by Mike Shea on 5 April 2004
Last week Square released the PS2 version of Final Fantasy XI. The game costs $100 for the game pre-installed on a hard drive and requires a network adapter ($40), a keyboard ($20sih), an internet connection ($20 to $50), a USB extender since most keyboards only reach 6 feet or so ($20), the PS2 itself ($180), and a $14 a month subscription. I don't think I need to tell you why this won't work. I had the same problem with Everquest Online Adventures. Game systems are better than computers but they aren't yet ready for massive online gaming.
There is a great Wired review of FFXI.
Final Fantasy XI does have some neat features. There is an automatic translator between English and Japanese pre-rendered communication phrases ("do you have any cash for a n00b?"). Players of both the PC and PS2 versions can play in the same world as well.
I have a lot of hope for massive online console role playing games. In the next generation of consoles we will see a lot better support for such games and the games themselves will be a lot more accessible and fun. For the mean time, however, Everquest is still king and from what I've seen and heard, Everquest 2 will be the future king. While consoles are great for single-player fast action games, the PC is still the king of online role playing games.