(from the Adventures in Vana'diel department)
So - it finally had to happen. SquareEnix shut down the remaining servers for the console versions of Final Fantasy XI this morning, leaving it PC-only for now.
Full info here: http://www.playonline.com/ff11us/envi/win/winshift.html
I remember getting FFXI for my PlayStation 2 - it came with the Sony PlayStation 2 HDD and the promise of a whole new world of PlayStation features. Unfortunately, right after launch, Sony canceled their US plans, and the Japanese features like storing games on the hard drive, and the Sony Broadband Navigator never came to these shores. Still - it was a rock solid FFXI platform, and I spent many hours exploring the world of Vana'diel on my PS2.
When the Xbox 360 client came out, it was a blast to have an MMORPG on that platform. There were some odd issues with Xbox Live integration, and a couple of performance quirks, but the true widescreen and increased draw distance made it the FFXI platform of choice until the PC hardware and software options finally overtook it.
I played both console versions last night, archiving all of my screen shots and other ephemera. It was a bittersweet farewell. The servers were definitely overloaded - but it was still a lot of fun to run around Vana'diel and look at the sights one last time.
FFXI is going to continue on PC for the near future. Also - SquareEnix has announced plans for a full mobile version in the next year or so. This means adventurers will continue to fight the good fight, and explore the world of Vana'diel - but it's definitely the end of the console era for FFXI.
See you in Windurst!