Persona 3 Reload won't include Persona 3 FES or Portable content, per Niitsuma and Wada
It seems that Persona 3 Reload might be different from what some fans imagined upon first hearing about a remake for Persona 3. According to an interview with IGN, Persona 3 Reload won't include content from Persona 3 FES and Persona 3 Portable.
In the interview, Producer Ryota Niitsuma and Chief Director Kazuhisa Wada stated that the "basic concept" of Persona 3 Reload was to "remake Persona 3" based on the original 2006 release version. As such, "we don't have the FES and Portable contents included."
According to Niitsuma, "We wanted to really genuinely work on recreating the Persona 3 experience." He also said that the team "remade basically everything from scratch as for [the original version of Persona 3]".
Wada said, that the team "wanted to keep everything from the original version, but update everything to the modern day," and bring things to "the same level [as] Persona 5." To that end, Atlus is using modern graphical techniques and style, as well as updating the game's systems to "the newest usability." These include dual audio in English and Japanese and text localization in thirteen languages.
Niitsuma and Wada didn't elaborate on what exactly they meant by not including content from Persona 3 FES and Persona 3 Portable. FES debuted in 2007 as an expansion disc for the original version (and later a standalone release), and added significant new elements to the story and mechanics. These included Social Links with characters like Aigis, new Personas, and a hard mode difficulty. It also included The Answer, an epilogue campaign starring Aigis, and a new character, Metis. Meanwhile, Persona 3 Portable's most notable addition was a female protagonist option. The female protagonist (who later showed up in Persona Q 2: New Cinema Labyrinth) also had a different set of Social Links.
Though Persona 3 Reload is based on the "base" version of Persona 3, that doesn't mean it'll have nothing new at all. According to Niitsuma, the game will have "newly recorded voices" as well as "new scenes and events" and "new and arranged music" on top of the graphical and mechanical updates. Niitsuma urged players to look forward to new information being released between now and the game's release window in early 2024.
Persona 3 Reload is in development and will launch in early 2024. It is currently confirmed for Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC (though other console announcements may come later). It'll also be available via Game Pass on release day. Check out the game's official announcement trailer at this link.