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  • Offical Word on PSO Broadband

    SOA representative Heather Hawkins has commented on the situation–that being whether the Sonic Team’s PSO will officially support the broadband adapter or not.

    Sega would love to offer official BroadBand Support for Phantasy Star Online if they could without compromising the release of the game and/or the quality of the game via BroadBand.

    Reasons why we were not able to:

    1) In the US, with the numerous companies offering BroadBand, for them to work officially with Phantasy Star Online would cost Sega at least a few months of development time (conservative estimate). Sonic Team wanted this game as a worldwide release, so imagine how this would look if Japan released in December, and the US version released in May. Granted, it’s now mid-January, but our intention is to have as close a worldwide release as possible so people from Japan, the US, and Europe can meet online.

    2) In Japan, it was simpler to support BroadBand, mostly because there are not many companies there that offer BroadBand support, making it a whole lot easier to test and have the ability to support it 100%. In the US, there are numerous companies that offer BroadBand support, and the time to insure that all the BroadBand specifications worked with the US version would delay the release of Phantasy Star Online (see above). If you can’t deliver something, you better not to promise it. With that in mind, Sega of America does not want to promise something it feels it could not deliver 100%.

    3) Quake III was developed to work with BroadBand support at the beginning of its development, Phantasy Star Online was not. It’s a simplification, but ask a programmer how easy it would be to add a true 3D model to a 2D game, if it wasn’t planned upon at the beginning of the project. It would be doable, but it would take time. That’s the situation Phantasy Star Online was in. So yes, if you look at it, time was a consideration. Because Phantasy Star Online was not built upon supporting BroadBand in the beginning of its development, it would take time to completely support BroadBand officially that would not allow us to release the game in a timely fashion in the US (Time to add extra code, time to test the code, time to debug the code, time to test the code…).

    If there are people out there that don’t feel inclined to buy Phantasy Star Online because it does not offer BroadBand Support, that’s their decision. I just wanted to make it clear that Sega of America is not trying to give any one the “runaround” that people seem to be talking about here. Sega of America wants to offer what it can without compromising quality. Should you settle for less?