Hirai toasts PS3 at FFXIII date night

With JRPG hitting Japan Dec. 17, Sony Computer Entertainment CEO hypes console bundle in Tokyo, talks intertwined fates of PlayStation brand and Final Fantasy franchise.

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TOKYO--Final Fantasy XIII has been dated for 2009 in Japan for months, but Square Enix has remained mum about its exact release date. Tonight, the publisher made it official at a massive party in Tokyo, inviting about 100 guests consisting of business partners, staffers, and press, many from overseas.

Kaz Hirai gets toasty.
Kaz Hirai gets toasty.

Taking the stage at the opening ceremony, Square Enix president Yoichi Wada officially announced that Final Fantasy XIII will be released in Japan on December 17. The game's price of ¥9,240 ($100.25) including tax is a little over the ¥8,990 ($97.53) post-tax price of 2006's Final Fantasy XII for the PlayStation 2. Pretax, the game will cost ¥8,800 ($95.46).

"Some 22 years ago, the very first Final Fantasy made its debut on December 18 [in Japan]," said FFXIII executive producer Yoshinori Kitase. "So in a way, our newest release is coming out on the eve of the series' birthday."

The game's director, Motomu Toriyama, expanded on Kitase's comments. "The concept behind FFXIII's development was 'the future form of role playing games.' It features top-level graphics using the PlayStation 3's capabilities, a very dramatic storyline, and an even more action-packed active time battle system."

The active time battle system is at the center of FFXIII.
The active time battle system is at the center of FFXIII.

With Final Fantasy XIII exclusive to the PlayStation 3 in Japan, Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Kazuo Hirai also made an appearance at the event. He gave a toast to the game with a special cocktail made just for the occasion.

"Looking back, the PlayStation has truly been taking its steps in history together with the Final Fantasy franchise," said Hirai. "Back in 1996, it was announced that Final Fantasy VII was coming to the PlayStation platform. When the game came out in January the next year, the sales of our console instantly doubled. It was of tremendous support to us. On the PS2, there was Final Fantasy X [in 2002]. On the PSP, there was Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII [in 2008]. So, Final Fantasy is a wonderful franchise that has continually supported the PlayStation format."

FFXIII will be another graphical leap over its predecessors.
FFXIII will be another graphical leap over its predecessors.

Hirai confirmed that a FFXIII PlayStation 3 Slim bundle will also be available alongside the game on December 17. However, no details--including price--were revealed, nor was it clear if the included console would be a special edition like the PS3s in the Final Fantasy Advent Children bundles.

"We at SCE just announced our new PlayStation 3 model, and it's posting an excellent sell-through rate. On the release date of Final Fantasy XIII, we also plan to ship a bundle edition as well. Final Fantasy fans all over the world have been long waiting for this wonderful title. We plan to team up with Square Enix and to support them though the game's release at the end of the year."

Kitase discusses FFXIII's Western launch.
Kitase discusses FFXIII's Western launch.

Among his litany of praise for Square Enix, Hirai never mentioned the publisher's controversial move to simultaneously release FFXIII on the PS3 and Xbox 360 in North America and Europe. Square Enix is shooting for a spring 2010 release in the West, a target that Kitase repeated today.

"We're not at a stage where we can announce any specific dates yet. In the past, it took about a half a year to a year [after the Japanese release]. But we're hoping that this time, we can release it with only one season's worth of a delay."

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Avatar image for mmm94
mmm94

man they toooo late

Avatar image for ShotgunSteiner
ShotgunSteiner

*toasts back*

Avatar image for MagicOneUp
MagicOneUp

wow, sony is banking on FFXIII to rescued their dismal ps3... oh well it'll be well and over very soon, make the most of it sony...

Avatar image for s0l1dsnake
s0l1dsnake

What's up with that price tag, $100 bucks? Does it go to work for me while I play?

