A Final Fantasy 16 demo is on the way, and it will essentially let you start playing the game ahead of launch.
Director and producer Naoki Yoshida tells Famitsu (opens in new tab) that the Final Fantasy 16 demo will launch two weeks ahead of the game's release date of June 22, according to a translation from Genki_JPN on Twitter (opens in new tab). The devs haven't put a concrete date on the demo, but two weeks ahead of launch would suggest a June 8 release. Save data from the demo will carry over into the final game.
According to a machine translation of the interview - so be aware that some of the nuance will be lost here - Yoshida wants to put out the demo close to release so that player interest doesn't fade away over time. As the demo is currently planned, you'll start from the beginning just as you would in the full game, and you'll be able to pick up your save file right where you left off if you choose to buy FF16. Yoshida says he'd also like to do a combat-focused demo that shows the depth of the battle system further into the game, but it's currently up in the air as to whether that actually happens.
A Final Fantasy 16 demo has been teased for some time, and publisher Square Enix has been particularly keen on putting out trial versions in recent years. Demos for games like Dragon Quest 11 and Octopath Traveler 2 have similarly let you carry your progress forward into the full game, and it's good to see these sorts of trial versions making a comeback - even as demos for less beloved games like the middling Forspoken or the far-worse-than-middling Balan Wonderworld arguably did more harm than good for those respective games' bottom lines.
Check out our Final Fantasy 16 preview for far more on what to expect from the PS5 RPG.