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Dell Partners with Square 307

zenintrude writes "Gameforms is reporting that Square has signed a deal with Dell that will secure new Dell computers to be shipping with Final Fantasy XI pre-installed. This comes on the heels of another story involving Square partnering with nVidia, in which certain aspects/details in Final Fantasy XI will only be able to be accomplished with a geForce4 card."
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Dell Partners with Square

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  • uh oh (Score:5, Funny)

    by Raven42rac ( 448205 ) on Thursday September 26, 2002 @10:50PM (#4341470)
    Dude, you're gonna lose productivity.
  • Ok, so they're going to put a game that I'll have to pay a low low monthly fee in order to play it?? And it'll be included?? For free? WOW! Please tell me more? I'll get.. how many months free? Please where do I sign!?
  • Anyway, having a game show it's full potential (!)only(!) with a GeFore 4 sucks! :(
    • Anyway, having a game show it's full potential (!)only(!) with a GeFore 4 sucks! :(

      Well, there are certain things a GF4 can do that older Radeons, etc, just can't do. They don't have the feature set. In that case, I don't mind so much if they use those features and then say "best with GF4" or something. But if they go out of their way to use pixelshaders on the GF4 and not support the equiv functionality on the Radeon 9700, for instance, that's just fucking shitty and people should boycott Square and Nvidia if that comes to pass. The last thing we need is another 3dfx Glide situation where games are pretty much card-specific.

      • they are saying that there are some parts of the game you will not be allowed to play if you don't have the GF4 installed.
        Being unfamiliar with the game, lets just guess that there will be a quest for some semi-uberweapon, but if you have a Radeon 9700,for instance, you will be unable to equip it or something equally sucky
    • Frankly, there is no reason that FFX shouldn't run on a GF2 other than showing signs of a poor port. There is nothing substantially amazing about the PS2 hardware in respect to current PC graphics accellerators. Something is obviously wrong with this picture.

      Perhaps there are going to be some substantial enhancements to the game? Judging by the poor quality of the ports of the previous games, I expect little from this one.
  • They seem to make a lot of friends: how many people have exclusivity agreements with Square now? It is getting so it isnt quite so exclusive anymore....
  • This is sad... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jpt.d ( 444929 ) <abfall@r[ ] ['oge' in gap]> on Thursday September 26, 2002 @10:52PM (#4341482)
    I sure don't mind it shipping on new computers from Dell, but requiring a nvidia card for certain things? That is rediculous. I use an ATI Radeon (aging one mind you) and would like to see some real compatibility between them!
    • 3df/x tried that foolishness. It was just before they died...

    • Because there's no article attached to the comments about the GeForce 4 I can't be sure about this, but I would imagine that the nvidia cart would be required for certain visual effects, not game content. I see nothing wrong with nVidia striking a deal with Square to include some fancy visual effects only possible with the GeForce 4. In fact this deal is probably nothing more than nVidia footing the bill for Square to add some spiffy new graphical perks for the cards that support them.

      All this does is gives nVidia a game with which to showcase some of the new features of their new cards, how is this a bad thing? Let's not forget that this game is also going to be released for the PS2, so I find it highly doubtful that anything especially important would need a GeForce 4 to run.
      • The whole point of DirectX and other abstraction layers is so that an nVidia card wouldn't be required for certain effects. A less powerful nVidia card shouldn't have better visual effects than a top ATI card. That was the whole reason that ATI surpassing the OEM minimal performance level was significant. Real competition should be allowed to compete, not be retrained my corporate politics and back room dealings.

        Buying a graphics gard shouldn't be about politics and "us versus them", it is a tecnical issue, an issue of performance, price, andh possibly customer service. nVidia shouldn't be going over the consumers heads to screw those who vote against the party. It sounds like time for nVidia to pack it in... step aside and let some responsible competition emerge who actually wants to improve open computing standards without belittling users.

        Screw Sony - "fancy visual effects" are the sole reason why graphics accelerators exist at the consumer PC level... they are "especially important" to this discussion. The bad thing is not that nVidia can show off their fancy features. The bad thing is that nVidia paid Square dirty money to cripple the game on ATI, and Square accepted the deal. If Square already developed the new effects, why artifically restrict users from seeing them? Because they didn't vote for the right dirty... er, buy the right companies video card? Technology isn't the issue here, but is should be. That is a the bad thing. This is sad.
        • A less powerful nVidia card shouldn't have better visual effects than a top ATI card.

