It almost went without saying that Final Fantasy XIII would be a massive success in Japan when it launched there on December 17. Any doubts to that were squelched in April, when Square Enix released a short demo for the game in Japan for the PlayStation 3--the only console that Final Fantasy XIII is available for in the region--and system sales nearly quadrupled on a weekly basis, according to Media Create.
With Final Fantasy XIII officially available on retail shelves in Japan yesterday, the game's selling potential has snapped clearly into focus. Citing internal figures, Square Enix announced today that the Japanese role-playing game has sold more than 1 million units in its first 24 hours. Square Enix noted that the figure does not include units sold as part of hardware bundles, such as the 250GB ceramic-white PS3 with a graphic of protagonist Lightning printed on the top.
Yesterday, Square Enix announced that it had shipped some 1.8 million units to Japanese retailers in advance of the game's launch. The publisher also noted that total worldwide franchise sales stand at 92 million units since the Final Fantasy brand first emerged in 1987. Of its most recent iteration, Square Enix has forecast total sales of 6 million units worldwide.
Final Fantasy XIII will be released for the Xbox 360 and PS3 in North America and Europe on March 9. For more on the game, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.