Earlier this week, Square Enix confirmed the release date for Final Fantasy 8 Remastered, revealing that the upgraded version of the classic JRPG is set to launch on September 3. Shortly after the Final Fantasy 8 Remastered release date was confirmed, pre-orders for a physical version of the game appeared on the Play-Asia retail site. While this led fans to believe that there would be a physical release for Final Fantasy 8 Remastered, we now know that's not the case, and that the game will be digital only.
The Japanese Square Enix website has confirmed that Final Fantasy 8 Remastered is digital only, with no physical release planned at this time. Play-Asia, meanwhile, has removed the listings it had for the Final Fantasy 8 Remastered physical release. This is unfortunate news for those who were hoping for a physical release, and it seems unlikely that a physical release is in the cards for the game.
Many were skeptical that Final Fantasy 8 Remastered would be getting a physical release as there haven't been any for similarly enhanced Final Fantasy games. Japan received "physical" versions of the Final Fantasy 7 and Final Fantasy 9 enhanced releases, at least on the Switch, but those weren't cartridges and were instead just boxes with digital download codes inside.
That being said, Final Fantasy 8 Remastered seems like it may be a tad more extensive than the other Final Fantasy remasters, so it's hard to fault some for holding out hope for a physical release. Like the other Final Fantasy remasters, Final Fantasy 8 Remastered offers a variety of cheats that players can use to tailor the experience to their liking, including one that lets them turn off random battles completely, but it has some other upgrades as well.
Final Fantasy 8 Remastered actually offers a pretty significant graphical upgrade when compared to the enhanced versions of Final Fantasy 7 and 9. Final Fantasy 8 Remastered's graphics greatly increase the level of detail when it comes to the game's character models, whereas the graphics were mostly untouched in Final Fantasy 7 and 9.
While fans shouldn't hold their breath for a Final Fantasy 8 Remastered physical release, it could still happen with enough fan demand.
Final Fantasy 8 Remastered launches on September 3 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
Source: Nintendo Everything