Sarcasm guys, sarcasm.
Anyway, SE's president made this announcement (translated by Elmer the Amazingly Pointy on BG):
“The basic model hasn't changed,” he said. “It's a monthly flat rate service with additional charges for items that users want to buy.
“For FFXI we didn't initially set up the item transaction model that well – although the demand for it was high. We thought that it would be a benefit for users, but that we wouldn't be able to charge.
“We soon learnt that there are a lot of people who want that kind of model, so we would like to introduce more pay-as-you-use items into the game. But there were too few items in FFXI – however we don't want to take it to the other extreme entirely for FFXIV.
Now, of course people like Jaxzer immidiately took this to mean that there will be wholesale RMT for every item in the game, but the more level headed, and even the not-so-level-headed-and-for-the-most-part-generally-apocalyptic Iceblazek stepped in and said this is almost definitely not going to be about game-balance changing gear.
There are lots of way to sell in game items that are no game breaking. WoW does it pretty well, but there are even more ways to do it. WoW does it well with vanity pets now, and their server changing options. SE already has done it with the Tidal Talisman and some would say the Moogle Satchel and the Nexus Cape but I would argue those are slightly different. The former was to provide an incentive to people to improve their security that they couldn't resist and the later was more of a reward for finishing an expansion even if you did get it on the purchase of the last expansion. There are a bunch of other ways to increase profits without wreaking the game, and I have always been a big advocate that as long as it doesn't mess with real game balance (and no, carrying around more stuff doesn't effect real game balance, nor does warping to Tiamat). I can think of a few examples off the top of my head: vanity pets and vanity mounts both from WoW, furnishings, server transfers and other related data transfers, character beautification (changing hair/skin coloring), gear beautification (different colors or even particle effects on gear) and the list goes on and on.
The other thing that I think is important is that this is SE's President talking, not Tanaka. This is Tanaka's game, and he has already mentioned this in passing but seemingly assured players it wouldn't effect balance. I don't think Tanaka would be down with full scale RMT, and the President of SE has said some other things about FFXI and FFXIV that haven't panned out. Tanaka is a game developer, SE's President is a business guy. Business guys tend to say things they think the media wants to hear, game developers say things they think the players want to hear. Remember some of the gaming media still defends RMT on some level to satisfy those with attention spans smaller than a gnat.
I think this will probably be one of those much ballyhoo'd issues that doesn't amount to as much as it first appears. Like the "PS3 exclusive" comments, this will probably get explained again, and again until we get a real picture of the situation.