Avatar image for s0l1dsnake
s0l1dsnake

" It features top-level graphics using the PlayStation 3's capabilities " This would have to be a multi disc 360 game because if it isn't that would make that statement an awful exaggeration.

Avatar image for sj_nehama
sj_nehama

@ _F_F_7_ Xbox fanboys - Think their console is better. PS3 fanboys - Know their console is better roflmfbjao :D

Avatar image for sj_nehama
sj_nehama

i want them to release this dumbed down game so we can focus on Versus already.

Avatar image for FinalDuo1886
FinalDuo1886

I hope it stays $59.99 when it comes stateside. Cause there no way in hell I'm paying anymore than that!

Avatar image for Zerosumgame
Zerosumgame

The only thing other studios can do is to watch and learn from Squarenix...

Avatar image for jeffv541
jeffv541

Poop is edible in some countries. So is the NON BACKWARDS COMPATIBLE PS3!!!!!! SONY HAS BURNED ME FOR THE LAST TIME!!!!!!!!!

Avatar image for ffviiifreak
ffviiifreak

I like how they solved the summon problem very interesting though I've never been too huge a fan of summons I'm more a fan of combined attacks like in chrono trigger but looks a lot better than I thought it would

Avatar image for Attoyou
Attoyou

mrexamm I wasn't console Bashing, But seeing how Poorly Xbox360 does is japan, and FF being one of Japans biggest Franchises , and for the FEW people who got the 360 and Was Expecting FF, well that just sucks renegade_hunter Meanwhile, Fallout 3 DLC heading to PS3, And rumors of the GTA DLC Heading to PS3, and id like to say PS3 stole some of the exclusives from the original Xbox , but i cant really think of any that weren't owned by MS LOL, other then ES4. but so far its done a good job of taking just as many Quality exclusives From the 360 and 360 has From the PS3, Dead rising, Ninja Gaiden , Fallout 3, Bioshock, Oblivion. All at Pushing the gaming World B3yond with KZ2 LBP MAG , Not saying i dont Enjoy Xbox360 or Xbox games and not saying they suck , Cuz they dont,

Avatar image for FallenAngel
FallenAngel

@paleogamer Games in Japan always cost more than they do in US. Don't worry, FF XIII will still be USD 59.99 when it makes it stateside :)

Avatar image for paleogamer
paleogamer

Did i read that right? $100? That much for a game? Seriously?

Avatar image for mrexamm
mrexamm

@attoyou I own a PS, PS2, and PSP but I have never regretted buying the 360, it has way more/better games so quit console bashing. I don't think there will be any difference in the graphics between the PS3 and 360, I can't think of any games on both platforms that the PS3 clearly outperforms the 360 in.

Avatar image for renegade_hunter
renegade_hunter

@attoyou it may be a slap in the face for gamers in Japan but PS3 gamers in the west-end always got the end of the stick. Fallout 3 DLC, GTA 4 DLC... MS really is paying for these exclusives DLC and pretty much taking all the exclusives that were on the PS2

Avatar image for Attoyou
Attoyou

I_Pwn_U_n00bs I don't think there's going to be a Xbox version ....There Will be a xbox360 Version , but do what you like, you will be alone , Enjoy your over sized DVD player :P

Avatar image for Attoyou
Attoyou

Wow What a Slap in the Face for Gamers who bought the 360 in japan MS better do something soon 360 is looking very dated PS3 your getting Free Online, Blu Ray, WIFI, more reliable hardware, Full 1080p High Definition movies , A Web browser . and Sony Is pushing games B3YOND . Killzone 2 Was A Graphical BEAST , Little Big Planet Was All about Customization, And MAG? 256 Player online battles ? epic

Avatar image for ps3loverr
ps3loverr

if you read this it said it using the ps3 capabilities wish means it not dumbing down to 360 standard the ps3 version goanna look and be better the ps3 graphics are better than 360 fyi no games compare and look as good as ps3 games and the graphic card is lower im looking forward to play and add another ff game to the collection

Avatar image for guitarist1980
guitarist1980

actually the original final fantasy started with the first Nintendo back in the late 80's or no later than 90. The FOUR WARRIORS OF LIGHT, and you had to fight Garland lol!! That and Dragon Warrior my most memorable games back then.. ahhhhh good old days.

