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Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II by Microsoft

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T
  • Blood
  • Violence
  • Platform: Xbox
  • Publisher: Microsoft
  • Developer: Microsoft Game Studios
  • Category: Role-Playing

Product Details:

This game is playable on the Xbox Live Online System. For a full list of Xbox Live products, click here! Escape into the living, breathing world of Phantasy Star Online - a futuristic, dynamic adventure involving gamers from around North America. "PSO" is the first online role-playing game playable through Xbox Live. Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II expands on the immensely popular Sega Dreamcast series, which has attracted over 400,000 registered online subscribers. "PSO" features all-new gameplay modes, new content, and offers a stunning array of new character classes, awesome weapons, vicious enemies, and exciting quests. An Xbox Live account is required to play Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II both offline and online. To play the game online, Xbox Live subscribers will be required to buy a "hunter's license" which gives gamers the ability to travel on wild adventures with other Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II gamers. It also provides access to a plethora of exclusive content such as seasonal quests, downloads and rare in-game items. The hunter's license is free of charge for the first two months; after that there is an $8.95 monthly service fee.

Phantasy Star Online Episode I and II Q&A

Q: Describe PSO Episode I & II and its features. What kind of game is it?

A: PSO Episode I & II for Xbox is part of the legendary award-winning online role-playing series from Sega's SONICTEAM. PSO Episode I & II features two games in one: Episode I contains all of the content from "Phantasy Star Online(tm)" and "Phantasy Star Online(tm) Ver. 2," while Episode II brings gamers back for an all-new adventure on the planet of Ragol. Gamers will search unchartered areas, battle unique monsters and discover numerous items. Both episodes can be played online or offline with up to four gamers and includes voice communication from Xbox Live. Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound is also supported.

Q: When will PSO Episode I & II be available for Xbox?

A: PSO Episode I & II for Xbox will be available in March 2003.

Q: Will PSO Episode I & II be single and multiplayer?

A: Yes. PSO Episode I & IIwill offer players both a single player mode and a multiplayer mode, both of which can be played online or offline.

Q: Who is developing PSO Episode I & II?

A: PSO Episode I & II was developed by famed Sega game designer Yuji Naka and SONICTEAM.

Q: What is the ESRB rating on PSO Episode I & II?

A: The ESRB rating for PSO Episode I & II is a "T."

Q: Is PSO Episode I & II exclusive to Xbox?

A: PSO Episode I & II will be released in Japan in January of 2003 in sync with the launch of Xbox Live in Japan. PSO Episode I & II has also been released for Nintendo's GameCube. However, PSO Episode I & II for Xbox features voice communication via Xbox Live, something that has never been seen in any other Phantasy Star game.

Q: How is PSO Episode I & II on Xbox different from PSO Episode I & II on GameCube? Is it just a simple port?

A: PSO Episode I & II is playable on Xbox Live, Microsoft's broadband gaming service. This is the first time ever that an online console role-playing game has utilized voice chat. The Xbox version also supports Dolby Digital 5.1 audio and has 480p HDTV support.

Q: Why would a consumer buy PSO Episode I & II on Xbox when PSO Episode I & II on GameCube is already available?

A: PSO Episode I & II on Xbox offers added features not available on the GameCube version, the biggest of which is voice communication via Xbox Live. Xbox fans can also expect their version to support Dolby 5.1 sound and HDTV.

Q: Will PSO Episode I & II for Xbox be available outside North America?

A: PSO Episode I & II will hit store shelves in Japan in early January with the launch of Xbox Live. In March, PSO Episode I & II will be available in North America. Plans to release PSO Episode I & II in other markets have not been announced at this time.

Q: Will PSO Episode I & II have online gameplay capabilities? Will it take advantage of broadband on Xbox?

A: Definitely. PSO Episode I & II will be playablethrough Xbox Live, the first comprehensive, online game arena fully dedicated to fast-action broadband gaming experiences. PSO Episode I & II will also feature voice communication on Xbox Live, something never seen before in the PSO series. Players will also be able to download new content including new quests, etc.

Q: How much will PSO Episode I & II cost?

A: PSO Episode I & II will cost $39.99. A subscription to Xbox Live is also required to play the game at a yearly cost of $49.99. In addition, to play the game online, a "Hunter's License" is required, which gives gamers access to a plethora of exclusive content such as seasonal quests, downloads and rare in-game items. The Hunter's License is free of charge for the first two months, and after that will carry a service fee of $8.95 per month.

Q: Why do I need to have an Xbox Live account to play the single player offline missions in PSO Episode I & II?

A: PSO Episode I & II for Xbox is an innovative online game that showcases the features of the Xbox Live service. While previous games in the PSO franchise have offered a compelling single-player off-line mode, the Xbox version is optimized for online play encouraging gamers to take advantage of the voice chat and community-oriented features found in the Xbox Live service.

Given the popularity of the groundbreaking PSO Episode I & II series and the fact that more than 400,000 gamers played the game online on SEGA Dreamcast, we believe there is a sizeable market for the game, even if it requires an Xbox Live account.

Q: Will I be able to play online games with more than one person per Xbox?

A: In order to maintain the best possible user experience, PSO Episode I & II will only let one person play online on one Xbox at a time. However, four players can play together in off-line mode via split-screen.

Q: Will I be able to copy my characters to a memory unit and play my characters at a friend's house? Either online by myself or with one of his/her characters in offline mode?