          What if the less powerful card is based on an earlier generation chip? Y'know, like the GeForce MX line? A GF4 MX doesn't have a GF4 powering it. It doesn't do complete DirectX 8 compatibility, so the ATI card will some effects not found in lower end cards.
  • Partnering? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Thursday September 26, 2002 @10:52PM (#4341483)

    All this promiscuous 'partnering' is sure to result in a computer virus that won't wash off so easily.

  • Dude, you are getting a level up. g
  • Connections (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nukey56 ( 455639 ) on Thursday September 26, 2002 @10:52PM (#4341492)
    Interestingly enough, a large amount of market share of Square is owned by Sony, which also sells PCs. However, I have yet to see any announcement of Square products being shipped on Sony PCs. It seems strange that the reverse is not the truth.. is there something going on behind the scences here?
    • Re:Connections (Score:2, Insightful)

      I would imagine that Sony decided to bundle their pay-to-play game with Dell PCs because they sell better then their little niche-marketed Viao (spelling?).
    • Sony has its own MMORPG -- Everquest. And they do ship it on their own notebooks and PCs. I do not see Sony putting another company's product (no matter the deals) in front of their own source of profit.
    • When ever you wonder why a company does something. Think $$$. Its really as simple as that.

      You want to know what's going behind the scenes, Dell offered a better deal/or has more customers or something resulting in the bling bling.
  • Don't even start.
  • by SpiffyMarc ( 590301 ) on Thursday September 26, 2002 @10:55PM (#4341505)
    nVidia has finally realized the edge it needs to put ATI under: marketing dollars. No amount of cool tech from ATI will stop the fact that Square signed this deal with nVidia. This is where the GeForce4 will get its' edge against the technically superior Radeon 9700 Pro.

    It's the same way with Sony. If you can't win with better games, win with more money and an unstoppable juggernaut of a marketing department.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Dell Preinstalling computers with FFXI is a nice idea. It will probably help assure compatibility with their machines. Both Dell and Square would benefit from the sales.

    Now only if Dell could convince them to port the game to Linux, they could have a killer game, on a killer OS!
  • Maybe I can talk my supervisor into putting in an order in with IT for a Dell, I just need to find a clever way to justify a Dell and not something else...Hmm, let's see, Dell will offer "alternative" operating systems while Compaq does not - I can always say that I need Linux for rapid mySQL and other sophisticated-web-related acronyms that he won't wait, I don't think that FFXI is going to run in Redhat.
  • Didn't FFXI already fail?

    Seriously how many games like EQ are we going to see made? Why didn't square try to cut into some totally uncharted territory and offer something that no one had ever seen. They could have done so much more with the idea but they didn't. Might have worked well too if they had done something totally unique. What the game market needs is originallity not rehashes of things that have been and are being done to death.

    However show me a MMORPG of Shadowrun (done well please) and I might take interest. Shadowrun has always been a wonderful world to play in, and it is a shame that no one has really done much with it.
    • Online gaming has become the new hotness. There was the era of the fighting game, the platformer, the FPS, then the rise of the MMORPG.The online success of FPSs like Halflife, Quake, and Unreal T, and the stupifying profits of Lineage (Korea), UO, and EverQuest, it was only a matter of time before every able company would begin taking their titles into the online realm. Sony is pioneering this movement with a slew of PS2 titles, Sega has ported Phantasy Star Online to the GameCube (not to mention their success with PSO in Japan on the Dreamcast), and Xbox has a bunch of titles ready to go. It's just the next big thing in gaming.
    • Good call. Shadowrun would be a great MMORPG. The "D&D" style fantasy games, even with FF's added technology aspects, are played out to beat the band. Give us Seattle, plus (with game technology's capabilities these days) an expanded Shadowrun universe (worldwide, perhaps?), and you have something that would put MMORPG on the map for keeps. Deckers, Mercs, Street Docs, awesome weapons and wild magic. This game is screaming to be made for the online audience.
  • unless they're gonna port ff to linux, it's windows all over the world again!
  • Dude! (Score:1, Troll)

    You're getting a hit-point bonus!

