Yesterday, Nintendo and Squaresoft, two companies that for years were almost synonomous with each other, have anounced their getting back in the mix again. Later this month, Square will set up a new development house and Nintendo will be giving them the money to do it. Expect games for the GameCube as well as the Game Boy Advance. It looks like you won't have to import a Wonderswan to play handheld Final Fantasy after all.
Money for this program will come a fund known as "Q", which was set up in January by Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi to help encourage software development. No titles have ben announced as of yet, but more than likely, you'll be seeing some of Square's flagship titles make their way to Nintendo's systems. Final Fantasy was mentioned in the original report and Square did promise that they would be releasing games for Nintendo by the end of the year...
This is great news, especially for Nintendo. First they snatch up the Resident Evil franchise exclusively and now they've got Square back in the game with them. As much as I love the Final Fantasy games on Sony's systems, the Nintendo versions always were something special. Maybe they were more lighthearted, and had a more cartoonish feel about them. Perhaps you could attriubte that to the limitations of the Super NES, but I think it had more to do with developing for Nintendo as a whole. When you're developing for these people, you tend to inject a bit more fun into your games than you would for anyone else. Unless, of course, you're making Superman 64.
With Sony already announcing their online plans, and with Final Fantasy XI on the way, it's quite possible that Phantasy Star won't be the only multi-console online RPG out there on the market. Just goes to show you, no matter how much you compete, there's always something that can bring these mighty giants together.
You can expect more information to be released come E3, and you can expect CV-games to bring you indepth information about it all. Because we're obsessed like that.