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Square Enix Aims For Simultaneous Worldwide Releases

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345w ago - Fans of Japanese RPGs like Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest know the drill: get all hyped up for the Japanese release of the next installment in your favorite series, then watch the hype deflate as you wait additional six to twelve months for a localized version.

But the classic approach to localizing software may be on the way out. Square Enix president Yoichi Wada told Japan's Nihon Keizan Shimbun daily today that from here on out, the company will be "making simultaneous releases the norm."

Of course, the question is if this plan includes upcoming monster hits like Final Fantasy XIII and Dragon Quest IX. Both titles are still without a final release date, suggesting that if past schedules hold, we wouldn't have a chance of getting either until 2009 or beyond.

You can thank the strength of the gaming markets outside of Japan for this sudden shift in policy, which is actually just one area of overseas gaming that's drawing the attention of the suits at the Square Enix headquarters in Tokyo. In addition to simultaneous releases, the company is looking into the possibility of forming development studios outside of Japan and even selling overseas-developed games.

Does this mean we'll be getting games like Final Fantasy XIII, Dragon Quest IX, and The Last Remnant...
 

GDC speakers announced; confirmation that new MMORPG is in development

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349w ago - The GDC website reveals that four Square Enix staff members will be speaking at the Game Developers Conference 2008. The full list:

Fumiaki Shiraishi and Toshiro Tsuchida will be presenting an in-depth look at the development process of Square Enix's Wii Ware launch title Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Young King and the Promised Land.

Isamu Kamikokuryo, Final Fantasy XIII's art director, will touch upon the secret of Final Fantasy art, how he gets inspiration, how he was trained, how his concept art influence the game development, etc.

Taku Murata, the head of Square Enix's R&D. In this talk, Taku will describe the whole process of the engine development; why now, why not third party engine, what is unique, how it is being developed, what were challenges, etc. You'll be able to see the technological essence of Final Fantasy development.

Taku Murata's page also confirms that a new MMORPG is in development:

"The new game engine will be used for FINAL FANTASY XIII, new MMORPG under development, and other titles in the future."

This pretty much confirms that "the new MMORPG", which might actually be Final Fantasy Haresis XIII, will be released for the PlayStation 3 as it will use the White Engine.
 

FFXIII and FFXIII Versus Date & Pricing at Amazon

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351w ago - In Amazon it's listed the price and release date for Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy XIII Versus for the PS3 system.

Both can be found in here.

The price is the explosive $59.99 each, unbeatable for the actual prices for the PS3 games.

The Cover art is also unveiled, with a typical FF presentation layout, but also is noticeable that the FFXIII cover has a black back, and the XIII Versus a White one instead.

It would be more suitable the other way around, so maybe Square Enix is hiding something...

The release date by the way is: 1 Dec of 2008
 

No confirmation of Final Fantasy XIII in 2008

50°
351w ago - After the new Famitsu scans were released, we got the exciting news that Toriyama is hoping to give the fans a glimpse of the game in the form of a demo sometime this year. He also stated that 2008 will be the year that we finally get solid details on Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy Versus XIII.

Somehow down the line this is been misinterpreted by many game sites, specifically Joystiq, that Tetsuya Nomura (Character designer) has promised the game will release in 2008. This, infact, is rather wrong. First, it's isnt even Nomura speaking, it's Motomu Toriyama, the games director. Instead he says that he hopes he can show the public a demo of Final Fantasy XIII this year. This is neither a promise or a release date. Another site Gamernode also makes an even worse mistake by publishing that Nomura stated this in an interview with Joystiq, which again is wrong because all the information comes from the new Famitsu scans.

Joystiq go on to say that Nomura has also promised a demo for the Playstation Network "a while before the games release", which is also false. Again, Nomura isn't even mentioned in the article and the Playstation Network isn't mentioned once. There might well be a demo on the Playstation Network at some point, but this article certainly does not confirm it for this year.

This...
 

Final Fantasy 20th Anniversary Ultimania File 1: Character to be released Thursday

50°
351w ago - Square-Enix is set to release its "Final Fantasy 20th Anniversary: Ultimania File 1 : Character" compilation for fans of the venerable franchise.

This book is composed of 512 pages which introduce all the characters of each Final Fantasy since the whole commencement of the series itself. With as many pages, one can expect a lot of information and illustrations! Play-Asia.com, a popular online import store, shows that the cost to pre-order this book will be $27 USD, which is a great price for such an amazing collection.

Note that two other books in the same vein are also envisaged:

- March 2008: Final Fantasy 20th Anniversary Ultimania Spins 2: Scenario (devoted to the scenarios of all the episodes)

- May 2008: Final Fantasy 20th Anniversary Ultimania Spins 3: Battle/Special (expected to focus on the various systems and other details related to the engagements)

The book will be available to Japan as of next 31 January. This might be your only chance to import what is expected to become a great collector's item for fans!
 
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