Avatar image for hopp3r
hopp3r

i hope the game isn't 100 dollars when it comes out in north america or i will be waitng months before i purchase this game and also games are getting REALLY pricy nowadays

Avatar image for hopp3r
hopp3r

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Avatar image for dkpunk
dkpunk

@ BladeTrinity114 you aren't that bright eh? The first three FF games were on the NES not SNES. Typical sonybot...

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WTFitsPauL

Wishing i was in japan right now...

Avatar image for FallenAngel
FallenAngel

@Anthony414 No but I do have a desktop with a blueray writer. And wait, you called me a brand fascist while you're flaunting your oh so awesome laptop with a blueray drive on my face? As well, nice job, you're showing your level of intellectual maturity by resorting to name calling. Your mom let you cross the street alone yet?

Avatar image for FallenAngel
FallenAngel

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Avatar image for BladeTrinity114
BladeTrinity114

@kejigoto I think your wrong. The FF series started on SNES, yes, but it turned really popular on PS1. And to be honest it was confirmed for PS3 before 360. not the other way around. And I wasn't "tooting my own horn" it is called being a proud PS3 owner. And I have both consoles before you mention that too. Also I am in a way glad that it is coming to both consoles. It just means more people will get to experience this stunning game.

Avatar image for valuum
valuum

Wrong and wrong. In the amount of time it took you to write that, you could have used Google: Search some more if you want. Any FF news is big news, and if you really checked out game forums as much as you claim, than there is no way you would have missed that.

Avatar image for _F_F_7_
_F_F_7_

Xbox fanboys - Think their console is better. PS3 fanboys - Know their console is better

Avatar image for lionheart234
lionheart234

make a release date for uk ...... = p

Avatar image for deactivated-57aa104290f59

God, how many final fantasy's are they planning to make.

Avatar image for texasgoldrush
texasgoldrush

"You like FFXII i didn't. I'm just proving a point that what i'm saying is that the PS1 had the best Final Fantasy's. Thank you that is all." Final Fantasy VI.....considered to be one of the greatest, if not the greatest, console RPG ever released. The top RPG according to Gamespy, IGN, and G4. Final Fantasy IV is considered one of the most revolutionary RPGs ever released and it gets its acclodes. Both are SNES games. The PS1 FF's made their mark, but are not as good as the SNES FF's. Why? Because the PS FF's split the audience in one way or another, even the overrated FFVII (the game may be the most divisive, its either the greatest RPG ever made or a piece of garbage). The SNES ones (exluding V and Mystic Quest) are nearly universally beloved.

Avatar image for madSomnambulist
madSomnambulist

@ newb16 It's only a PS3 exclusive in Japan... though the X360 release in North America is basically nothing more than farming for cash in this market. It's not surprising that SE themselves would either forget about or ignore the X360 release. They are assuming that, on top of the new PS3 slim sticking the 360 as the overpriced and under-featured system, console sales in the US will shoot up... I'm inclined to agree, especially if the 360 port is gimped in any way due to lack of bluray and the need for multiple discs.

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newb16

@specta1989 At E3 09 Microsoft said it will not be exclusive. Or did I here that wrong?

Avatar image for Anthony414
Anthony414

@fallenangel But you dont have a laptop with a blu-ray drive do you? Idiot...

Avatar image for FallenAngel
FallenAngel

@Anthony414 Yeah I'm a brand fascist, that's why I have a 360/PS3/DS/PSP, pretty much every single console that's going around these days.

