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Square Enix:  Final Fantasy XIII  Going Multi-Platform Is Game Changer For Biz
Square Enix: Final Fantasy XIII Going Multi-Platform Is Game Changer For Biz Exclusive
July 17, 2008 | By Brandon Sheffield, Staff

July 17, 2008 | By Brandon Sheffield, Staff
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    6 comments
More: Console/PC, Exclusive



Many in the industry have viewed the announcement that Square Enix's Final Fantasy XIII will go multi-platform - appearing on the Xbox 360 as well as the PlayStation 3 in the West - as a crucial apex in the game hardware wars.

It was Sony's last presumed big third-party published exclusive for PlayStation 3, and the day and date Xbox 360 release in North America and Europe has dealt the PlayStation 3 platform a major blow in terms of Sony-only titles.

Therefore, Gamasutra asked Square Enix senior vice president of sales and marketing Shinji Hashimoto whether he felt that the announcement was, of sorts, a turning point for the game industry.

"More than a turning point, you could say that perhaps this is a change in trends for the game industry as a whole," he offered. "In the past, a single platform would be at the top, and the others would not be so close.

"But now each console has many users, so this has kind of dictated the way that Final Fantasy will evolve in the future, and why it's being released on multiple consoles at once."

When asked about the viability of future exclusives, Hashimoto was somewhat elusive. "[Releasing on a] single platform doesn't necessarily limit the market," he said. "There's software that's specific to certain hardware, and uses those capabilities to its max. Nintendo does that, and there's Gears of War for Microsoft. These titles do very well."

However, the Square Enix executive concluded: "There's not just one formula for success. But with Final Fantasy, the aim is to have as many people enjoy it as possible, so this is the form our marketing has taken."

These comments came as part of a larger interview with Hashimoto to debut on Gamasutra in the near future.


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Comments


Daniel Lam
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Since Square Enix's Infinite Discovery uses microsoft technology / co-development, it chances are, it will remain a 360 exclusive. As a person that can't afford to own multiple systems, I hope this sort of thing changes soon. Multi-platform is the way of the future for developers and publishers to benefit from the blows of higher production costs to meet market demand.

Yannick Boucher
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Frankly, WHAT is the big deal with this ? The only people it'll benefit is the people who only own a 360 already, and will wanna play FF13. I don't see anyone who was gonna buy a console just for that game go out and buy a 360, it's just not their niche. And i don't see a single soul in Japan buying a 360 for that game either, so really, where's the edge? The fact that this was considered the biggest news at this year's E3 says a lot about the sad state of the show !!

Christopher Shell
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Yannick, it is a big deal. Its just a matter of whose context you place it in. Its a big deal for Sony because after Metal Gear Solid 4, this was really Sony last HUGE exclusive left that was likely to largely boost sales similar to the effect MGS4 had.



Its a big deal for Microsoft because it is a blow to Sony, gives X360 owners one less reason to buy a PS3, and owners of neither system one more reason to buy a 360 if they're on the fence.



And I think consumers would have bought the PS3 with this game being a major reason had it remained exclusive. If MGS4 could boost PS3 sales, I firmly believe this game would have to. And it doesn't matter who likely buy a 360 in Japan for this game, they're not releasing it there anyway.

Joel Ford
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I still don't think this is a very big deal. PS2 owners waiting for FFXIII to buy a ps3 will still probably by the ps3 and not the 360 when the game launches. the only demographic it will affect significantly is 360 owners who were thinking of picking up a ps3 for this game, and that's probably a small number of people.

the real coup here is that the 360 is becoming the JRPG console of choice for this generation in America. Which is ironic since, for a number of xbox owners, it is probably a kind of unfamiliar genre. Sony might lose some PS3 users over this....but there are some pretty sweet ps3 titles in this genre just around the corner, so we'll see.



in terms of this beaing a console pusher, we don't even know when the heck ffxiii is going to come out. Sony is pushing a lot of other titles right now, and while this was a blow, it's not as big a deal as some would make it out to be. There's a lot of consoles to sell between now and the release of FFXIII, and they'll have to sway gamers be on the merit of other games and features.



as far as huge exclusives, the ps3 still has FFXIII Versus, God of War III, and Killzone 2 (i think that's big. not a fan myself)



LBP is something that NO other console has, and i think it might just be a huge success, but who knows if it will affect migration. HOME, which is turning out to come out at a pretty ideal time in terms of holding console sales aloft, might be totally awesome. though it also might not.



Sony also seems to be trying to get it's foot into the mmorpg door. it's success hear could be a huge determining factor in console sales down the road.

so,

i may be overly optomistic, but i definitely think that a bigger deal is being made of this announcement than is warrented.

John Peterson
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Let me speak up as someone who purchased neither an XBox 360 or a PS3 yet.

This generation hit me at a difficult time. Being a little older with more responsibility, I was only able to afford the Wii. This is not a terrible thing as I am having more fun with the Wii than I have had in a while.

However, I knew I was eventually pick up one of the two other systems. I actually have put together the money for either one, but I was waiting for E3 to help me get a picture of what the future held.

I was leaning toward the 360, it has a larger collection of games and therefore, almost by default, a larger number of entertaining games. I hadn't really been impressed with the PS3 software effort thus far. One thing kept me from just jumping on the MS bandwagon though. That's right, FF13.



I pick up my XBox Monday.

Ryan Schaefer
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Well, I think I speak for quite a few people when I say Square-Enix just saved me $400 last week. With FFXIII coming to 360, I simply can't justify spending the money on the system when there are only a handful of games that I would want to play on it.



I think of all the developers on PS3, Insomniac has been doing the best by far. They have put out some of the system's best games and Resistance 2 looks like that trend will continue. Take away Insomniac and the system is really left with just two big names: Uncharted and MGS 4. The problem is that while Sony was so busy worrying about movies, Microsoft was focusing on games. As such, the X360 has a much better selection of quality games on it now and in the foreseeable future.


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