Several minor details concerning the upcoming Xbox and GameCube releases of Phantasy Star Online have recently been revealed by Sonic Team. The company has concluded that downloading the add-on bonus version of Sega's old Saturn classic NiGHTS will take roughly five minutes. The add-on had been announced several weeks ago, and is playable on the Game Boy Advance. The developers also provided an update on their progress with the Xbox version of the game; currently, the game is roughly 40% complete.
The Xbox version of PSO will also have the distinction of being bundled with Microsoft's newest project for its console: The Xbox Live service, set to launch this fall in Japan. The network will allow players to connect with a variety of broadband devices, including ADSL, cable, and FTTH broadband providers. There is no restriction on ISP; however, the Xbox will not support narrowband connections of 56k or lower. Starter Kits for the service will be made available this fall for a price of 6800 yen (approximately $54.00 US), which includes a year's subscription to the service, a voice chat peripheral known as the Xbox Voice Communicator, and several pack-in games, PSO included.
The Xbox Live service will also be launching in North America this fall; however, PSO will not be included. It is uncertain whether the game will be available here at that time; it will, however, definitely be available on the GameCube in October.