Avatar image for youngsexynerd
youngsexynerd

you can always count on final fantsy to push sony consoles

Avatar image for Anthony414
Anthony414

@FallenAngel Well if kaz is modest for a CEO it's no wonder SCE never saw last place coming lol To me they're the same crap. I'm not being a fanboy. There's just no reason for me to buy a PS3 because I bought a VAIO with blu-ray when sony was doing discounts on the drive upgrade. If the PS3 were 299 last year then I would have a PS3. Sorry im not a brand fascist like you. I buy what makes sense to me when I'm on the market for a new system.

Avatar image for denicola_a_god
denicola_a_god

im hoping for a mid spring 2010 us date

Avatar image for FallenAngel
FallenAngel

@Anthony414 You think Hirai is a snob? He's miles better than Ken Kutaragi. Kutaragi makes Hirai look like Gandhi in comparison. It was his asinine statements during the initial months of the PS3 that had a lot to do with Sony's negative publicity and the loss of a bunch of potential third party exclusives. Hirai has done a great job since inheriting an absolute wreck from that buffoon. You wanna be a 360 fanboy, be a 360 fanboy. But be a little more knowledgeable before spouting off crap.

Avatar image for Zerosumgame
Zerosumgame

Japanese games = winner.

Avatar image for jaSteRdcX
jaSteRdcX

i really liked 12. hopefully we don't have to wait too long for 13.

Avatar image for Anthony414
Anthony414

The PS3 would be so much cooler without that Kaz Hirai snob... I just can't stand him. Yea PS3 is the better value since the slimming down and price drop. Too bad it only happened now cuz I have an Xbox 360 and my Vaio laptop has blu-ray.

Avatar image for jjdomo
jjdomo

here's to hoping it's not too much like FF12 . . . that game was boring. Plus, the combat system stunk and so did the character progression system.

Avatar image for Mesumees9182
Mesumees9182

Here at Estonia it's 1100 EEK (about 100$?) too. =/ EDIT: Very misleading title :P

Avatar image for ffviiifreak
ffviiifreak

wifi is unreliable it craps out more often than not or at least in places of inclement weather also the speeds are worse than a hardline xbl is actually worth paying other than that blu-ray is definitely the preferred format especially for HD gaming also anything less than Killzone isn't using the PS3's true potential and in my opinion FFXIII is less than Killzone and is easily replicated on the xbox

Avatar image for fps_d0minat0r
fps_d0minat0r

@ I_Pwn_U_n00bs "It features top-level graphics using the PlayStation 3's capabilities" the "over sized blu-ray player" your refrering to offers better quality gaming......for true gamers only. and the PS3 is cheaper then xbox i dont know what planet u live on. at game : xbox elite: £199.99 wifi adaptor: £49.99 (thats after £10 discount lmfao) XBL (just for 1 year): £34.99 (thats after £5 discount) TOTAL = £285 PS3 with better online (upto 60 players lag free), built in wifi, blu-ray player (worth over £100 it self), bluetooth (better then infra-red) TOTAL = £250 PWNED oh and dualshock 3 is better then xbox's rumble oh and the controller doesnt have a fat battery pack sticking out of it.

Avatar image for deactivated-5bd4f46db019b

@Ardain I assume it wont be too like FFXII, purely because i believe a company like Square-Enix has the brains to realise that FFXII was unpopular for a reason

Avatar image for fps_d0minat0r
fps_d0minat0r

"It features top-level graphics using the PlayStation 3's capabilities" "With Final Fantasy XIII exclusive to the PlayStation 3 in Japan" does this mean: 1) Final Fantasy XIII isnt exclusive in other regions? (quote 2) 2) therefore its graphics will be downgraded thanks to the xbox (quote 1) ???

Avatar image for Baconbits2004
Baconbits2004

releasing it only for PS3 in japan... but on the 360 as well in other territories. Has Square Enix figured out just where the money is, or are they doing this to figure out where the money will be in the future?