Phantasy Star Online 2 PC And PlayStation Vita Differences

By Ishaan . December 11, 2012 . 11:00am

Sega have revealed further information on the PlayStation Vita version of Phantasy Star Online 2, which is slated for release in February 2013 in Japan. In a recent Japanese interview (summarized by the Phantasy Star Fan Blog), the game’s producer, Satoshi Sakai, reveals the following bits of information:


  • The Vita version will have fewer enemies on the screen at once.
  • Fewer Emergency Trials compared to the PC version.
  • Map sizes will be smaller on Vita to accommodate the portable format.
  • For this same reason, it will also take less time to encounter enemies.
  • These changes will also be in effect for PC players joining the Vita block.


All of the above changes were made in order to get the game running efficiently on the Vita, according to Sakai.


Phantasy Star Online 2 will be released for the PlayStation Vita on February 28th, 2013. Prior to its release, Sega will hold a beta-test for the game. The beta will allow for 50,000 participants.

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  • Small changes, but necessary. At least they didn’t removed any real features! And Ishaan! You forgot to mention that you can use the character creator while offline! The best feature for the Vita version, as I don’t like anything to interrupt my creativity with my character’s precise body proportions… if you know what I mean.

    • sd28


    • ddh819


  • While I clearly approve of this, I must ask – does this mean that Vita-users wont be able to join PC Gamers, i.e. a Mission or Game that is hosted by a PC User ?

    Edit: Okay, figured out the question by myself. Here’s still hoping that all Blocks will be accessible as soon as the Vita has more power, like for example with Vita-slim or something like that.

    • Obviously every new release of Vita will not be more powerfull, that won’t work.

      • tubers

        Or the older VITA’s would just take a hit with less stable framerates and slower loading times.. the next time another “concept” like PSO2 comes around and that there’s a new VITA with higher memory and faster clock speeds (like what happened from PSP 1000 and up).

        Yeah.. unlikely tho :P

        • That’s what I was thinking at first as well and just like the PSP Models, newer ones got improved quite immensely in trms of memory. I think the Clock Speed remained the same though. There was this great Siliconera Article, in which Wipeout Pulse was played through CFW, using the Clock Option maxing it to 333 MhZ and the Game looked like it ran on 60 FPS instead of 30.

          While I doubt that the same thing is going to happen with PSO2, I can only hope, that it will at least get constant updates in terms of content, and hopefully Performance Updates as well.

        • The CPU and clock speed between PSP models NEVER changed. There was a firmware update that made the highest clock speed go upto 333 MHz/222 MHz, and homebrew did the same. The only hardware that ever changed between PSP models was the RAM, which was an increase from 32 MB in the 1000 series to 64 MB in the 2000 series and newer.

          The Vita in its current state is more than powerful enough and will likely not see such changes.

          • tubers

            Ah yes.. that’s right.. but the firmware happened only at the advent of the 2000 right?

            RAM = faster loading times (w/c IMO, the VITA games NEED), more multi tasking and faster browsing. Doubling the RAM in 2 to 3 years will barely cost anything to Sony.

            The improvement it can bring has so much impact for a measly cost of adding a few more megabytes of RAM.

            It’s gonna need to be “more powerful than enough” with today’s industry.. if it wants to do well.

      • Well, I doubt that a new Vita release will get a graphical overhaul or an improved CPU, but I dont see it so unlikely that they are going at least to increase the Memory, like they did with PSP.

      • A simple increase in Memory will do the job. Just thinking of PSP Slim here.

  • kupomogli

    Seems lazy to me more than anything. What do expect given the short amount of time they’re taking to port it over there. It just sounds like these changes are being made because it’s easier than getting it to work the way it is on PC.

    And it’s free. So why go through more trouble than they have to.

    • FitzpatrickPhillips

      Or maybe you can be a bit more logical and realize that you cannot have the same PC experience on a handheld?

