At PAX East, Final Fantasy XV director Hajime Tabata stated that the release date for the highly-anticipated game would be revealed this March. At a special event titled “Uncovered: Final Fantasy XV,” fans found out that the next installment in the long-running series will arrive this fall, on September 30.
Progress Reports And Movies
Hosts Greg Miller and Tim Gettys teased a total of 14 surprises for the event. The initial surprise was series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi, who kicked off the show. Fans also saw another installment of the development team's "Progress Report," which included various gameplay elements such as riding (and drifting) a chocobo; combat; driving (which we also saw at PAX Prime); and the game's environment, which included deserts, a mountainous region and large cities.
There was also a quick recap of the game's protagonists (Noctis, Ignis, Gladio and Prompto), all of whom will also be featured in a five-episode animated series called Brotherhood. The episodes are free on YouTube, and the first episode is available now.
There's also a feature-length CG-animated film slated to arrive this year titled Kingsglaive that ties into the game. The film will feature prominent actors providing voices to the characters. The list includes Lena Headey (Lunafreya), Sean Bean (King Regis) and Aaron Paul (Nyx). The movie comes out before the game, and it will be available to download and stream online.
Just to show off the company's deep coffers, Square Enix showed off a Final Fantasy-branded Audi R8. However, don't think you that you can get one anytime soon, as there's only one production unit available.
Things To Keep You Busy
Square Enix also showed some smaller games that tie into Final Fantasy XV. The franchise is famous for its many mini-games (most notably Blitzball), and Final Fantasy XV is no exception with its Justice Monsters Five mini-game, which seems to have some sort of pinball-based mechanics. It's also available on Android, iOS and Windows devices before the full game comes out, and you can pre-register for it tonight.
The developers also have a new demo that gives players an idea of the mechanics present in Final Fantasy XV. The Platinum Demo features Noctis and his Carbuncle companion in a dream state. Players will be able to try out his unique attacks and use magic. Various pressure plates are located throughout the map that will allow you to transform Noctis into various monsters, as well. You don't have to wait long for this demo, as it's available tonight on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. If you manage to beat the demo, you'll get to name the Carbuncle creature when it arrives as free DLC for Final Fantasy XV.
The Special Editions
Die-hard fans will also be able to pre-order one of two special editions for the game. The Deluxe Edition includes a steelbook case, a Blu-ray copy of Kingsglaive and additional in-game DLC such as an extra outfit, weapon and car color scheme. It will cost you $89.99.
The Ultimate Collector's Edition — which is a Square Enix Online Store exclusive — includes all of the contents of the Deluxe Edition as well as an Artbook, the Brotherhood animated series, soundtrack and a figurine of Noctis. You'll also get the in-game DLC from the Deluxe Edition and even more digital content such as a travel pack and two sets of items titled "Angler" and "Gourmand." There are only 30,000 units available for the Ultimate Collector's Edition, and you can pre-order it tonight for $269.99.
Earlier in the day, the release date was leaked on Gamespot, and was quickly taken down. However, the date was confirmed when Tabata walked onstage. To end the presentation, Tabata revealed a surprise 15th announcement: A new trailer for the game, which included a flying version of Noctis' car.
Six months from now, you'll be able to play Final Fantasy XV, a game that was 10 years in the making. In 2006, it was initially announced as Final Fantasy Versus XIII, but at E3 2013, the game was rebranded to its current name. The demo, mobile game, movie and animated series is Square Enix's way of ensuring that fans stay busy and hooked on the series until the game's launch. However, we could see more gameplay footage in upcoming shows such as E3 and Gamescom.
Follow Rexly Peñaflorida II @Heirdeux. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.
I'm more hyped about how disappointed everyone will be, and how long the "hyped" crowd will spend trying to defend this game.