Monday, February 20, 2017

Hold Up. Let's Talk About the Switch/FF14 Rumor

The European Final Fantasy XIV Fan Fest occurred over the weekend. While gamers contemplated the information of the latest expansion pack, Stormblood, some honed in on producer Naoki Yoshida's comments that they are looking into the possibility of bringing the MMO to the Nintendo Switch.

I like how this has exploded on the internet, because anything involving a Final Fantasy MMO and console use always ends with "possibility" and doesn't materialize. FF14 has been under review for the XBox One for over 2 years with no updates. So before you get all crazy about an MMO on the Switch, SquareEnix has not confirmed that it will happen; just that they are looking into it. Despite what some news outlets are reporting. Which means it won't happen, but that's the cynical gamer in me speaking. Always fact check everything you read.

Unlike most MMO's, SquareEnix has been one of the few companies to invest time, and successfully produce, cross-platform playing. Someone on PC can play with someone on the PS4, on the same server. (FF14 is also available on the PS3, but with the introduction of the latest expansion, they plan to end service for the system.) Having different companies talk to each other to allow this type of interaction to happen was groundbreaking for Final Fantasy XI. It brings a new level of inclusion into the MMO market dominated by PCs.

Right now, one of the biggest questions with the Nintendo Switch is online game play. If it will be available at all, since Nintendo is pretty strict. At their conference in January, we were informed that the Switch would have a capture and share button for screenshots. We know there will be a monthly service fee, chat channels, and some online gameplay. The extent of that gameplay is in the air. Will that be Call of Duty levels of online, or more like Mario Kart Wii? Both are distinctly different types of online gameplay. We also don't know if Nintendo or the Switch would be capable of communicating with other platforms. If Nintendo has showcased anything consistantly in the past, it's their willingness to not work with other game consoles. They weren't jumping on board with FF11 or other MMO's or MOBA's that wanted to tackle this. So that leaves FF14 with a Switch only server. Unless SE can see customer numbers proving the time and money to invest into a Switch server would result in a profit, it's not worth their investment.

Also keep in mind file sizes. The Switch will come with 32 Gigabytes internally. Players can add on more with microSDHC or microSDXC cards. The first base game, A Realm Reborn requires 20 gigs of space. With the first expansion, another 10-12 gigs. That's all of the Switch's internal storage (which wouldn't be able to fit because you have to account for the Switch's operating system, which will take up some space). We have to think practically here that the Switch is not meant to hold down an MMO of FF14's size without you, the consumer, spending more money for additional SD cards.

And then there's the game itself. FF14 is still very pretty for something re-developed for 2013, when compared to other MMO's on the today's market. The minimum system specs look something like this:
  • Operating System: Windows Vista 32/64bit, Windows 7 32/64 bit, Windows 8 32/64 bit, Windows 8.1 32/64 bit.
  • Processor: Intel Core2 Duo 3GHz.
  • Graphics: NVIDIA Geforce 8800 Series, ATI Radeon HD 4770.
  • Memory: 2GB (4GB recommended for 64bit OS)
Here is the Nintendo's Switch's Processor and Graphics content:
  •  CPU / GPU - Nvidia customized Tegra processor
That's it. We don't know. It's "custom." This isn't to knock the Switch. It's very possible that the system can play FF14. But until we have the information, speculating is just going to cause more false rumors to fly about.

So keep your pants on. Don't get into a tissy that FF14 may be on the Switch. Until it's 100% confirmed by SE or Nintendo, it's not worth thinking about. Let's just enjoy the fact that we're getting increased inventory size for Stormblood. I know I am.

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