Sega is going all out on Phantasy Star Online 2. We already knew and were pleased about the Windows and Vita versions, which will let players from both platforms join together for some unexpected cross platform play. It turns out people with iOS and Android devices will also be able to join in, though their versions will only share some data with the PC and Vita version. Still, more platforms is always a good thing, especially if playing on one version can help you in another.
The reason for the lack of cross platform compatibility with the iOS and Android versions and PC and Vita incarnations probably has something to do with how Phantasy Star Online 2 will be played. The Windows and Vita versions are identical, full versions of the MMORPG. The iOS and Android versions are simplified versions with different control schemes. While it will have a MMO feel, the handheld version will also be similar to social networking games. In all cases, players create a hunter character from one of multiple classes and races and head out on missions to defeat monsters.
There’s another Phantasy Star Online 2 announcement that should make anyone interested in the MMO excited. Sega’s going the free-to-play route this time. It will rely on the cash shop to make money on the game. There’s no initial buy-in price and no subscriptions. I’m sure this means Sega will be doing its best to release really awesome and tempting cash shop items and incentives.
Sega hasn’t confirmed a worldwide release for Phantasy Star Online 2, but it seems quite likely. Japan will get the computer version before Summer 2012 ends, the iOS and Android apps before Winter 2012 ends and the Vita version will be out in early 2013.
Read [4Gamer.net (Japanese)]