[As posted on Japanator]
Many RPGs claim to be based in some kind of high-technology science fiction-y setting, but are surprisingly devoid of the things that would likely make up a real-life future. Some RPG folks still use swords in the far future and get everywhere by walking.
Furthermore, where is the internet? I mean, it's become such an essential part of our lives in the present, but why is it somehow excised from our future? About the only games I can think of that have made effective use of it are of the .hack series. Where are my forums, my page comments, my RSS news feeds? I need to stay up-to-date with the latest skateboarding dog videos while in the middle of a random encounter!
However, thanks to Final Fantasy XIII, which you're probably sick of hearing about, the wonderful world of online shopping is coming to its in-game "Cocoon" city-world. Thankfully, I'm not talking about microtransactions or DLC - not for real money - yet. Instead, save points inside Cocoon will allow access to an "online" item store from which characters can do the buy-and-sell.
Director Motoru Miyama thinks that it's all rather "cool" and "different from the traditional FF series," also implying that some secret characters might appear on the faux-digital storefront. Wait, what? Secret characters? We can buy people online? Perhaps FFXIII's use of the intertubes is even more realistic than I imagined...ewww.
Anyway, I hope their item shop includes product commercials. Imagine being encouraged to buy Elixirs by the videos below...