Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn launched on the PlayStation 3 in August of 2013 and while it was a surprisingly solid release, the PC players of the successful MMO have often looked down upon the console crowd. However with the PlayStation 4 version of Final Fantasy XIV the distance between PC and console has all but disappeared with the announcement of the beta test.
The game itself will launch on April 14, 2014 with both a digital and physical release at retail or through the Square Enix Online Store. Before the launch there will be several tests of the MMO that has become a critical darling out of the ashes of its infamous critical disaster upon launch.
Beta testing is usually a final stress test of the of the game to see if any last minute bugs crop up when the game goes from a few hundred players in testing to a few thousand in beta. The first phase of the beta will run from February 22 through March 3. The second phase will begin on April 4 and run a short 3 days till the 7th. The beta will be open to anyone who owns a PlayStation 4 system and will be available to download directly from the PS Store.
If you do decide to jump into the beta test there are a few things to keep in mind. If you decide to participate in the first phase, don’t get too attached to your character as they will be wiped at the conclusion of the first phase. However, the character you create in phase 2 can make the jump to the full retail version when the game launches later in April. You can also bring an existing character from the PlayStation 3 or PC version of the game into the beta test if you wish.
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn will be taking advantage of the extra power of the PlayStation 4 and its similar PC architecture. It will run in a native 1080p as opposed to the 720p on the PlayStation 3. It will also feature higher detail levels and draw distances. Support has also been added to the touch pad that sits on the top of the PlayStation 4 controller. Mouse and Keyboard support will also be included for those who must have the key mapping and precise control that such a setup offers.
One of the more exciting features is the ability to use the Remote Play feature with the PS Vita. The PS Vita is Sony’s hand held console which allows you to stream virtually any game on the PlayStation 4 to the PS Vita wherever you have a broadband wi-fi connection. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn will allow players to play the game on the go using the Vita making the MMO portable. In addition to the portable aspect of the PS Vita, Twitch and USTREAM broadcasting will be supported.
PlayStation 3 owners should be aware that if they want to play on both the PS4 and the PS3 they will need to buy an additional copy of the game either at retail or digitally. If you are okay with saying goodbye to the PS3 version, a transfer service will start on April 11th, 2014 that will allow you to move your service accounts to the PS4. To sweeten the deal, Square Enix is giving PS3 to PS4 transfer customers early access to the final release of the game starting on April 11th. In order to transfer from the PS3 to the PS4 you must have logged into Final Fantasy XIV at least one on the PlayStation 3.
A Collector’s Edition of the PlayStation 4 version is available exclusively on the Square Enix Online Store for $79.99. The standard edition will retail for $39.99. The announcement trailer for the PlayStation 4 version is below.