Tired of the conflicting reports surrounding the compatibility of Phantasy Star Online and the Dreamcast broadband adapter, the good people at IGN Dreamcast went hunting for answers, and found them with the Localization Producer for the game, Jason Kuo. In what is a comprehensive interview, the man responsible for making sure things work properly in North America had a fair bit to say about this situation. Excerpts of the interview can be found below.
IGNDC: For the most part in playing our preview version of the game online, we have experienced very few problems. However, playing with a handful of editors is one thing and playing with hundreds of gamers online is another. How are you preparing for the eventual server crashes? Should the server crash, will players need to reconnect, or will they be booted back into thePhantasy Star Online "virtual lobby"?
Jason Kuo: Sega will be monitoring the servers for the possibility of server crashes. Server load tests have been done, and the experience with the Japanese launch has helped us become wiser. Of course, if the servers crash, players will probably need to reconnect. Obviously, we hope that the servers wonât crash. Like other online games, servers will be down for maintenance periodically, but players will be warned.
IGNDC: It's been pitched back and forth ö will Phantasy Star Online take advantage of the Broadband Adapter?
JK: Phantasy Star Online does not officially support Broadband; hence it does not take advantage of the Broadband Adapter. However, since this is not a "twitch" game, like a shooter, Broadband will not really enhance your playing experience.
IGNDC: Will we be able to use Phantasy Star Online characters created in the Japanese version of the game in the US final version of Phantasy Star Online?
JK: No. Phantasy Star Online characters created in the Japanese version of the game will not be compatible with the US version of Phantasy Star Online. You will need to start from scratch.
So Sega maintains its previously reported statement on compatability between Phantasy Star Online and the broadband adapter. However, the statement that the game "does not officially support Broadband" is rather unclear, and does not necessarily indicate that broadband users will be unable to get online with the title. It is possible that the broadband adapter will simply provide the same connection speeds as the Dreamcast's built in modem. To read this interview in its entirety, click here. RPGamer will keep you updated as more definitive information emerges on this issue.