Gamesradar have posted an excerpt from an interview with Final Fantasy XIV‘s producer/director Naoki Yoshida in which they question the Square-Enix man on the likelihood of a PS Vita version. The answer? Well, read the title again. It’s not looking positive.

Speaking at Gamescom in Cologne, Yoshida talked up the scalability of XIV‘s engine, noting that this is the main reason the team is able to port the game to PS3. The Gamesradar journo followed up this comment by asking if this might mean a Vita port is feasible. “Technically it’ll probably work – you could scale it down and get it running,” he said, following up with less positive words: “The problem is that in an MMO one of the most important things is the network and so, you know, if you’re in a party with a lot of different people in a raid and someone’s on the Vita and they have a very… you know, it’s not a stable network connection then you’re going to be a nuisance to your party members. So global internet networks need to be better.”

I can understand that – the Vita has no ethernet port, after all, and WiFi can be spotty at times. A wired connection makes sense for an entirely online game.  But Yoshida has another concern: “And then also, just more people need to buy the Vita”.

Not a week goes by without some doom and gloom story regarding the handheld’s install base (Joystiq today reported that 2.2 million Vitas were sold, worldwide, as of June 30th this year), and even as a happy owner, the din is often hard to ignore. It’s a valid complaint, too, as developers are unlikely to set aside resources for a chance to sell to a fraction of two million. This comment from Naoki Yoshida further highlights the dilemma.

Stepping aside from the Vita’s predicament and getting back on topic, I must say that the idea of Final Fantasy XIV on Playstation Vita certainly intrigues me. I’ve never played an MMO (even though I’ve read about many over the years, and was initially very excited for Phantasy Star Online prior to the Dreamcast’s launch), but I am planning on dipping my toe into the genre with the PS3 version of XIV – mainly because I have a group of like-minded friends to form a noob party with. But if it was also available on Vita and I could migrate saves between both? I’d likely put in double the hours (and potentially lose whatever semblance of a social life I still have).

Perhaps Yoshida is quietly awaiting the Vita version of Phantasy Star Portable 2 to see how the machine handles an MMO? Maybe he’s waiting for more people to buy the console? Or maybe he hadn’t even considered the idea of XIV on Vita until Gamesradar prompted him. Only one of those possibilities is even remotely positive, and Sony are going to have their work cut out for them to resolve those issues. I hope they can, as I want to see the Vita exploited to its fullest potential.

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