Rumor on the beta period:
Rumor: FFXIV beta may begin by September - Massively
Ah, rumors. We know the game was just announced, but there are three major reasons this rumor carries some weight. For one, Final Fantasy XIV has a 2010 release date, which makes sense considering the development team claims to have been working on the game for nearly five years now. Also, the dev team has expressed that they'd like to have a longer beta than the one Final Fantasy XI had -- one which was only around four months long.
The biggest piece of information regarding this rumor is its source -- discovered by newly built fansite Eorzeapedia -- of several Square Enix Europe job listings for new game testers and game masters. The listing is very clear that any applicants are required to have "good knowledge" of Final Fantsy XI, which ostensibly already has these jobs filled. If new people are being hired, it means the more seasoned team are being shifted to the developer's other MMO, namely Final Fantasy XIV. According to those listings, the new game masters begin work in early September.
Loose reasoning? Maybe just a little, but when considering the release date, development time and this new information it all seems to make sense. We'd love to get our hands on some FFXIV beta action any time this year, especially as early as September, so here's hoping it's true!