One of Square Enix's biggest announcements from E3 2019 was that Final Fantasy 8 would be getting a remastered edition. Several retailers immediately listed Final Fantasy 8 following the announcement, prompting speculation that a physical release was on the way. Of course, nothing could be confirmed until retail outlets actually begin locking in pre-orders for the game, and that's exactly what Play-Asia has now begun doing: consumers can now pre-order the game straight from the website's online shop, which seems to imply that a physical release is on the way.
The eighth installment of the Final Fantasy franchise released in 1999 as a multi-disc PlayStation 1 game. If the remastered edition is truly getting a physical release, chances are it will only require a single disc this time around. This sets it apart from the Final Fantasy 7 Remake which is releasing episodically, largely in part because it's a complete re-imagining of the game built from the ground-up rather than primarily a graphical update based on an existing engine. That's why the turnaround time between announcement and release of Final Fantasy 8 Remastered has moved so quickly compared to the Final Fantasy 7 Remake, which was officially announced in 2015 following years of rumors.
That being said, the remastered version of Final Fantasy 8 will bring more than just improved graphics to the table: series producer Yoshinori Kitase has revealed that players will be able to turn off random battles entirely, with gamers also having the option to start the game with maximum HP and all of the in-game skills. The feature will allow players who simply want to experience the story to progress throughout the game without too much grinding, making Final Fantasy 8 Remastered more accessible to gamers.
That's exactly what the physical copy will potentially do, too: while completely digital games are becoming the norm, not every gamer has a stable internet connection to download a full game from. That being said, Final Fantasy 8 Remastered will also be available for digital purchase, which will allow consumers to quickly download the title and jump into Squall's boots in a matter of minutes.
It's not currently known if Square Enix will be releasing a collector's edition for the game, but one would imagine this would be a popular item among fans. Given that Square Enix has been quiet to even confirm a physical release, though, it looks like fans will have to wait until close to the game's planned Q4 2019 release in order to see what will be offered.
Final Fantasy 8 Remastered will release in 2019 for PC, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One.
Source: Nintendo Everything