    And then, at that moment there was a Final Fantasy that didn't fly off the shelves...
  • Does this mean this game won't run on an ATI or anoy other 3D card? If thats the case then thats one game I won't be able to play.
    • Re:No ATI? (Score:3, Informative)

      by stratjakt ( 596332 )
      Does nVidia have its own proprietary 3D api?
      Nope, it's pretty much DirectX or OpenGL.

      Of course it will. Probably look alot nicer on a 256 meg Radeon 9700 Pro, to boot.
  • Dude... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shadowcabbit ( 466253 ) <cx AT thefurryone DOT net> on Thursday September 26, 2002 @11:03PM (#4341554) Journal
    ...these jokes are getting old.

    But seriously, this could be a good thing and it could also be a bad thing. If FFXI gains enough popularity to generate the fanbase it needs in Japan, a US port (to PC) would be almost guaranteed. But, considering that nobody wants to pay (monthly) for FFXI after buying it, is giving it away free going to make people want to buy it? I think not. Take Everquest, for example-- you can pick up a jewel case copy for $10, a huge slash over what it was back in the day. I did this. And I stopped paying for it two months later, when I found that I don't like that style of game. If anything, it's going to get a huge fanbase for the first month or so and then everyone will quit.

    Of course, that's all just my speculation, being a typical FF fan. See sig.
  • They understand! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    It took someone long enough to understand how to deal with the MMORPG market, and it took Square to do it.

    The thing is, rpgs of this sort are -addictive-. There isn't alot of gameplay to them, never has been. (I hold this true of games like NWN and the like; you don't actually -play- the game, you -experience- it. And this is addictive. It's also why I refuse to play them anymore.)

    So what are they understanding? That 'Hey! You can give the game away for free and charge for subscription, like AOL cds!' If there's very little cost of entry, you're more likely to try it and, thus, be addicted by it. Behold, instant cash cow.

    I'm just wondering why it took so long for companies to figure this out, seeing as how I've read speculation on this crap for years...

    • Sorry but if you are not playing NWN then you need to find a better community. I play on a fairly large PW and we have tons of people who roleplay their hearts out. Depending on your leaning between total HCR and action you have the entire spectrum from diablo alikes to a 99 server 1000+ player PW using hard core rules. I would say that any MMORPG is going to be better then single player follow the script games simply because your interaction with the other people even if they are not strict rp'rs will be more interactive then a read the script type "interaction".
  • by man_ls ( 248470 ) on Thursday September 26, 2002 @11:09PM (#4341583)
    I want to be able to play FF7 on my new PC.

    There would be such a massive market if they released a patch, or released a remastered version of the game (updated graphics, perhaps?) that it would easily cover it's own production costs.
  • Does anyone else remember when the really great thing about an Nvidia card was incredible performance at great a great price, and not gimmicks?
  • Ugh.

    Is it just me, or did anybody else see this exact story come out of the random Slashdot story generator?

  • Counter-proposal (Score:5, Insightful)

    by parliboy ( 233658 ) <> on Thursday September 26, 2002 @11:11PM (#4341603) Homepage
    Why don't they port FFIX and FFX first. And I mean really make an effort to port it -- I don't want to have to kick in anti-aliasing x3 to enjoy the game.

    What? Don't think it'll sell? So quit trying to port XI.

    • They aren't MMORPGs! The latest buzzword, they're riding the wave, thinking outside of the box, surfing the curve, flipping the bird, and doing other jingoistic marketing things.

      You can emulate all the originals nicely on the PC. And the ports of 7 & 8 didn't sell well, AFAIK.
      • And the ports of 7 & 8 didn't sell well, AFAIK

        Probably because they were shoddy ports and loaded with bugs. I still have never been able to play through my copies of FF7 and FF8 on the PC. FF7 had issues with the movies playing upside down and the video not syncing with the audio.. and FF8 has issues with pretty much any video card out there (I've tried a Rage Pro, Radeon, and GeForce2/3).. the graphics all show up as "tiles". Not even the patch (which is supposed to fix the tiles) fixes the problem.

