PSO Cross-Platform Online Gaming Plans Canned?
Phantasy Star Online

Although RPGamer recently reported the news that Phantasy Star Online Version 2 for Dreamcast would be playable with gamers using Phantasy Star Online for the Gamecube, it now appears that the game's cross-platform connectivity could be canceled before even getting out the door.

In an interview posted on Japan's Channel 2 Network Game BBS with Sonic Team's Yuji Naka, the PSO director stated that his game's ambitious cross-platform plans might be removed from the upcoming releases. When tested, it was found to be technically feasible for the two consoles to play together; with this in mind Naka decided that certain rare items would be exclusive to each console, forcing players to join up with those of the other console to trade these items. Since the graphics and data for the rare items had to be available on the game discs in the event of a trade, the information for rare items not native to that version of PSO was hidden away where Naka hoped it could never be discovered. Quickly, however, it appeared that cheaters playing Phantasy Star Online Version 2 on the Dreamcast had been able to hack and reproduce the items; with over 30 extra rare items, unintended for use without trade from a Gamecube, currently flooding the PSO V.2 servers, rampant cheating has upset Naka to the point where the feature may well be removed.

Although Sega has yet to make an official statement on its final decision concerning the Gamecube's compatability with existing Dreamcast servers, when questioned about his stance, Naka answered, "the way PSO is being played currently, I have to say no. I would not want to make an online game where there already exist tons of cheaters running around ruining the game." Phantasy Star Online Version 2 for the Dreamcast will be released the 25th of this month and Phantasy Star Online for the Gamecube is slated for a 1st quarter 2002 release.

by Robert Parry-Cruwys    
Source: [The GIA, Phantasy Star Online Zone]
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