      • kupomogli

        Aren’t you Captain Obvious?
        You could be a bit more logical and realize that that’s why graphical downgrades are made to port games over to weaker consoles. Assassin’s Creed 3 and Liberation are both open world games. Liberation doesn’t look as good as Assassin’s Creed 3, that’s obvious, but it still looks very good and is still an open world game.

        How about Wipeout 2048 It originally had two or three tracks from Wipeout HD but now has all tracks thanks to the DLC. With eight vehicles on screen at once, it has to stream all the graphics to those tracks while going at very high speeds, especially if you’re on A+/Phantom rank. It doesn’t look as good as Wipeout HD, one of the only native 1080p games on the PS3, and is 30fps instead of 60fps, but it’s still an amazing looking game and except for Vineta K, comes quite close to matching the PS3 version graphically.

        Then Need for Speed Most Wanted. From console to Vita there is very little that’s missing. The console graphics look better(a lot better compared to the previous two games mentioned,) but the game is exactly the same aside from a few races that aren’t included in the Vita version.

        Final Fantasy 11 on the PS2, even though it required a hard drive, this graphically inferior version compared to the PC version and later released 360 version was the exact same as both of those games and could even play with players from those games on any of the same servers.

        With the hit on graphics the game is going to take regardless there’s no reason that the game shouldn’t be able to be ported the way it is onto the Vita other than laziness, especially seeing what other developers have been able to do with the system.

        • neetyneety

          Except that Most Wanted on the Vita has less traffic and less police chasing you, making that example inaccurate. And sometimes you just have to think logically: would it really be the best experience to have PSO exactly the same on the Vita? Some of these changes were made to suit the Vita experience more, not just because of technical issues.

    • When you compare the early footage of the Vita version to now, they did an excellent job porting. It’s even better that they are able to allow Vita+PC players to play together.

      I will give Sonic Team even more props if they release the game with smooth 3G compatibility since the beta coming up will support Wi-Fi & 3G connectivity to play.

      • kupomogli

        Wipeout 2048 Vita and PS3 players can play together. Playstation All Stars Vita and PS3 players can play together. Final Fantasy 11 players on the 360, PS2, and PC can play together. Test Drive Unlimited PS2 and PSP players can play together.

        Graphical differences or not, as long as the games are developed one for one and use the same servers, players could potentially play together.

        That’s why they’re developing this downgraded version for PS Vita lobbies. The PC version will have this same downgraded version as well as the current version.

        • Wipeout 2048 running at 30fps is a huge failure on the technical front. Freaking Mario Kart 7 runs at 60fps with eight players at once, playing online. I love Wipeout to death. It’s one of my favourite videogame series of all time, but 2048 is not the crowning achievement of Vita technical prowess that you’re making it out to be.

          • kupomogli

            What does Mario Kart 7 running at 60fps have to do about Phantasy Star Online 2’s Vita port? Phantasy Star Online 2 for Vita won’t be getting 60fps when every game in the series has ran at 30fps.

            On a side note. Wipeout HD is the only 60fps game in the series. Also one of the very few console titles that runs in 1080p. The Vita version isn’t a failure, the PS3 version is just a huge achievement. Where’s the failure in it maintaining 30fps while also being almost as good looking as the PS3 version?

            If not getting above 30fps is a failure, might as well say 99% of all console and portable games are failures.

            As for Mario Kart 7 running in 60fps. It’s nice if a game can achieve that. Many games don’t. Most of them don’t infact. Mario Kart 7 can get that framerate because just like most of the series, it’s not a graphically intensive game in the least.

            Not only that, but the fastest race class on Mario Kart 7 is still slow. Mario Kart 7 is like Wipeout 2048 in an alternate universe running in 60fps but the fastest speed class is something slower than Venom and being in first place penalizes you by giving you nothing but the machine gun while everyone behind you gets quake every two seconds.

          • You were holding up Wipeout as an example of developers putting in effort, as compared to Sakai’s team apparently not putting in effort. My point is that while new-Liverpool did put effort into 2048, they still didn’t achieve what they could and should have, so obviously it isn’t simply a question of laziness like you’re making it out to be.

