Square announced during its latest financial briefing that they will be pushing back the launch date of PlayOnline, their online network service, until winter of 2001, and possibly as late as early 2002. This news complements the recent announcement regarding Final Fantasy X and the removal of its online elements.
Although Square had intended the service to be functional by spring of next year, it was decided that moving the schedule back would be their best option. This decision will provide time for the service to be extensively tested prior to its release and will also allow more time for corresponding peripherals to become available for the PlayStation2. As well, it will now more closely match the current development of its online titles.
Square's largest online titles was also mentioned during the briefing. Final Fantasy XI, Square's completely online installment of its hit series, will enter a test operation along with the launch of PlayOnline next winter. Details regarding this testing plan have yet to be announced. The full-scale service of the title would then become available in the following spring of 2002.