Square Enix's Final Fantasy franchise hasn't had the most Xbox friendly release schedule for many years now, but one of the most popular entries is finally hitting the Microsoft platform. Xbox head Phil Spencer made a surprise appearance on stage at Final Fantasy XIV Fan Festival today to announce alongside game director Naoki Yoshida that the MMORPG is at last coming to Xbox consoles.
Final Fantasy XIV has so far been available on PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5. An Xbox console release has been in the works for the modern A Realm Reborn version since at least 2019, but this is the first time a release window has been attached to the project.
XIV is coming to both Xbox Series X and S systems, and with cross-play support with other platforms. Xbox Series X will support playing the MMO at 4K resolution, while both the X and S will support faster loading times compared to last-generation platforms.
For those unfamiliar with this mainline entry, here's how the game's setting was described:
FFXIV takes place in the world of Hydaelyn – a vibrant planet blessed by the Light of the Crystal. Amid azure seas, encompassing the westernmost of the Three Great Continents, there lies a realm embraced by gods and forged by heroes. Her name — Eorzea. It is here that your tale begins to unfold. Beckoned by the Mothercrystal — the source of all life — you must embark upon a quest to deliver the land from an eternity of Darkness.
Final Fantasy XIV's Xbox Series X|S version will be available in spring 2024. An open beta for the platform will kick off with the Patch 6.5X cycle, with progress being transferred over once the full game releases with the upcoming Dawntrail expansion. The Final Fantasy XIV Online Expanded Free Trial is also coming to Xbox, with unrestricted access to A Realm Reborn, as well as Heavensward and Stormblood expansions, being available until level 70 for free.
Interestingly, on stage Spencer called this a "seminal moment" in the partnership between Xbox and Square Enix's Final Fantasy teams. He added that the companies are looking to cooperate more in the future. This may be hinting at other Final Fantasy games that are missing from the Xbox platforms finally coming over.