Final Fantasy XIV (FFXIV) Producer/Director Naoki Yoshida has posted his 42nd missive to the community this week with a brief update on the upcoming A Realm Reborn beta. The good news is that according to Yoshida the work is progressing on schedule to begin the first phase of beta. Phase one will, however, be rather limited, restricting players to areas around Gridania.
Yoshida also took some time to tease a few more screenshots of the character creation system. Check them out in the latest update.
Source: FFXIV Letter from the Producer