Fans of the Final Fantasy video game franchise are eagerly awaiting the release of the series’ latest installment, Final Fantasy XIV (or FFXIV). FFXIV will be the franchise’s second MMORPG release, after 2002’s FFXI. FFXIV has lots in common with the first Final Fantasy MMORPG, from the number of faction-based cities to the appearance of the game’s playable races.
Final Fantasy XIV is slated for a late September release on PC, with a PS3 version due in March 2011. FFXIV is entering its final beta stages and has recently opened for pre-orders. To you graphics-minded gamers out there, that means the release of the game’s system specs.
For the uninitiated, video games that are released for the PC typically have a list of suggested system specifications. This tells gamers whether their computers will be able to run the game without encountering problems like freezing, screen tearing or overheating. Game publishers will often put out two lists of system specs: minimum and recommended system specifications.
Minimum system specifications are just what they sound like – the minimum. This list tells you the bare minimum your necessary computer components will need to conform to, including the processor, graphics card and memory. This also affects software needs, such as which version of Windows your PC should be running and what the oldest version of Microsoft’s DirectX you should have installed is.
Recommended system specifications are at the other end of the spectrum. These specs are given as a way to tell gamers just how cutting edge their machines need to be in order to play the new game at maximum settings. Recommended specs are usually on par with the latest in gaming technology, or very close to it. Hardcore gamers tend to upgrade their computers frequently to keep up with technology anyway, so meeting or exceeding the recommended specs is within reach.
Some recent rumors suggested that FFXIV’s minimum system specifications would require using a processor from Intel’s latest, the Core i7 series. These processors have only been available for less than two years, meaning that many gamers would be forced to upgrade or outright replace their computers if they wanted to play Final Fantasy XIV. As release of both sets of system specs showed, however, those rumors were half-wrong. The Intel Core i7 processors are included in the FFXIV system specs, but they’re on the recommended list – not the minimum.
Here are the lists of FFXIV system specs, as taken from the game’s official website:
Final Fantasy XIV Minimum System Specifications
Final Fantasy XIV Recommended System Specifications
Comparing the two lists shows that not only will the recommended system specs require a much more powerful processor, the ideal PC will also feature a 2.5g jump in memory and a much-improved graphics card. Both of these components are par for the course for PC gaming, as these are typically the 3 components that can affect your gaming performance the most. FFXIV asks for a very reasonable 4GB of memory while more and more gamers are going for 6 or 8, and the recommended video card is within the mid-range (costing about $200 as compared to the bleeding edge cards which command $500 or more).
If you plan to play FFXIV, the reasonable minimum specs should enable you to do so. You can put your computer through its paces by downloading FFXIV’s official benchmark. If your computer under-performs or is below the minimum, consider splurging to get closer to the recommended specs. If you’re confident with building your own computer, the Intel Core i7 processors start at about $250, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 is around $200, and 4-6GB of high-quality DDR3 memory costs $150 or less. Pre-built computers meeting the FFXIV recommended system specs start around $1400. Nothing to sneeze at, but still on the very low side in terms of gaming computer prices. See you in Eorzea!
Final Fantasy XIV.
Final Fantasy XIV Minimum System Requirements.
Final Fantasy XIV Recommended System Specifications.