Phantasy Star Online 2 North American PS4 & Switch Confirmed!
I covered Phantasy Star Online 2’s E3 announcement by Microsoft last week and I’ll admit, I was hyped. I’ve played the Japanese version of the game and I played it quite thoroughly.
That was of course using the fan-translations that were supplied to us – and while they were pretty damn good, there were always translation issues, especially with current content.
Which made things a little difficult at times but not so much that I’d complain about it.
So hearing that Microsoft was bringing over PSO2 to the West was great news for hundreds of thousands of potential players, if the views on my PSO2 video are to be believed.
We’ve been waiting since the game originally launched back in 2012 for someone – anyone to localize and publish the game over here, after all.
During their announcement, Microsoft stated that they wanted to bring the game over to the West for Xbox and PC, offering cross-play functionality between the two platforms.
That means that you can play on either PC or Xbox with friends playing on either – meaning you aren’t segregated.
Fans were livid that Microsoft had plans to bring the game over exclusively for those platforms and those platforms alone, but in a recent interview with Phil Spencer, the President of Xbox, it was revealed that they have no intention of releasing the game exclusively for those platforms at all, and that both PS4 and Switch releases were already planned and on the way.
Whether that means that they had planned to launch on every console is up for discussion, but it is worth noting that the game – which has an expected release window of Spring 2020 – does not have a release window for other consoles.
Microsoft themselves will be providing the servers for PSO2 and it has been confirmed, both via Twitter and the official PSO2 website that the game, at present, is expected to launch in North America in Spring 2020.
Release dates for the rest of the world are unknown right now – with no information on whether the rest of the world will even get a release in their country. “Debuting in North America” is all we’ve gotten in terms of confirmation.
Now allow me to quickly touch on three potential outcomes regarding the release next year.
1.) Microsoft could be providing servers hosted within North America, just like Nexon America does with their games, and instead of opening servers in different regions across the world, which would prove to be much more expensive overall, would allow players from all areas of the world, with the exception of regions that already have their version such as South East Asia and Japan to access the game without an IP block.
This would of course mean that you would likely have higher latency outside of North America but from what I’ve played of the Japanese version with over 200 ping in the past I’ve suffered no disadvantages from lag. Thus far, anyway.
2.) Like other games in the past, Microsoft could be planning a North American launch initially, with plans to expand into other countries over time. This would provide them an idea of how popular the game was, at least within North America, before going ahead with attempting to gain rights to publish in other countries, which is a whole nother headache.
3.) The most unlikely, but also definitely a plausible outcome would be that North America and North America alone will have access to the game. Microsoft could IP block the rest of the world to prevent anyone outside of the country from accessing the game without using a VPN to play. Although I doubt this will be the case.
They announced that the game will be getting a North American release with – in their words – “all of the content” that the Japanese version currently has.
This means 7 years, 8 if we count when the game will launch over here worth of content, updates, gear, tweaks, quests, bosses and more.
While it’s an amazing thought – being up to date with the official Japanese version of the game and getting to access all the latest content as Japan gets to experience it, that also means that it essentially trivializes all of the content released for many of the years leading up to this point.
Instances, gear, fights that were all much more difficult to do in the past, things that people enjoyed about the game, things that people hated about the game, they’re all either skippable now or easy enough that they no longer require the same effort they once did.
I’ve read enough comments in my PSO2 video to know that this is one thing that has upset quite a few of you and I can certainly understand why.
I’ve expressed my concern with a few things, specifically the cosmetic items and crossover events because Microsoft doesn’t have deals in place to have them in-game over here and this means that they’ll either be completely removed or censored.
A lot of you seem to think that censorship is the route they’ll take because that’s the route the South East Asian version of the game took but honestly I’d hate to have any form of censorship in-game.
I understand there are certain events we’ll never have access to because we just can’t and that’s alright, but there’s no need to censor things.
Removal will be fine, especially since I’m sure the vast majority of players won’t even realize anything has been removed, what with most of them having not played the game.
If they had, then there would be hundreds of thousands of players playing on the Japanese servers right now, and there aren’t. Ship 2 is populated, very true, but the large influx of players is going to be.. from mostly new eyes.
So, yeah. That’s pretty much it. Microsoft is bringing over Phantasy Star Online 2 to North America in Spring 2020 with an unconfirmed global release possibly planned in the future.
The game will launch – at least initially – on Xbox One and PC with PS4 and Switch releases planned for an undisclosed release in the future as well.
Whether we have a censored version remains to be seen, hopefully we don’t but regardless, most players won’t know the difference.
It’s unlikely you’ll be able to migrate your characters over to the Microsoft version otherwise it would negate the need for people to roll new characters and actually play through the game.
Not just that but it would inhibit new players’ progress when they see what current players already have.
Like I said last week, I’m incredibly excited. I’ve been playing PSO2 on and off for a couple years now and couldn’t be more excited to roll onto an official English version.
I’ll be sure to keep you all updated with new information released pertaining to the English version of the game.
I hope you’re all equally as excited as I am and ready to grind together as I plan to be there on launch day!
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