1UP: It's been reported that the draw distance on the Xbox 360 will be twice as long as the PC version. Will this give Xbox 360 players an added advantage because they can see enemies from a longer distance, helping 360 owners to camp rare monsters more efficiently?
HT: Actually, the draw distance will mostly affect the overall scenery of the game. The distance between the players and enemies will be the same as the Windows and PS2 version.
1UP: Was putting FFXI on Xbox 360 a way to sustain the game because Sony yanked hard-drive support for the PS2 (Thanks, Sony!)? Nowadays if you want to pick up FFXI and start playing, the PC version is the only option at the moment.
HT: It's not so much the survival of FFXI as is it giving players an option to play the game on next-generation hardware. Of course the added bonus for those players is to play the game in high-definition on widescreen HD televisions.
1UP: Will the 360 version support voice-chat? We sure hope not.
HT: No, it won't. The reason being is that we track player abuse through the chat logs, and if we removed the necessity of the chat log, it would be impossible to take action against abusive players.
GS: What does the future hold for what you do? Can we look forward to another MMO with the Final Fantasy franchise? What platforms do you see yourself focusing on?
HT: For MMOs, the platform isn't that important anymore. The only real requirement is its ability to display the images from the game. As technology advances it should be possible to play one game across different platforms.
GS: Does that complicate things for you as you move forward, as typically developers have had to appeal to one specific audience such as console or PC players?
HT: Since MMOs require a keyboard, that's really the only requirement now. If the platform supports a keyboard it doesn't matter whether it's a console or PC. From this point on it should be possible to make games for either.
The Xbox 360 has a slight presence at the Square Enix Party 2005, set to run until Sunday in a dank convention center just outside of Tokyo. Square Enix placed the Microsoft platform on display in a large area devoted to Final Fantasy XI. While most kiosks in this area were for the Windows version of the game, one kiosk was connected to an Xbox 360 unit and was occasionally played by the Square Enix staff, its game content shown to the audience via a high definition monitor.
Sadly, IGN did not get a chance to try out the Xbox 360 version of Final Fantasy XI at the event. In fact, the Xbox 360 version was not made available for play to anyone except for the lucky few Square Enix staff members deemed worthy.
We did obtain some high resolution screenshots of the X360 Final Fantasy XI so that you can see for yourself how gorgeous the game looks in stills.