only do they get revenue from a new sale of FFXI, but it increases the longevity of game to have it sell well on a new console. The release of FFXI on the X360 will certainly expand it's reach into Europe, since it has never been released on a console there, as mentioned above. Even with the steep initial price for a full X360 Premium system, there is no doubt that the release of FFXI on it bodes well for the game overall.
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