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.