A: Because of the security around player characters to prevent players from cheating in the online game, it is not possible to transport characters from one Xbox to another for online play. For offline play, however, players can use a memory card to load their own character. The skills and abilities the character receives during the offline gameplay session can then be transported back to the original Xbox and the character will have those abilities in the online game. This will work well, for example, for friends who want to play together on one Xbox while not online.

Q: When you're in the lobby or playing the game, how many people can you talk to at once using the voice communicator?

A: You can form groups of as many as four players to journey through the game, so in those cases you'll speak to three other players at once. In the lobby, players can talk to a maximum of eight players at one time, and the players that can hear you are marked by a small speaker icon above the character's head. The characters are chosen by proximity - if you walk up to a group of five characters huddled together, you'll be able to talk to all of them. If you want to have a private conversation, you can ask a character to walk to an out-of-the-way corner of the lobby with you. Also, the on-screen keyboard is always available, so you can use that to request a private conversation with someone if they can't hear you at that particular time.

Q: Will Microsoft release a keyboard for PSO Episode I & II?

A: Microsoft is constantly evaluating peripheral options for Xbox, and is listening intently to consumer feedback. No plans for a keyboard have been announced at this time.

Q: Does Microsoft have any plans to bundle PSO Episode I & II with the Xbox Live retail starter kit?

A: At thistime, Microsoft does not have any plans to bundle PSO Episode I & II with the Xbox Live retail starter kit.

Q: Can I use my Hunter's License to play PSO on the Dreamcast and PC, as well as on the Xbox?

A: No. You must purchase a separate Hunter's License for each version of the game. For example, to play PSO ver.2 for Dreamcast and PSO for PC, you must purchase two separate Hunter's Licenses, one for each game.

Q: Can I play PSO Episode I & II for Xbox against gamers who are playing PSO ver.2 for Dreamcast or PSO for PC?

A: No. Each is a unique game; there is no cross-platform play. You can only play PSO Episode I & II for Xbox against other gamers playing PSO Episode I & II for Xbox.

Q: Can I play cross regional games on PSO Episode I & II? Meaning, can I play someone in Japan or in another region?

A: Xbox is committed to bringing gamers all over the world secure, lag-free game experiences. In order to provide optimum playabilityfor PSO, cross-regional gameplay was removed. This is due to security issues to which Xbox is firmly committed.

Q: How do I play Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II for Xbox online?

A: In order to play online, you must first have an active Xbox Live account.
Xbox Live retail starter kits can be purchased at a local retailer for $49.99, which includes a year of service and the voice communicator. After purchasing PSO Episode I & II, you will then need to buy a Hunter's License, which gives gamers access to a plethora of exclusive content such as seasonal quests, downloads and rare in-game items. The hunter's license is free of charge for the first two months, and after that will carry a service fee of $8.95 per month.

Q: What is a Hunter's License?

A: A Hunter's License is a monthly subscription service that allows access to the PSO Episode I & II game servers to play the game online.

Q: How much is a Hunter's License?

A: A Hunter's License for PSO Episode I & II is $8.95 per month (U.S. Dollars). Your credit card will be billed automatically every month.

Q: How do I get a Hunter's License?

A: To get a Hunter's License, follow the steps from the Phantasy Star Online menu during gameplay.

Q: How old do you have to be to purchase a Hunter's License?

A: You must be 18 years or older to purchase a Hunter's License. If you're under 18, please ask your parents to purchase one for you.

Q: What is the history of Phantasy Star?

A: The Phantasy Star lineage:
1988: "Phantasy Star" (SEGA Master System)
1989: "Phantasy Star II" (SEGA Genesis)
1991: "Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom" (SEGA Genesis)
1992: "Phantasy Star Adventure" (SEGA Game Gear)
1992: "Phantasy Star Gaiden" (SEGA Game Gear)
1994: "Phantasy Star IV" (SEGA Genesis)
1998: "Phantasy Star Collection" (SEGA Saturn)
2001: "Phantasy Star Online" (SEGA Dreamcast)
2001: "Phantasy Star OnlineVer. 2." (SEGA Dreamcast)
2002: "Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II" (Nintendo GameCube)
2003: "Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II" (Xbox)

Q: Why didn't Sega publish PSO Episode I & II for Xbox?

A: Microsoft cannot speak for Sega. PSO Episode I & II is a strong franchise and Microsoft is excited to bring it to Xbox.

Q: How much money did Microsoft pay Sega for PSO Episode I & II?

A: Microsoft doesn't comment on game development costs.

Q: Should we expect Microsoft to publish other Sega-made titles?

A: Microsoft has not made any announcements on future Sega titles for Xbox.
* Communicate in real time with gamers from around the country. Use the Xbox Live Communicator headset to fully experience the online community - chat with fellow explorers, coordinate battle plans, and trade valuable items.

* Create and customize your own unique hero. Choose from 12 different character types in three classes: Hunter (powerful close-combat), Ranger (long-range support), and Force (magic casting). From body proportions to hair color, you create the unique appearance of your character.

* Three different modes of play - online, single player, and split-screen. For never-ending adventures, up to four players can cooperate and compete online in normal game-play modes or embark on downloadable quests via Xbox Live. The offline single-player mode lets gamers experience the same exciting online world, while the new split-screen action lets up to four heroes play on the same Xbox.

* All of the content from the original "PSO", plus a new full-length adventure for gamers to experience. Episode I includes all of the content from the origial "PSO" and "PSO version 2" , while Episode II brings a new full-length adventure to the Xbox. Test your endurance with Challenge Mode, or reign as the supreme champion of player vs. player combat in Battle Mode. Embark on new quests, explore new dungeons and acquire new rare items in this award-winning role-playing game.
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