Square Enix has offered an explanation as to why the sequel to Final Fantasy VII Remake won’t arrive on PS4 alongside the PS5. As one would expect, the reasons are related to technical shortcomings of the PS4’s aging hardware.
Speaking in an interview with gamer.ne.jp, producer Yoshinori Kitase revealed why the sequel to Final Fantasy VII Remake, titled Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, is exclusive to the PS5.
A translated excerpt of Kitase’s statement on the matter can be seen below.
Of course, the quality of the graphics is a factor, but there’s also the speed of access to the SSD. As those who have played the original version can imagine, the story will take place in a vast world after escaping from Midgar. FFVII Rebirth” will also depict the world that spreads out from this point onward, so loading stress will be a major bottleneck in this regard. In order to clear this problem and play the world comfortably, I felt that PS5 specs were necessary.
Kitase was responding to a question that asked why the development team had decided to make FFVII Rebirth PS5 only from the very beginning. In his response to him, Kitase said that one of the factors involved the quality of the game’s visuals not being doable in the same manner on the PS4. However, he went on to mention that the PS5’s rapid fast I/O and access to its SSD was also a major factor.
I have explained that, as those who have played the original game can already imagine, the story will take Cloud and his party members to much bigger and expansive locations after making their escape from Midgar. Kitase added that due to the sheer volume and density of the expanded world featured in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, the game will need to rapidly stream large bulks of assets and texture data from storage in order to fit everything inside the console’s memory, and this is only made possible thanks to the PS5’s SSD and fast I/O sub-system, including the console’s dedicated decompression hardware.
Kitase said that loading of assets is a major bottleneck for the game. In order to get past this problem and allow for seamless traversal of Final Fantasy VII Rebirth’s world, he felt that the PS5 specs were necessary. Given that the PS4 can’t take advantage of fast storage and is limited to mechanical hard drive speeds, it’s safe to assume that running the game on the console would be nothing short of a nightmare. Fans will recall that the development team already had to make several compromises, including several low resolution textures (who can forget the infamous door from the Sector 7 Slums!), in order to get Final Fantasy VII Remake up and running on the PS4.