Microsoft is cheering a significant psychological victory with the news that Square Enix's Final Fantasy XIII will be released simultaneously on both Xbox 360 and PS3.
It's the first time a full, numbered instalment in the FF series has debuted on more than one machine, and (with the exception of MMO FFXI) the first time since FFVII that a new instalment hasn't been a PlayStation exclusive upon release.
Closing the Microsoft press briefing at E3 this morning, Square boss Yoichi Wada told a fevered crowd:
At long last, the day we have all been waiting for has arrived. It gives me great pleasure to unveil this today – especially an Xbox 360 version of the latest in a series that has shipped 85 million. It is planned for release.
We believe that releasing a 360 version will allow us to provide a game to even more fans in North America and Europe. And we're working hard on its development. Last of all, I‘d like to thank [Microsoft boss] Don Mattrick for giving me the opportunity.”
A mysterious – and hugely impressive – video trailer showed the title in its full glory, with a female and male protagonist who have been ‘marked by the fateful ‘cie' – making them destined for greatness.
There were many futuristic elements to the game's tableau, including a sprawling metropolis-like floating city called Pulse.
No release date was set and a full format list was not confirmed.