Hyper PlayStation asked the staff why they decided to announce Versus as a part of Final Fantasy XIII and not as a brand new Final Fantasy XIV. The concept and thinking behind Versus would not be possible in a standard numbered Final Fantasy title, Nomura responded. However, Kitase jumped in, assuring that Versus is not just a side-story, as it has some of what makes a numbered FF game what it is. However, he added, "With Versus, we are trying out a type of adventure that we couldn't do in the numbered series."
Nomura also noted just how different Versus will be from XIII -- different characters, a different world and even different visual design. The directors of each FFXIII game, including Final Fantasy Agito XIII for mobile, seem to have quite a bit of freedom, and the result could be some remarkably different software. The look of the game's world, the concepts, themes, characters and era -- these are all up to the game's director. The only area that has to be preserved is the mythology which was finalized during the lengthy pre-production phase that preceded actual development. This pre-production phase was actually longer than it's been for any previous Final Fantasy title.
The development staff didn't get into specifics on gameplay in this latest batch of commentary. However, a few intriguing hints at what we can expect were provided. Toriyama hinted at the use of vehicles in the main FFXIII title. "It's the near future, so something of surprising form will appear," he said with a laugh. "Will the main character ride? That's something that we can't reveal yet. However, I was wondering if we could do something with that gyro controller."
Weapons seem like they will play a big part in the main FFXIII too. Toriyama noted that with the PS2, weapons were forced to have the absolute minimal amount of polygons. With FFXIII, the staff has devoted considerable polygon budget to the weapons... going so far as to include details right down to "transformation gimmicks." Weapons can change form in the middle of battle, which is what we see in the FFXIII trailer as the main character uses her sword as a gun.
How this will play out in Versus is unclear at this point, although Nomura did note that, despite having a limited amount of time to make the CG E3 trailer, a good amount of time was spent designing the sword that the main character holds while sitting on his throne at the trailer's start. If you're up for some speculation go for it!
Back to FFXIII, Kitase stated to Hyper PlayStation that one of the team's goals is to show "the next type of RPG following Final Fantasy X." FFXIII will make some big changes to the RPG genre, right down to the basic progression of going to a town, talking to people, then moving on to battles. Kitase believes people will feel "Is this really FF?" when they play the game.