I recently had a chance to preview the game on the PS4 and chat with Square-Enix's Naoki Yoshida.
Now, I will admit to being somewhat of a neophyte when it comes to the Final Fantasy series; previously had played only Final Fantasy VII, and at least a decade ago. Still, I was familiar with the unusual characters, strange lands, and alien lore along with some of the peculiar mounts like giant Chocobos!
Getting FFXIV up and running on the console was fairly swift since I have experience on a PS3, though the PS4's controller-with-touchpad took a little getting used to. But don't worry about that; for the truly console-inept, Final Fantasy XIV fully supports the mouse and keyboard option, even on console.
The ability to play on a small portable PS Vita is particularly interesting since it allows not only a smaller window into the full game but an opportunity to do some casual crafting while engaged in something else. It was a bit like sitting on the couch knitting while watching TV. What, you don't do that?
Since I am not a Final Fantasy XIV expert, I decided to use my interview Yoshida-san to ask questions about special features, social aspects, and the metagame. I was particularly interested in the feature to stream and record live gameplay on the console and where he though streaming as a feature is headed in the industry. He told me that a mass production and sharing of player-driven content is something his team wants to actively encourage. There's no intent to employ other such content (like machinima or e-sports), but he won't rule them out as possibilities, either.
Yoshida also told me that housing and the environment will not be destructible as it evolves since destructively environments tend to attract the griefer contingents. PvP, he promises, will be carefully managed in areas such as the Wolves Den Gladiator area. The high cost of player housing issues are also an ongoing high priority for the production team to resolve.
Steam distribution of the PC game began yesterday. Unfortunately, while full support for a Mac client is still on SE's radar, there are no immediate plans for Linux. The $40 digital standard version provides the game and 30 days of game time; there's also a $60 digital Collector's Edition featuring a number of unique in-game items. For $80, you can snag a special boxed edition featuring the same in-game items plus unique art, music, and movies. And of course, there is an ongoing 30-day subscription of $13 (with a slight discount if you buy 180 days for $66).