I grew up playing Phantasy Star as an RPG on my Sega Master System. The series holds a special place in my heart, and while I have only dabbled lightly with the online versions of game, I’d imagine that those interested in experiencing all they have to offer will be happy to know that they can now do that as a free-to-play experience in Phantasy Star Online 2.

Sega announced today, during a media briefing, that the Phantasy Star Online 2 release will be free-to-play on both the PC and the PlayStation Vita. Of course this means that the title will now feature micro-transactions to offset the loss of the monthly charge.

In addition to free-to-play announcement, Sega made it known that they are hard at work developing an iOS and Android version of the game for smartphone wielding Phantasy Star fanatics. The mobile version of the game will feature social elements and utilize the same data as the full fledged release, however it will be a less complex version in terms of character creation and controls. No real surprise there.

The closed beta will kick off towards the end of April, with Sega committing to 100,000 slots being reserved for eager applicants. If you can’t wait that long to start tinkering with the title, you can potentially ease your pain with access to the character creator element on April 5th.

Phantasy Star Online 2 is currently only slated for release in Japan. Those in that region (or thrifty enough to gain access to it) can expect it on the PC this Summer, with the iOS and Android version following up in the Fall. PlayStation Vita owners will have to wait until 2013.