When Is FF7 Remake And FF16 Hitting Xbox? Phil Spencer Responds

Final Fantasy VII's heroes look out at the world beyond Midgar.

Image: Square Enix

Years after its PlayStation release and its eventual PC port, Final Fantasy VII Remake still isn’t on Xbox. Final Fantasy XVI ended up being a PlayStation 5 console exclusive as well. When will Xbox fans finally get to play these hit RPGs on their game system of choice? That’s what IGN asked Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer at Gamescom 2023. “I’m not going to push them,” he replied. “[Square Enix is] going to have to find their own rhythm.”

A PC version of Final Fantasy XVI has already been confirmed, and an Xbox version has been rumored to be a likely possibility at some point following the end of a console exclusivity agreement with Sony. Will that be six months from now, or years? Final Fantasy VII Remake still hasn’t come to the Microsoft platform, even with its sequel, Rebirth, right around the corner. Spencer spoke about the nuances and slow-burn nature of trying to build up Xbox’s relationship with Square Enix in a recent interview with IGN.

“I recognise that when people buy an Xbox, they want to make sure the great games that they want to play are coming,” he said. The veteran executive added that he and corporate VP Sarah Bond have flown out to Tokyo, Japan to have conversations with the RPG publisher, and that it was a big deal for the company’s new CEO Takashi Kiryu and Final Fantasy director Naoki Yoshida to commit to the platform on stage at the recent Final Fantasy XIV fanfest, where it was announced that the long-running MMO would finally begin rolling out on Xbox later this year.

“There’s obviously business deals and relationships that will have to get worked through on certain games,” Spencer said. “So you’ll hear more. I’m not going to push them. They’re going to have to find their own rhythm.”

Read More: Everything We Saw At Gamescom 2023 Opening Night Live

Those existing business deals were hinted at during a recent five-day court trial with the Federal Trade Commission over Microsoft’s plan to buy Activision Blizzard. Spencer testified that acquisitions were a necessary part of the company’s strategy to counteract paid exclusivity agreements from Sony aimed at keeping games like Ghostwire: Tokyo, Deathloop, and Final Fantasy XVI off Xbox for a certain period of time. It also came out during the trial that one of the things that spurred Microsoft to buy Bethesda was the fear that Starfield might end up becoming a timed PS5 exclusive as well.

Where exactly does that leave Final Fantasy VII Remake and Final Fantasy XVI? It’s still far from clear when the games will come to Xbox, but it increasingly sounds like they’ll probably get there one day. Hopefully before Final Fantasy VII Part 3 and Final Fantasy XVII are out.


FF7 Rebirth Devs Have A Surprise Planned For An Iconic Scene

The immensely popular 1997 role-playing game Final Fantasy VII has been worshiped in its original form, grafted into a similarly admired 2020 remake, and now, developer Square Enix promises a magisterial “rebirth” in a PlayStation 5 exclusive set for February 29, 2024. Like the 2020 remake, Final Fantasy VII Rebirth will act as both an effigy to the original—a breakthrough title for Japanese-made RPGs—and a reinvention of it, with improved graphics and new narrative beats that break from established lore, including a “surprise” during one of the game’s most memorable scenes, developers say.

Check Out Final Fantasy VII Rebirth (Pre-Order): Amazon 

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth – Release Date Announce Trailer | PS5 Games

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After you reach FFVII’s Forgotten Capital as swooshy-haired protagonist Cloud, the game drenches you in ice water and makes you watch as antagonist Sephiroth kills Cloud’s sweetheart Aerith. In the ‘90s, FFVII’s first disc ended here, on this frigid note.

At this week’s Thailand Game Show 2023, and while speaking to Indonesian gaming site Gamebrott, Rebirth director Naoki Hamaguchi issued a message “to all the gamers regarding this ‘you-know-what’ moment” in the Forgotten Capital: “we can confirm that we will give you a ‘big surprise,’” he said, according to a Google translation of the Indonesian text. “So you can look forward to later in the game.”

Hamaguchi, unsurprisingly, didn’t offer up the intricacies or extent of this “surprise,” and declined to engage with any fan theories (though he expressed his appreciation for them, saying “we really accept it and feel happy about the activeness of fans in creating various kinds of theories.”) But if it’s anything like the logical but potent plotline changes Square Enix made to its 2020 FFVII remake, it’ll likely frustrate those long-time fans who want to see their childhood memories faithfully recreated, while thrilling others with its breaks from the familiar timeline that suggest bold new narrative possibilities, all while perhaps leaving FF7 newcomers scratching their heads over what it’s all supposed to mean.

Example: in the ‘90s, FFVII’s arcane ending—protagonist Cloud defeats enemy Sephiroth for the last time, the world is overrun by an incorporeal Lifestream of mint-green energy—was impressive, and its post-credits scene, in which wolf-beast Red XIII runs around a leafy, seemingly uninhabited planet, was mind-blowingly (and, to some people, annoyingly) vague. The 2020 remake respects this history by blowing minds in a similar way, preserving ‘90s ambiguity but introducing fresh details to analyze.

Rebirth—which Hamaguchi tells Gamebrott features even more “extensive exploration” than the original FFVII, but leaves some of its charming features alone, like the minigames at Gold Saucer amusement park—seems set to do the same.

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