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Final Fantasy XIII Released in Japan as Square Enix & Sony Hope for Big Sales

December 16, 2009

It's D-Day for Square Enix and Sony in Japan as the PS3 exclusive version of Final Fantasy XIII arrives on store shelves in its motherland. If you want to get a copy before the Western release, you can import it while stocks last.

Both Square Enix and Sony have been banking on Final Fantasy XIII to give both their fortunes a boost in Japan. Sony's PS3 has proved popular there, but overall console gaming in Japan lags behind the handheld behemoth that is the DS and to a lesser extent PSP - and Sony and Square Enix will be hoping today's launch can prove big-budget console games still have it.

For Sony this is also a landmark day as after seeing RPG franchises such as Star Ocean and Tales as well as new properties including Blue Dragon, The Last Remnant and Lost Odyssey release either exclusively or first on the Xbox 360, they at last have an earth-shatteringly large RPG to call their own - in Japan at least.

Even Microsoft will likely be watching closely, gauging the success of Final Fantasy XIII to see what just how important the game will be in their 2010 line-up.

Final Fantasy XIII hasn't had what one would call an easy birth - announced at E3 2006, the game had actually been in production since the completion of Final Fantasy X-2, and an entire PS2 version of the game was actually scrapped when the title moved to PS3.

Square Enix spent much time developing Crystal Tools, the FF13 engine, and the game was delayed time and time again - and eventually announced for Xbox 360.

Square Enix will undoubtedly be pleased to finally have this game in the hands of the public after such a long development time - and hopefully the game should be incredibly polished as a result.

1 million copies of the game have been shipped to Japan for launch, with a further 300,000 arriving in the following week. This is 700,000 less then Final Fantasy XII, but with the PS3 having a smaller install base than the PS2, this is to be expected.

Perhaps Square should've printed more, though, as indications are already beginning to point to a shortage over in Japan with Amazon Japan no longer taking preorders.

Final Fantasy XIII will be out in the West in March 2010, but if you can't wait for that Play Asia still have some import copies of the game left, despite reporting that import preorders were the best this generation.

We're going to have full translation guides of menus and story elements to help those who aren't fluent in Japanese through the game - we'll be here to help, so be sure to sign up to our RSS Feed and Twitter for our updates!

Now Final Fantasy XIII is out in Japan, do you feel it will affect the fortunes of Sony's PS3 or console games in general in Japan? How well do you think it'll sell? Let us know in our comments box.