As we already know, Square Enix has delayed the PS3 version of their next MMO epic Final Fantasy XIV. Initially due to release with the PC version on September 30th, the PS3 version has now been pushed back to a March 2011 time window. Originally, this was due to vague technical issues. Now we know the real reason for the delay. Online producer Hiromichi Tanaka has stated in a recent interview that memory issues were the culprit.
“The main reason was the memory. On the PC, they have enormous memory. For the PS3, there’s a restriction. They are adjusting the memory size and customizing it; it took longer than we were expecting. But we’re really working hard to bring it out as soon as possible.”
Specifically, the PS3 only has 256 MB of dedicated XDR RAM. This means that the PS3 has the weakest RAM of any HD platform. The Xbox 360 has 512 MB, and PC systems can be anywhere in the neighborhood of 2GB to 4GB. The Wii doesn’t come into play here, I said HD platform. It’s limited RAM is easily the weakest part of the PS3, and we have mentioned here before at Game Rant about the issues it presents.
This fact brings up two salient points: (1) Every year at E3, SCEA President Jack Tretton starts his panel by stating Sony’s big mantra: all of their consoles will have a ten year life-cycle. Ten years. Why a company would release a current-generation console they expect to last for ten years and only give it 256 MB of RAM at launch is beyond me. Actually, it’s astounding. (2) One rumor going around is that Final Fantasy XIV was initially developed for the PC, and Square Enix is having problems porting it to the PS3. I can’t believe this to be true. For one thing, it’s likely the PC version isn’t fully completed yet. Also, if they are developing the game for a system that only has 256 MB of RAM, they must have taking that into consideration at the very beginning of development.
Which brings us to the potential controversy: there are those that believe the delay is because Square Enix is simply trying to make a deal with Microsoft, in order to port the game to the Xbox 360. I don’t know if I believe this, but it makes sense. That way, they can delay the game further, maybe until next May. In March at E3, they can have their big surprise announcement that FF XIV will be on both big consoles, then have their giant dual release a little later in the Spring. Keep in mind, this is just speculation and we have no information at this time that the game is going to the 360. However, it just makes sense.
Speculation aside, the two things we know for sure are that the PS3 has some memory issues, and we will have to wait a little longer for FF XIV on the PS3. Within the franchise, some titles are better than others, but they are always good. I will have to go with my mantra: take your time with the game, and make it good. At least that’s what I tell myself. Let’s just hope that FF XIV lives up to its heritage on the PS3.
Ranters, chime in and give us your two cents. Are you looking at the PC version of this game, or do you mind waiting a little longer for the MMO glory of Final Fantasy XIV on the PS3?
Final Fantasy XIV is scheduled to be released on September 30th on the PC. As it stands, PS3 owners will have to wait until March of 2011.