        Pretty lame. I believe FFXI's PC port will be handled by Square themselves, so maybe this time they'll get it right.
    • by Junta ( 36770 )
      Well, for one, I think 7 and 8 set the precedent that it wasn't that valuable of a franchise for porting to PC as single player games (at least, not after the PS versions are out for months before PC, same problem as Loki).
      Now, two factors are diffent. One, this is MMORPG, a genre that has proven itself to have worked best on the PC platform in the past. Sure, there have been console MMORPG's like PSO, but nothing so widely successful as Everquest, for example. Also, as an MMORPG, it is absolutely critical for its sucess to have as rapid growth of users as possible. With standalone games, the overall sales are not affected so much by how many people get it as soon as possible, but the quality of a MMORPG is dependent on a large user base, so if it starts slow, it would hamper later sales badly.

      Secondly, this will be a simultaneous release. Unlke the PC ports, people can immediately pick their favorite, most convenient platform without suffering a time penalty, so the sales figures will more accurately and fairly reflect the viability of Square games on the PC versus Playstation. This may be important to show that PC ports are not a waste and bring efforts to port FFXII immediately.

      Of course, in my opinion, FFXI has a high probability of failure. Even if executed perfectly on technical terms, the Final Fantasy series fanbase is not necessarily big on MMORPG. I know I like standalone games better, because playing MMORPGs put certain pressures on me that I don't want to deal with. I don't feel like I can play at my own pace, sometimes for the best affect I have to coordinate my playtime with other, and I like a cohesive story that comes to some sort of definitive close. Those differences between traditional FF and MMORPG may cause FFXI to fail, if MMORPG and standalone are sufficiently exclusive communities. I know several people who plan to skip XI because they have no love of MMORPG, and also know several MMORPG players who aren't impressed in the least bit by the name 'Final Fantasy'. Of course, this is only among the people I know, so I have no idea what the true picture is..
    • Yes, for godsakes, port FFX. I've been waiting for ages to play this damn game. I hardly think it fair that I have to shell out money for a PS2 console just to play FFX, since it doesn't seem to be available for any other systems.

      Thus far I've collected all of the FF series available to North America up to FFIX. I have FFI on NES, and the rest as part of the FF Anthology/etc. I was somewhat saddened that FFIX didn't come out on PC, although I ended up buying the PS1 disc and played it through on emulator (which worked surprisingly well).

      Unless a decent emulator comes out or a port for PC is announced, I may end up not playing FFX at all, even though I love squaresoft games.
      Limiting themselves to a single console seems to eliminate a lot of people from getting the game. I haven't seem PS2's coming out overly cheap on eBay yet either.

      Anyone know of FFX/PC or a good PS2 emulator? - phorm
  • What hoars!

    Before you know it every Dell box will come with Windows pre-installed. Oh, wait...

  • Good idea:
    Striking a business deal to provide your game on a large customer base.
    [Please note that I say this for games, not utilities or operating systems]

    Bad idea:
    Requiring your game to only be 'optimized' on a specific company's chip-set.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Listen, I will make this point once, so listen up. I know you guys are regular Linux nuts, but when it comes to games, you obviously don't have a clue.

    The reason Square is making so many 'exclusive' deals with Final Fantasy XI is because they want this product to be a success. MMORPGs, whether the cheap ****s who won't and never will float the monthly fee will admit it, are quit good and successful games. If this is a quality MMORPG, Square could have themselves a big money maker on their hands. Not only that, but an MMORPG that is insanely popular is a great way to get consumers interested in your other console games. Even better, its a good way to convince them to buy the console where near all Square games live.
    ( Exception being for portable Squaresoft games. No portable Sony system. )

    Square knows it needs as many people playing its MMO as possible. More subscriptions means more monthly cash, more 'friends' of possible subscribers online, etc. . They don't want barriers such as 'which gaming system you prefer' to stand in the way of addicting you to their game. ( especially with that nice monthly fee ;) )

    Basically, this story means that a great number of people will play this game purely because it comes with their new Dell computer. It ensures a greater online gaming population of players, and more subscriptions for Square. Its a smooth move.

  • Heh. I remember back when nVidia support was in the minority and 3dfx was 'the' graphics card chip. nVidia didn't use any sick tactics back then: their business practice was clean. It seems that has changed; though I suppose Intel was that way once, too.

