E3 2008: Square Enix Final Fantasy XIII Q & A – 360 Will Delay US PS3 Launch
Immediately after the Microsoft event, Square Enix decided it was a good time to directly address the press about the big Final Fantasy XIII news. Along with press from around the world I pressed into a small conference room to listen as Final Fantasy Producer Yohinori Kitase and Square Enix VP Shinji Hashimoto as they addressed questions about the highly anticipated game.
Right out the gate the question of why Square Enix changed its stance on Final Fantasy being a Sony exclusive game was posed. The gentlemen diplomatically fielded the question and the root of the answer was basically that Square has come to recognize the impact of the 360 in America versus the PS3 and they want Final Fantasy XIII to reach the widest audience possible. The two versions will be developed by Square Japan but only the US and possibly Europe will get the 360 version.
While this might not seem strange one of the more shocking admissions during the conference was that the development cycle of the game would proceed normally for Japan but the US release would be tied to the development of the 360 game and the localization concerns. The 360 development, according to Hashimoto would not even begin until after the PS3 version was complete. This effectively means that Japan will get FF XIII a good while before the US and Europe because the 360 version will take time to integrate and develop.
There was a lot of discussion in the panel about the motion control, downloadable content and other advantages that could be leveraged for the various platforms but Kitase reiterated a number of times that the two versions would be identical. They were not sure how they would ship the game on the smaller storage size of DVD or even how many DVDs it might require because the game is not yet complete and they aren;t sure how much of the PS3 Blu-Ray it’ll take up.
There was a little talk about the differences between the previous games and FF XIII and it basically came down to a flashy, fast frenetic game that is being built off the ATB ( Active Time Battle) system and would not be real-time as some have feared.