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Are Square Enix releasing 'fake' 360 shots of FF13-2?

June 18, 2011

Those of you with longer memories might remember a little controversy around the time Final Fantasy XIII was in its pre-release hype mode regarding Square Enix releasing screenshots marked as the Xbox 360 version that later turned out to be the PS3 version which had merely had Xbox 360 buttons photoshopped into them.

The story attracted a lot of attention, and Square Enix US PR responded quickly, withdrawing the screenshots and saying that their release had been a mistake.

The same mistake might have just occured again - as we've found one of the E3 2011 screenshots of Final Fantasy XIII-2 printed in the latest issue of Famitsu - with a key difference - and it's all to do with the console once again.

This screenshot, released at E3 2011, pictures new boy Noel battling a Pulsework Soldier on the 360 version of the game. The latest issue of Famitsu features the same screenshot in its latest issue (top right) - except it's on the PS3 version of the game.

Then eagle-eyed FF super-fan and UFF contributor miladesn dropped us a line to tell us that the shot had also been released in English and high quality. Try spotting the difference between this 360 shot and this PS3 shot. Here's the PS3 shot on the official FF13 website, to prove we're not nutters.

In the Japanese PS3 version of the shot all the relevant text is also switched to Japanese - a common practice - though it's strange that like the recalled Final Fantasy XIII screenshots the console also switched. Fans know all too well that the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of Final Fantasy XIII were far from identical, and the gap seems to be similar in the sequel based on E3 impressions.

We've been playing spot the difference on the two screenshots, and other than the Japanese translation and terms (Medic to Healer etc) we spot one - the health bar of the enemy. In the 360, Western shot it's full, while in the PS3 shot the enemy is almost dead. It's impossible for the enemy to have full health, though, as damage has already been dealt - as evidenced by the fact the Stagger bar is almost full and the damage counters on-screen. That would seem to suggest the health bar in the English 360 version of the shot has been edited also. The two English versions of the shot, meanwhile, are identical.

So, what we're wondering is - have Square Enix been merely swapping out buttons and releasing the same screenshots for both machines once more as they did with FF13 - or have they got a new method of screencapping the same frames on both machines?

They actively withdrew the photoshopped screens back in 2010, releasing a statement saying "Unfortunately we did mistakenly include screenshots taken for pre-production (non-promotional use only) in our latest release of assets" after the fact.

We'll let you guys be the judge. We've whacked a picture-in-picture version of the screenshot below - sadly the Japanese version isn't available in larger sizes - but here's the direct links to the 360 shot and the PS3 shot once again.

We'll ping Square Enix for comment. You can keep up with the latest FF news from us via our RSS Feed and Twitter - and remember you can find all the screenshots, artwork and trailers released of FF13-2 so far over in the Media Vault!