I can’t wait for Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis.

My love for Phantasy Star Online can’t be put in words…just how much death it has caused in its wake. Specifically, Phantasy Star Online (and its various incarnations) has killed two Dreamcasts (Ver 2), one GameCube (Episode III) and an original Xbox (Episode I & II Plus).

Before yesterday’s Xbox Games Showcase, I wasn’t really sold on the Xbox Series X. Yes, I’d still have bought it at launch (if I can nab one at least), but the games coming out for it weren’t really intriguing me.

Thankfully, that worry has been somewhat laid to rest. It’s not completely gone because I honestly think Sony has the upper hand with launch titles, with Spider-man: Miles Morales front and center. The Master Chief is famous, but nothing stands against the mighty Marvel name.

However, the handful of titles that are coming out soon do look really good….and one of them (coming in 2021) looks awesome!

First among the launch lineup is of course 343 Industries’ Halo Infinite.

The demo shown during the event brought back memories of crash landing on the original Halo and then setting out to find other crashed survivors. True, that game was nowhere near as pretty, but the vibe’s the same. That’s a damn good thing in case you were wondering.

The original’s mix of semi-open levels and linear stages made for a great combination and I’m hoping that 343 Industries nails that for Halo Infinite. The game looks to be open world right now but I wouldn’t be surprised if its only that way in certain sections.

I’d love an open world Halo (oh boy would I love one), but the game being set on a Halo ring doesn’t really fit with the genre. I’d think it’d be too limiting and confining. Of course, if it does turn out to be open world in the end, I’d love to be proven wrong!

The other eye opener was from a completely unexpected source. It’s not even one of Microsoft’s studios!

Instead, it’s from SEGA.

Following up with their reveal that Yakuza: Like a Dragon was coming to the Xbox Series X (in Microsoft’s previous Xbox Games Showcase), SEGA unleashed a second salvo with footage of a new version of Phantasy Star Online 2 called New Genesis!

Ironically, one of the best parts of the showcase is in the form of a teaser trailer. After much ballyhooing about not showing enough gameplay, it’s a teaser trailer announcement that got me the most excited.

What’s worse is that SEGA’s being tight lipped about further details. Other than that players can bring over their PS02 characters to New Genesis and that the game will update the visuals and engine upgrades, there’s nothing else from them.

I certainly hope that New Genesis isn’t free to play. That’s one of the reasons I’ve stayed away from Phantasy Star Online 2. I just want to pay once and be done with it. I don’t want to buy features piecemeal because it’s a free to play title!

Still, that 2021 release date isn’t assuring.

With no gameplay to show off, it doesn’t really fill me with confidence that SEGA can have the game up and running in such a short amount of time. Still, miracles have happened before so we’ll just wait and see if New Genesis does make it before next year’s over.

Sal's been in the industry since the early 2000s. He's written for a ton of gaming and tech publications including Playworks, Hardwarezone, HWM and GameAxis. Recently, Sal served as a juror for the Indie Game Awards at Taipei Game Show 2020. A geek and hardcore gamer, Sal will play everything, on any platform.