As part of the announcement of Final Fantasy 14's next expansion, Stormblood, Square Enix is revealing plans to end support of the PlayStation 3 platform.
2016's Final Fantasy XIV Fan Festival in Las Vegas is in full swing. Square Enix's Game Director for Final Fantasy XIV, Naoki Yoshida, took to the stage to reveal the MMO's next big expansion, Stormblood, which will introduce players to the region of Ala Mhigo starting in early summer 2017.
The launch of Stormblood will stand as a major transition in more ways than one, however. Yoshida also announced that Stormblood will mark the end of PlayStation 3 support for Final Fantasy XIV.
Yoshida's announcement was met with applause from the audience, as PlayStation 3 support has long been considered to be holding the MMO's potential back due to limited technical power. Citing an increasing number of PlayStation 3 players making the transition to PlayStation 4, the decision is said to allow Square Enix opportunities they'd otherwise not be able to explore in the Stormblood expansion. Exactly what those opportunities are will have to wait for another event.
PlayStation 3 players of Final Fantasy XIV shouldn't abandon hope just yet, however. Yoshida also promised that Square Enix is working with Sony to offer a "free" upgrade path to bring PlayStation 3 players to PlayStation 4. Exactly how this upgrade path will work wasn't described, but players should be confident that if they can acquire a PS4 before Stormblood's launch then Square Enix will take care of their account.
PlayStation 3 support for Final Fantasy XIV has a long history. Support for the console was announced as early as 2009, a launch platform for the MMO. Ultimately, though, the PlayStation 3 version of Final Fantasy XIV 1.0 would never be released due to the game's initial poor reception and then closure. After some time, fans would go on to demand Square Enix fulfill the promise of support with the game's 2.0 relaunch -- Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn -- in 2013.
With Final Fantasy XIV being one of the few rare MMOs on a console, much like Final Fantasy XI was on the PlayStation 2, support ending for the platform is the end of an era. Yet, with similar decisions being made recently with online games like Destiny, the transition was inevitable. The last remnants of PlayStation 3 support are simply winding down, and it might even have been at Sony's encouragement that Square Enix is finally ending support for the platform.
Final Fantasy XIV and its first expansion, Heavensward, are currently available on PC, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3. The MMO's newly announced second expansion, Stormblood, will be released in early summer of 2017 for PC and PlayStation 4. Support for the PlayStation 3 will end with Stormblood's release.