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During E3 we posted an article entitled No Final Fantasy XIII for 360 until 2010. It created quite a stir amongst gamers across the world, it seems, getting major attention on other sites. It also saw my inbox fill up with the now obligatory fanboy hate mail which piles up regardless of the game, format or tone of an article. So now that I am back in Sydney, I figured I would spell it out a little better, so you can all know why I think FFXIII will be an epic wait for Xbox 360 owners. And why I think Microsoft are being misleading. So here we go…
On Monday the 14th of August, the day prior to E3 2008 beginning, Microsoft held their traditional pre-show conference in which, amongst other things, they announced that the previously PS3 exclusive Final Fantasy XIII would be hitting the Xbox 360 too. They didn’t say when.
As soon as the conference finished a select few media, surely not numbering more than 40 from across the world, were invited to a small Q & A with the game’s producer Yoshinori Kitase and Square Enix’s Corporate Executive Shinji Hasimoto. As they would’ve expected, the talk almost solely focused on the then fresh as a baby’s fart Final Fantasy XIII on X360 announcement. The following points were extracted from the often hesitant and uncomfortable duo:
The decision to bring Final Fantasy XIII to Xbox 360 was only made recently.
Work on the Xbox 360 version of the game would not begin until the PS3 version of the game was completed.
That both version of the game would require a period of localization.
It was later revealed to us in an intimate hour long interview with the developer (that will appear in the next issue of Official PlayStation Magazine Australia on sale August 13th) that the game would not be ported to “other formats” until the localization of the PS3 version was completed.
So unless something was lost in translation between the translator and the interviewers/interviewees the following is what we know: the Xbox 360 version of the game only recently came into existence, so it certainly hasn’t been worked on simultaneously, or even for years, alongside the PS3 version. Our guess is they made the call around the GDC, which was the same time they announced that the Crystal Tools engine (aka The White Engine) would be made feasible on the Xbox 360 as well as its native PS3 format.
We know that the PS3 version isn’t finished yet, but that it is close and will no doubt be ready for an early 2009 release in Japan. Localization is hard to judge: how big is the game? What we do know is that there was five months between the Japanese and English releases of Final Fantasy X, and seven months between the two versions of Final Fantasy XII. So it won’t be overnight, put it that way. Let’s say Christmas 09 is a good bet. Then, and only then, will they begin working on the Xbox 360 version of the game.
Now as to Microsoft’s claims that the game will release simultaneously alongside the PS3 version in English territories, well, unless they know that the English PS3 version will be held up until the Xbox 360 version is ready – which would suck balls - then that contradicts what Square Enix told us directly. And I’m betting they know better.
So we know Square Enix hasn’t started working on the Xbox 360 version at all yet, a format to which they and the Crystal Tools engine are very new. We’re well aware that Square Enix is familiarizing themselves with the architecture of the Xbox 360 with The Last Remnant, but that runs on the super-box-friendly Unreal Engine 3.
Final Fantasy XIII is being made on Crystal Tools, an engine originally conceived specifically for the Cell processor and designed to maximize the PS3’s architecture. At the GDC developer Square Enix stated that the engine would now work on other formats too, but clearly weren’t confident enough in its progress to develop the multi-format The Last Remnant on it. So far this generation we’ve seen a slew of multi-format compatibility issues as games try to jump ship, seeing huge delays to ports of games like Rainbow Six: Vegas and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, or even complete cancellations with Saints Row.
To pin everything on Square Enix making their first attempt to port a Crystal Tools game from PS3 to X360, not to mention a game designed for years on the PS3 prior to the engine being made available to other formats, at a quality that the developer demands seemingly overnight seems risky: even if they already have it functioning in some capacity on PC.
I think Microsoft have spun a big fat one, but feel free to think they're Honest Joes if you like.
The game is a bloody shoe-in for 2010 on Xbox 360. Add the fact that the previous games took six and four months respectively to then make it to the PAL territories of Europe and Australia Final Fantasy XIII on Xbox 360 is so far off for us Aussies that it is almost an Xbox 720 game.
Don’t get me wrong, nothing would make me happier than a simultaneous multi-format release of Final Fantasy XIII in 2009, but it is not going to happen. Late 2010 looks likely for North America, with 2011 on the cards for PAL territories.
So that’s why…
källa : http://www.gameplayer.com.au/gp_documents/080725-FFXIII.aspx...