    It's a lesson in monopoly. You keep a company at bay, balanced by another and they BOTH behave and keep prices down. You leave one alone, and prices go up, service goes down, and the customer gets screwed.

    I can only hope ATI does well with the latest Radeon Pro (quite highly rated from what I've seen). I'm disgusted with nVidia. This kind of business practice makes me think I should never buy an nVidia card again. Some areas only playable if you buy a ridiculously expensive card? It's incredible what capitalism gives us, just incredible.
  • nVidia=3dfx? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by puppetman ( 131489 ) on Thursday September 26, 2002 @11:35PM (#4341696) Homepage
    We just saw a story on the collapse of 3dfx. One thing the story didn't mention was Glide, and 3dfx pushing it down the throats of game developers to try to get a monopoly on the market. Thank God for John Carmack, Id Software, and OpenGL.

    Now nVidia is doing the following: "This comes on the heels of another story involving Square partnering with nVidia, in which certain aspects/details in Final Fantasy XI will only be able to be accomplished with a geForce4 card"

    Now a geForce4 is a nice card, but the ATI 9700 is the only card that fully supports DirectX 9. You would think the 9700 would be better for Final Fantasy.

    There is probably a chunk of code that says,

    if (card_manufacturer = nVidia)

    It seems like nVidia is going the 3dfx route. Too bad; competition in the graphics card market is good for the consumer.
    • The reason it (the story) didn't mention Glide was the whole piece was a whine trying to blame management for 3dfx's failure - when it was pretty clear that the technical teams were consistenly failing to deliver.
    • Actually, the direction of the interaction is not the same. NVidia is not telling a developer ot use only its tech and provide crippleware for other cards. In this instance, a Developer is approaching the Hardware manufacturer.

      Also, Square has become more concerned with making Pretty Games then making Good Games (at least since FF7). I am sure that if ATI was the recognized leader in Graphics technology in PC circles, they would have approached ATI instead.

    • Glide got pushed after glQuake came out. It was basically glQuake that sold the original generation of voodoo cards. All the other games that came out at the time took advantage of the install base that Quake generated and targetted Glide because 3dfx was the only company with a 3D accelerator on the market. At the time I got my Voodoo 1, there were only like 3 games that used it including Quake. The other thing to remember is that Glide worked in DOS as the last of the DOS mode games were coming out.

      Later, as Direct3D got better and there started to be useful 3d accelerators like the Riva and TNT, companies started writing multiple renderers for both Glide and Direct3D. That was a small part of what killed 3dfx - their drivers for everything other than Glide sucked. They took a long time to get multitexture support in D3D (which gave a 100% boost in games that supported it), and even longer (post-Voodoo 3 launch) to get a full OpenGL driver out the door which helped some games and the professional market.

      Potentially, this game may work on some other more advanced card further down the line. I guess we won't know till somebody hacks the game and tries to enable the feature on a Radeon. Then again, the Geforce 4 uses the same architecture as the Geforce 3 so they're probably lying.
    • I, personally, haven't paid attention to FFXI's (proposed) release date. Whatever is announced is probably BS anyway.

      My point is that by the time it's out, the GF5 could well be out. The card will, doubtless, tear up the Radeon 9700. Now, I've seen the Radeon in action, and it really can tear up any other card. The GF4 can't hold a candle to it.

      My point is that now that ATI looks to be serious about graphics again, we're going to see quite the fight between them and nVidia. The cards are going to keep going back an forth. One company will gain an edge, retain it for awhile, and then the other will make a come-back.

      It's not a huge stretch to figure this out.

      It honestly doesn't make sense to optimize for any one platform / card. It makes sense to optimize the hell out the entire game. Sweet merciful crap, look at UT2003. That game/engine is optimized.

