Announced at the Tokyo Game Show, Phantasy Star Online 2 will be available free-to-play to all Japanese PlayStation Vita players. There will be restrictions in place to using the free version.
PlayStation Vita players will be limited to shared areas with PC players and they will also only be to play the game online with no offline mode available. Players who want to change accounts will also need to swap memory cards, as the free version is linked to the PlayStation Network account stored on the memory card.
Sega hasn’t announced any other versions for outside Japan but considering that the main PC version will be now available outside Japan there’s a good chance it appear on a PlayStation Vita near you soon.
I won’t be playing Phantasy Star Online 2 but I have played some of the other versions especially the games on the PSP. It’s good to see that the free-to-play model and market might eventually be as wide-spread as it’s on PC and mobile devices but on portable consoles. That alone brings many exciting prospects for portable gaming and a way for Sony and Nintendo to compete with other mobile devices.