Final Fantasy XIII exclusive to Japan in 2009

Square Enix's highly anticipated JRPG won't be released outside of island nation until sometime after April 2010 on PS3 and Xbox 360.

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At this year's Tokyo Game Show, Square Enix debuted a new trailer for Final Fantasy XIII, its highly anticipated role-playing game slated to arrive for both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Aside from the eye candy, Square Enix's trailer also offered the tantalizing promise of a 2009 launch date.

Unfortunately, that promise of a 2009 release apparently applies only to Japan, given that the game isn't going to make it to the US or Europe until the second quarter of 2010 at the very earliest. The news emerged as Square Enix, the game's developer, delivered projections for the remainder of its current fiscal year, which ends March 31.

Square Enix president Yoichi Wada told Reuters that the game was on track for a 2009 PS3-exclusive launch in Japan, with international launches for the Xbox 360 and PS3 coming "in the business year from April 2010 or later."

Final Fantasy has been one of the most successful franchises ever to hit the console market. Since its first incarnation on the NES, the series has sold upward of 85 million units worldwide, with numerous spin-offs and even a feature-length movie adding to its success.

Despite the delay in the launch of Final Fantasy, Square Enix has remained optimistic about its financial outlook for 2009 with a small dip in operating profit of 2.4 percent to 21 billion yen ($236 million) forecast for the year. The company also reported healthy sales for the tail end of 2008 and said "demand has been generally brisk," with key titles such as Chrono Trigger, Dragon Quest IV and Final Fantasy VII prequel Crisis Core all hitting shelves throughout the year.

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