Game was originally scheduled for 2021.Polishing means bug fixing. ANd they also said they were suppose to be done with rendered/Scenes. So getting those done, lip sync done for US release takes time. Mainly on top of bug fixing, Which comes before optimization. To do that and have it set for different regions is a big undertaking. I'll be surprised if it makes it 2022.
Covid has delayed stuff but the game is basically in its polishing stage.
They're tweaking gameplay, boss battles, polishing graphics and cutscenes.
The director also stated the next big reveal would be close to release and that big reveal is in spring.
It's a Q4 2022 or at worst Q1 2023 game.
I think the release date will be announced next spring as well.
Edit: It might also be interesting to add that Forspoken was originally scheduled for January 2022, something that Sony leaked in their CES montage last year.
Final release date is now in May, so basically the Square Enix games all suffered a 5 months delay.
There is a lot of room to release FFXVI in October 2022.