Forget the PS3 release... when is Patch 1.18 coming out?
That aside, as long as the dev team follows through with its major core changes as planned (which appears to be patches 1.18, 1.19 and 1.20 by the end of summer, which could mean mid-late September), then consider what the game will have by that point:
- A working (and sensible) battle system
- Specialized, traditional Final Fantasy jobs
- Quest hubs that bring more content
- Instanced dungeons
- A greater emphasis on party play (hopefully we get a party search feature to go along with that)
- Simplified recipe lists
- Continued improvements to remaining lag
We also know the development team is currently working on numerous other additions as we speak... these include defensive hamlet/outpost battles, more quests, job-specific equipment (could add more progression-oriented content), and redoing at least the Black Shroud and possibly other areas... I'm sure we can also count on numerous new quests to be added to the game, at least come fall.
I'd have to think if all these things were in place a year ago -- and if SE could have moved forward from that point with adding to the game, rather than rebuilding the foundation -- then we would have been pretty happy with FFXIV, even though the game would have still had problems (no mailbox feature, no party search, no chocobos, airships, etc). That said, I could see this game being PS3-ready by the end of the year, but whether that happens depends on how quickly SE is able to add meaningful content to the game once these infrastructure changes are made.
The pitfall SE must look out for is that many of the reviewers probably played the game at PC launch, or they're at least aware of the game's problems, and they'll be reviewing the PS3 release from that viewpoint. If the game is totally polished up but still lacks meaningful content, then the tone of the review will be, "This game has been out for more than a year and there's still nothing to do... don't buy it!" But if SE takes the time to add more content following the infrastructure changes -- which would probably push a PS3 launch back to early 2012 -- then I think the game would have a much better chance of getting a favorable round of reviews.
Edited, Jul 5th 2011 5:56pm by Thayos