Yoshi-P, the creative force behind Final Fantasy 14 & 16, recently shared a surprising turn of events in the latter’s development journey. Initially, the game was planned for release on both PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.
However, the team’s ambition to blend smooth loading and top-notch graphics forced the studio to abandon the PS4 version.
Why it matters: This statement from Yoshi-P highlights the complex nature of game development and the significance of improved hardware for modern games.
In the early stages, the development team encountered a tough choice. Trying to get rid of loading times on the PS4 resulted in a significant dip in graphics quality, going below the standard set by Final Fantasy 15.
Yoshi-P, determined to uphold the series’ well-known visual brilliance, made a crucial call – Final Fantasy 16 would be exclusive to PS5. He also mentioned that the game’s assets were pushing the PS4 to its absolute limits. He said:
“Trying to eliminate the loading times on PS4, we were having to reduce graphical quality to a point lower than XV.”
Naoki Yoshida recognized the sensitive nature of this choice, mentioning that the original plan did consider a possible release on the PlayStation 4.
However, as development continued, it became clear that attaining the desired quality would take an extra year or two, a timeframe considered less than ideal. A similar limitation held the team back from working on the PC port until recently.
Faced with this challenge, the team chose to fully utilize the advanced features of the PS5.
Moreover, the producer emphasized that the team needed the PS5 hardware capabilities to complete the game. The exact decision about the PS5 exclusivity was made around the middle stage of development, as mentioned by Yoshi-P.
It wasn’t a cancellation of an ongoing PS4 version but a strategic departure from the original plans. The team’s reasoning is clear: prolonging the development would have increased expenses and stress resources.
Now that the game is out, it is evident that Final Fantasy 16 is tapping into the complete capabilities of the PS5 hardware. Yoshida believes that focusing on the PS5 allowed the team to create the best possible experience for players.
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