Final Fantasy XIV could very well be cited as one of the biggest gaming catastrophes of this generation with a Square Enix sized budget and almost nothing to show for it. However, not all is lost as an improved 2.0 version dubbed A Realm Reborn is slated for release later this year and the elusive PlayStation 3 version will come along with it.
Square Enix has finally given a release window for the PS3 version of Final Fantasy XIV, and it was announced by Producer Naoki Yoshida in the latest Lodestone update. The post states the following:
Between October and December of 2012, we plan to integrate the current service and the coming PlayStation®3 version into the all-new FINAL FANTASY XIV. At this time, a second free trial period will also be offered.
This three-month release window coincides with the estimated launch date of version 2.0 which is said to bring enough new content to keep players satisfied, a revamped UI to make the game actually playable, and a new graphics engine to extinguish concerns of poor optimization. It's a massive undertaking especially when you consider the state of the game at release, but the past couple years of updates and development team restructuring has shown that Square Enix isn't kidding around. They know they need to earn back their legendary reputation, and the financial losses don't make it any easier.
As disappointing as Final Fantasy XIV was at launch, and how upset I still am for wasting $74.99 on the Collector's Edition, I can't help but hope that this upcoming relaunch will bring a tide of positive changes and a refreshed state of enjoyment. The chances of it being fun enough to contend with the top dogs is probably laughable, but it doesn't necessarily have to be like the competition; it's Final Fantasy. You know there will still be the captivating music and visuals. All us fans really want added is a modern interface with a world worth adventuring with friends. It isn't farfetched to think Square Enix can pull it off.
That said, Square Enix is in for a long ride when games like Guild Wars 2 and World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria are releasing around the same time.