      The cards don't make a lick of differnce. The newest will usually beat the latest from the other guy, especially now that ATI is being a more serious threat. DX9 doesn't matter that much. NV30 (the GF5) will have that too.
  • This is a mixed blessing. On the one hand, Dell is offering pre-installed games (albeit with only one choice). This increases the number of people with the game, and we all know that when your friends tell you to play something, you should give in to peer pressure. On the other hand, this is just another app that the common computer user will never figure out. They'll probably try to do a straight delete of the game and accidentally delete their important documents in the process (so goes the way of Windows). You know, maybe if these people read Slashdot, they would instantly become intelligent and open-minded.
  • I find this to be a puzzling move by Square to have aspects/details that only run on a Geforce4. The XBOX basically has a custom Geforce 4 chipset, which obviously is made by NVIDIA. I don't understand why they would target such a chipset on computers, and not the XBOX while they are at it. Maybe Sony won't let them...
  • I have a problem with all Massively Multiplayer Online Only games... and I think a lot of other people have the same problem with them... monthly fees! I don't want any game where I HAVE to have an Internet connection (broadband preferably) and also HAVE to pay a monthly fee just to play a game. You may also even be required to pay for the game up front too. This just doesn't seem like something that the general consumer wants to bear. I like gaming a lot, and I like playing my games online... but I only play the ones that are free to play online (Unreal Tournament, Medal of Honor, Warcraft 3, etc.). I have played Asheron's Call, Ultima Online, and EverQuest but it turned out that I had a lot more fun playing those types of games (RPGs) by myself. Also, a huge problem with MMO games, is their longevity. Think about it, if you have your NES, Sega, TurboGrafix, NeoGeo, etc. games still and the consoles, you can still play them now. This will probably (95% sure) not be the case with all your MMO games. How many of those will still be around and playable 5-10 years from now. My guess, not many. There goes your time and money investment.
    • Well, it seems to me that these games are aimed at people who are really heavy gamers -- a lot of people will buy 3 or 4 video games a month; for them, the fees are just part of their monthly game allowance. These people probably won't mind that their games become outdated and unplayable -- because they have new ones to play.

      I enjoy going back to my old games, and can't imagine spending hundreds of dollars a month on games. However, I figure that they're not really trying to target me. (So much the better, because I've never really liked "online communities" of any sort; these things really don't appeal to me.)

  • How Lame (Score:2, Insightful)

    They can bundle a friggin' game, but where's the JVM?

    That must be part of the "real operating system" option--the one that Dell doesn't offer.
  • Where? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Jrono ( 470199 ) on Friday September 27, 2002 @12:32AM (#4341908)
    The deal was with Dell Japan, and I would imagine this is only going to happen with Dell's Japanese computers. Here [] is a relevant link at Dell's page, and another story [] in English.
  • Aside from kickback fees from Square, what does Dell get out of it? Certainly noone is going to buy a Dell over something else simply beause of a $50 game preinstalled.

    Can the fees possibly cover the increased support and installation costs?
  • by lingqi ( 577227 ) on Friday September 27, 2002 @01:17AM (#4342082) Journal
    i mean... seriously... are there ANY other sources backing this up?

    Square USA has nothing even close to this; Dell is silent as hell. even square japan has nothing at all:

    the only press release i can find is here [] but it just says Nvidia chips are used for testing and with the "best way to play" logo -- so does Unreal Tournament 2003 -- it says nothing about GeForce being the ONLY playing video-card (as all directX compatible (OpenGL?) should work okay. (just like UT2k3 runs just fine on my radeon)

    besides this is all for japan anyway. There are rumors (Electronic Gaming Monthly) that says there may not ever be a FFXI release because of the massive amount of support square will have to burden -- and if EA does not want to do it, they may just skip it. (can't find online version of article)

    small side note: i remember back in the days when FF7 supported every videocard *except* nvidia TNT... haha... but eventually nvidia gained enough popularity / people bitched about it and they released a patch to allow nvidia. (they even had software rendering back then!) i bet if us radeon users bitch enough they will make a patch for it too.

    another small side note: again. back in FF7 pre-nvidia-patch days -- the software rendering was so slow it was possible to predict the slot-machine thingy for one of the mini-games. i actually did much worse in that mini-game after the patch was installed. -- so i finished that part with software rendering, and played the rest with the patch.

  • "Sir, I'm scared." (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Saxerman ( 253676 ) on Friday September 27, 2002 @01:18AM (#4342086) Homepage
    So, when Microsoft does it it's bad, but when Sony does the same thing it's a good thing? I don't know about the rest of you, but this deal scares me. In terms of revenue Sony is on pretty equal footing with Microsoft and when giant companies like that make deals with their 'partners' to promote their products I can't help but feel that the consumer is the one who suffers.

