'Phantasy Star Online 2' heads to Steam August 5th
Phantasy Star Online 2 finally made its way to Phantasy Star Online 2 Meseta the US earlier this season as a free-to-play name on the Xbox One and Windows Store for PCs. But despite being an 8-year-old game, the launch was amazingly buggy for Windows users, that reported installation difficulty, as well as slowdown and crashing. Shortly there will be an additional option: Sega announced today that PSO2 is likely to make its way to Steam on August 5th, in which it will hopefully be somewhat more stable. I haven't followed the game too tightly, but judging from this trailer you will have to use your giant mechs against World War II battleships -- since you do. It's heartening to watch Sega pushing PSO 2 more in the US these days, although it all seems to be leading to the launching of the recently announced Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis, a more modern title heading to the Xbox Series X, Xbox One and PC. Sega states that title will not replace the original PSO 2, instead it is going to be complimentary since you'll be able to use your current personality in both matches.
Microsoft was quite cooperative in releasing PSO two, and also to expand on that, they were thinking about PSO 2 and in providing us with Agile, their programming program. It is not actually a technical reason -- because in relation to moving the game over to Xbox, it was not any easier -- but they really supported putting the game on Xbox. It is not that the Xbox is specifically hard, however there were some features that needed to be corrected particularly for Xbox. It was originally developed on PC, so it's relatively simple to deliver over to any other system.
We have been waiting so long for PSO 2 to come out in the West -- eight years now -- that it's interesting that you chose to launch it here first on Xbox One. It is interesting, since the Xbox One is basically in the previous year of its life as Microsoft transitions to the Xbox collection X. Did you launch Xbox One because you knew that the Xbox collection X will be backward-compatible, and that people would be able to carry their advancement over to the next console? Or did Microsoft approach you because they are hungrier for articles than Sony is to get the PlayStation 4?
Did that create a great deal of work for the development group? It wasn't a great deal of work, but the group was amazed by how beautiful the enhancements made the game seem. Was it helpful to be able to develop and optimize for a set platform like Xbox One, instead of the myriad permutations that gaming PCs might pose? For the Japanese version it turned out to be a multiplatform release, on PC and PS4, therefore PSO 2 was already optimized to provide the best results irrespective of which platform you are playing on. The focus was more on the way to bring out the advantages of the system.
Are you intending any PSO 2-related product or bodily variations for the West? Not currently, but if there is a demand for this, which may change. And when we arrange offline events and we want to get a merch table, we may consider making merch for something like this. There is not really a station or a means for selling product, but that may change later on so that we can sell our Japanese product to our own North American users. You've already done the Xbox collaboration, where cheap PSO2 Meseta gamers could unlock an Xbox-branded T-shirt in-game. Presumably you have more crossover content planned like that?