Buried underneath all of the Final Fantasy VII Remake hype was the excellent news that Final Fantasy VIII Remastered would finally be coming to modern consoles. Fans were happy and confused since Final Fantasy IX Remastered came out before Final Fantasy VIII Remastered, which was just an odd decision. Granted, Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remastered came out before both of those titles but semantics.
During an interview with Famitsu (translated by Siliconera), original game director Yoshinori Kitase claimed that they wanted to improve upon a lot of things, mainly the graphics. They did plan on just porting a prettier version of the original game but when its 20th anniversary happened, they knew things had to step up.
Here is Kitase's full answer:
"At first, the plan was to release it on current-generation hardware, with more or less the same graphics. However, the title recently celebrated its 20th anniversary, and since TVs evolved from SD CRTs to LCD HDTVs, we decided that it was necessary to improve on character quality."
"So then we continued its development until just before it went gold, then out of nowhere, we decided to work on refining the characters. For that reason, we found ourselves in a situation that needed a major schedule change, but thanks to the efforts from the original staff's Harada (battle programmer, Hiroshi Harada), character modeler Kayano (Tomohiro Kayano), and character designer Nomura (Tetsuya Nomura) we were able to revive it with wonderful quality. The troubles were there, but in the end it was the right call."
Final Fantasy VIII Remastered is coming out on PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch sometime this year.