Good news, Final Fantasy fans: Final Fantasy XIII finally has a non-fantastic release date here in the West, hitting North America and Europe on March 9th, 2010.
Yesterday, we learned that Final Fantasy XIII would be getting a new trailer today alongside a major announcement. Well, as you can see above, there's the trailer featuring new gameplay footage and interviews with development team members Yoshinori Kitase, Motomu Toriyama, Isamu Kamikokuryo, and Yuji Abe - as well as a "special message" from Squeenix President and CEO John Yamamoto - and here's the announcement: FF13 will be released in North America and Europe simultaneously on March 9th, 2010.
This goes against what we heard back in May, when Producer Yoshinori Katase said that the European release of the game might be as long as a year after the Japanese launch this December. Still, I find it hard to believe that any of our European readers would actually be upset at finding out Katase-san was incorrect at this case, especially since it marks the first simultaneous NA/EU release of a major Final Fantasy title as far as I know.
The press release is in its entirety below:
LOS ANGELES (November 13, 2009) - Square Enix, Inc., the publisher of Square Enix® interactive entertainment products in North America announced today the highly anticipated street date for FINAL FANTASY® XIII. This latest project in the multi-platinum FINAL FANTASY series promises to be intensely compelling and will be available for both the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft on March 9, 2010.
FINAL FANTASY XIII marks the dawning of a new era for the celebrated franchise, bringing the series to multiple hi-definition consoles simultaneously for the first time in its history. Expanding upon the rich tradition of the series, Producer Kitase Yoshinori (FINAL FANTASY VII, X, X-2), Director Motomu Toriyama (FINAL FANTASY VII, X, X-2), character designer Tetsuya Nomura (FINAL FANTASY V, VI, VII, VIII, X) and art director Isamu Kamikokuryo (FINAL FANASY X, XII) combine their creative vision to deliver the latest masterpiece in the FINAL FANTASY universe. Additionally, Masashi Hamauzu (FINAL FANTASY X, DIRGE of CERBERUS -FINAL FANTASY VII-) presents a sweeping soundtrack while movie director Takeshi Nozue (FINAL FANTASY VII ADVENT CHILDREN) and his team of artists adorn the game with seamless cinematic sequences of unparalleled caliber.
"We know that our fans have been eagerly awaiting the next installation of the franchise - FINAL FANTASY XIII will exceed all expectations," said John Yamamoto, president and chief executive officer of Square Enix, Inc. "Coming simultaneously to PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 for the first time, FINAL FANTASY XIII will be available to all players who are looking for the most immersive gaming experience of 2010."
Multi-platinum, Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter Leona Lewis has come on board with Square Enix to provide the theme song for FINAL FANTASY XIII. The song is entitled "My Hands," and is featured on her highly-anticipated second album ECHO (J Records/Syco Music) set for release on November 17th. Leona Lewis took the music world by storm with her 2008 6x platinum debut album Spirit which features her chart topping, biggest selling single of 2008 "Bleeding Love," and mega-hit "Better In Time."
"When Square Enix approached Leona about including her song, "My Hands," in FINAL FANTASY XIII, she was honored to be partnered with such an iconic and groundbreaking video game series," said Tom Corson, EVP/GM, RCA Music Group. "Leona is a natural fit with the game's powerful themes and strong female protagonist. We're delighted to be part of this effort, bringing great musical artistry to FINAL FANTASY XIII which is a riveting and dynamic gaming experience."
Introducing new worlds, memorable characters and extraordinary stories with each new installment, the FINAL FANTASY series has continued to reinvent itself over the last two decades and has shipped over 85 million copies worldwide. The series is defined by a constant evolution, offering nothing less than the finest creative vision, graphical quality and gameplay system of its generation with every installment, and FINAL FANTASY XIII will be no exception to its legacy.