            Also, the PSP Wipeout games theoretically can run at a higher framerate if you use Custom Firmware to force them to use the added CPU resources. Had they been developed after Sony unlocked the CPU on the PSP, both Pure and Pulse would have run at a higher, smoother framerate.

            It isn’t impossible, and it should have been done on the Vita, especially in light of what old-Liverpool (before Sony laid off the studio) achieved on the PS3 years prior. Wipeout is a racing game about going fast. The difference between 30fps and 60fps is very, very noticeable. They didn’t have their priorities in order, given that they sacrificed playability for graphical fidelity.

    • sonicgamer07

      Well, if you look at the situation, it sorta makes sense. Yeah, the Vita can probably handle it at full throttle. But this is new territory for anyone. Cross-platform handheld MMORPG with quality near those of PCs? It’s new stuff. You can’t expect them to stuff the entire full version of an MMO, PSO2 much less, into a console with the power of a Vita and have it run exactly the same when they don’t know HOW it will run in the first place. When you take risks, you need to experiment with it first. The quality downgrades are for safety, not for laziness.

  • eilegz

    its amazing, the differences its not that big but the experience overall will be great, i really hope that sega localize this fast, vita really need this and more killer games

  • creid8

    Interesting, I’d have thought they’d scale back the textures or something instead of limiting on-screen characters like that.

    • tubers

      Same here. I thought it was just gonna be a texture hits and lower poly models. Then again there’s must be other reasons: (like intended design for an on the go device)

    • ZEROthefirst

      Well the texture level will probably be around lv.3 on the PC version. So it’s limited on textures to a degree.

  • Juan Andrés Valencia

    Sounds fine, considering it’s an MMO on a portable console. Is it cross plattform?

    • Marcelo Henrique Chaves


    • Yup. Cross-play and you can carry your characters over, too.

  • Joshua Myers

    So is it getting released out in the US?

  • Sergio Briceño

    To me, the biggest difference between the two of them is that the PC version will mortally wound my social life and the Vita version will overkill it.

  • Makapixel

    This really does not bode well for the Vita version. Say what you want but the fact that the levels are designed differently will increased the amount of work it takes to design levels. Even if only by a little bit. Time is money so it’s going to cost more by default to support the Vita version. Furthemore I expect to see PC only version quests and Vita only version quests as a result.

    However I would like to think they have some sort of amazing automatic PC to Vita level editor. That would be the best case scenario.

    Also another issue I think will come up is that PC players will only want to play on the Vita stages because the levels are shorter and more broken up. ie less work for the same amount of payoff. Sort of like a hyper version of the PC game. I know that’s what I’m going to do. I can’t really think of a reason to favor PC blocks over the Vita.

    Or maybe it’s opposite of that and, say, Vita players get less exp because of the less amount of enemies that can be on screen. Likewise if they have to run more missions per LVL UP. I think that’s going to upset the balance of the game as a whole for PC and Vita.

    I hope SEGA details the exact differences between playing on Vita blocks and playing on PC blocks.

  • Elvick

    None of those bother me, if Sega decides to localize the Vita version.

  • New York Jets

    I think you all miss the point. YOu can only cross play on the “Vita block” which means, if you are a vita player, you can play the “VITA VERSION” on PC. it’s dedicated servers running the vita version of the game with the scaled down levels and whatnot. Read closely.

  • Red Veron

    Sounds really cool. Since this is a second gen Vita (and their first) title, I expect them to continually improve the Vita version and eventually close the gap even more with the PC version. If they ever bring this to the US, I will gladly purchase the physical version with all the extra bonus stuff.

  • Istillduno

    Smaller levels to accomodate the portable format?

    Wasn’t this game meant to be online only?

    Does it now have an offline mode on the vita for portability or are most wi-fi hotspots in japan just good enough to play videogames over?

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