    As a Linux convert I've come to really like having choices. When a piece of software (open or closed) rises to the top on its own merits I don't have much to complain about. The problem is when a product is artificially bootstrapped the alternatives tend to get ignored, even if there are 'better' choices. I really liked my Amiga and Atari Lynx. Unfortunately I was 'forced' to switch to the 'inferior' substitutes of a Windows 3.1 PC and a Gameboy in order to stay mainstream. Certainly poor company management was a factor in both these cases, but I consider them clear examples of quantity beating out quality.

    Hopefully I'm just old and bitter. I used to play Everquest, enjoyed it for a time, but in the end it was just sucking up time and providing little enjoyment. I was aware of the amount of willpower I needed to exert in order to give up the game. MMORPGs can be fun, but addictive. Everquest was certainly much harder to give up playing than any MUD I played, and those were free.

    FF11 might be a great game. Square has certainly rarely disappointed me. But this is a new and wide open market, and name recognition will sell units even if the game sucks. I just don't want to take another step backward, and I'm pretty sure deals like this aren't designed to improve the market for me.

    • While you have some interesting points, I'd like to point out that the fundamental base part of your argument is based on incorrect knowledge. Square is not Sony or part of Sony, they merely have produced FF7-10 for Playstation systems (7&8 were released for PC as well by Eidos and EA, repsectively). I think they are somehow merged with Electronic Arts, but not Sony.
      • I'd like to point out that the fundamental base part of your argument is based on incorrect knowledge. Square is not Sony....

        *blink* Wow. Thank you for kindly pointing out my complete and utter lack of a clue. I must have missed a fnord or two in the article.

        You are certainly correct that Square is not Sony, so I'm not sure why I ignored that very obvious fact while I was crafting my rant. I humbly withdraw my unfounded complaint.

  • I would be more pleased if Dell would ship computers with vi preinstalled. :-)

  • Current MMO(RP)Gs are bad enough, with 10 year old kids following you around town saying things like "yo u got sum pp or equip 4 newb plz thx" and getting angry if you happen not to want to give them your entire equipment. These kids actually have their parents paying for their accounts and had to put some effort into getting/installing the game. In some cases, the "kids" are 30 year old men.

    If this game now comes preinstalled and probably with a 30 day free trial offer to get people hooked, FF XI will be full of them, too. Thanks Dell, Square for your help with taking the "RP" out of RPG. You can line up with Sony Online, Microsoft and FunCom over there. All hail FF XI, the new king of online hack 'n slash for l33t d00dz.

    If you want roleplay, you're probably better off sticking to text MUDs, and most of those are free at any rate :)
  • FFXI was written primarily for PS2, which not only has far fewer features and lower performance than a PC w/GF4, but implements what little it has very differently than PCs do. John Carmack has said those reasons make Xbox much better than PS2 for Doom 3. Even full-time PC game developers haven't begun to use all of GF4's features. So I expect that most of FFXI will look identical on PC and PS2, and just a few negligable scenes will actually use those GF4 features.
  • This is the REAL story (courtesy of RPG Warehouse []):

    Dell Japan has decided to release two versions of their PCs packaged with Final Fantasy XI. Dell Japan will release the Dimension 8200 and Dimension 4500 with the PC version of Final Fantasy XI. Both PCs will come equipped with an Intel Pentium 4 1.8Ghz processor and a GeForce4 Ti4200 64MB DDR video card. So if you live in Japan and want to get the best performance from Final Fantasy XI this might be a PC you could consider buying.

    Here's a link to Dell's website showing off the systems: ht m

    No where do I see that you will be forced to use an nVidia card on the PC version of the game, and no where do I see this deal being in the United States (yet.)

    Also, FFXI isn't even out for the PC in the U.S., much less Japan. Squaresoft says November 7th for Japan... with the U.S. version slated for early 2003 release.

    Why do I have to do your job for you, SlashDot?

... though his invention worked superbly -- his theory was a crock of sewage from beginning to end. -- Vernor Vinge, "The Peace War"