by Mike Shea on 29 January 2004
It's daunting to hear that they've reached one million players in Final Fantasy XI. In March they will be releasing a $100 Playstation 2 version that includes a pre-installed hard drive. Players from both the PC and the PS2 can play on the same servers. I doubt many will pay $100 for a game, $30 for a network adapter, $30 for keyboard, $10 a month to play, and $50 for a high speed internet lan. It still feels like patching together a PC to play.
As much as it sucks for role playing, voice communication is probably a requirement for a console game. I don't know if FFXI supports it or not. The game should also be widescreen and progressive scan to really pull you in.
Sony has quite the online RPG empire. Sony has a new expansion for Everquest, EQOA Frontiers for the PS2, the non-massive RPG Champions of Norrath, Star Wars Galaxies, and now FFXI for PS2. The latter isn't really theirs, but its on their hardware.
Massive online gaming won't make it on a console until they include a network adapter and a voice adapter along with the console. A user shouldn't have to buy anything but the game and a monthly subscription to play. All of this extra hard drive, keyboard, voice thingy, and Xbox Live subscription junk will turn most users away. In a couple of years we'll see some great online games, but for now only the die-hard fans will buy them.
In the mean time, I am looking forward to some non-massive dungeon hacking with Champions of Norrath for PS2. Some great features include voice communication, no online fees, and a lot of customization options. It looks like Tarlin Trueblade, father of Loral, will continue his adventures!
This week I wrote an article titled Why I Play Everquest that attempts to break people away from the constant downward cycle of killing mobs, gaining items, gaining levels, and then realizing its all meaningless. It isn't, but you weren't looking in the right place. With the new expansion, Gates of Discord, coming out in a couple of weeks, there will be a lot more content to eat through. I am betting that in October we will see an expansion with instanced housing, instanced guild-halls, and a lot more player-run society / city systems. It is time the world became ours.
Good News. Pixar is leaving Disney, the Stalin of the entertainment industry. Russian Roulette Toys will be big next Christmas. Pick up yours today. A supreme court justice says we should fight for our civil liberties against unjust terrorism laws. On important issues, like the balance between liberty and security, if the public doesn't care, then the security side is going to overweigh the other. Fight for your civil rights or you'll end up watching nothing but dwarf dating shows.