We heard earlier that this was a limited engagement, but they weren't kidding. They only let about 70 people into this small room at the Los Angeles Convention Center this afternoon. The Final Fantasy "Crystal Theme" has been looping in the background for about 15 minutes now while Japanese guests find their seats.
12:47 - I'm in the back. Figures. I see Kotaku's Bascraft in row four, and Japanator's own Zerochan directly behind me. I think a journalist behind me has stumbled onto a porn ad on the internet. His computer is talking and everyone is looking at him.
12:51 - Oooh, they're turning up the music. It seems that this event revolves around Final Fantasy XIII. As you've heard, the title is coming to the Xbox 360. This is a Q&A session more than anything. Here we go.
12:52 - Venture Beat asked about their hardware choice. Square Enix's Shinji Hashimoto says that the popularity of the Xbox 360 led to the decision.
12:57 - Gamasutra asks about the game's status as far as development goes. Kitase says that they're using Crystal Tools to develop using PCs. They've picked up the pace. We should expect to see new footage in the "near future."
1:00 - Heidi Kemps asks when these will ship. Will PS3 and 360 ship at the same time? They say that they are just ready to star Xbox 360 development now. It will release in Japan first. Then, PS3 development/translation will begin, and Xbox 360 version should start about the same time. As for the US, the PS3 and 360 will release at the same time. Europe will also get a matched date, though it may not be the same time as the US date.
Kitase adds that they will try to get the Europe and US release dates as close as possible.
1:04- Shane from 1UP asks about Japan and the Xbox 360 version. He says that he hears that it is not coming to Japan. Hashimoto confirms that is is not coming out in Japan for the Xbox 360. As for Infinite Undiscovery, it is a 360 exclusive. Last Remnant will also be at first, but will probably be a PS3 title later.
1:07- Rob. Workman from GameDaily is asking about exclusive content for the different versions of FF 13. They have no intention to make different versions for the different platforms.
1:09 - A Japanese press member asks about the reasoning for the lack of an Xbox 360 Japanese release. Hashimoto says that he likes the spread of the Xbox 360 in Europe and the US, and they have not changed their mind on a Japanese version.
1:10 - Another asks about other Asian markets. As you can guess, nothing has been finalized.
1:11 - Play Magazine asks about the lack of motion sensing in the Xbox 360 controller. Is it safe to assume that neither version will use motion sensing? "For now, we have no plans for that," says Kitase.
1:12 - RPGamer asks about Final Fantasy XIII on Windows PCs. The hosts are stumped, and the audience laughs. "For now, it's undecided."
1:14 - Play Magazine asks about the dev tools for FF13, and wether they plan to continue to use it. They say that they will use that for Versus and the next MMORPG. This leads him to ask about the use of Unreal Engine 3 for Last Remnant. Hashimoto says that Last Remnant has been in development for a long time, even before Final Fantasy XIII. UE3 seemed more appropriate for the title.
1:17 - Another journo asks about any western game references the can cite. He asks specifically about Mass Effect. SQ EX says that they are "aware of Mass Effect, but not influenced by it."
1:19 - Jesus Christ. If the guy next to me sighs one ore time....
Someone asks when the decision to create this Xbox 360 version of FF13 was made. He also asks if it had anything to do with the multiplatform-friendly Crystal Tools. Hashimoto says that it was a natural evolution from the multiplatform Final Fantasy XI release. As for the timing, it wasn't very long ago that they made a decision. They just recently started working with Microsoft on details and development tools.
1:23 - Another Japanese journalist asks about Crystal Tools and how it relates to the workload for localization. Kitase answers that it's hard to explain in detail. He says that they make the game to be PC-ready, and then translate to the hardware to the Xbox 360. So, it's PS3 first, and then the Xbox 360 process.
1:25 - Another asks about projected sales, PS3 vs Xbox 360. Hashimoto wants to actually ask the US press about that. They will start marketing soon, but for now, they have no guess.
1:27 - For the record, dude as sighed 3 more times....
Will Final Fantasy XIII have MMO elements? Is this a new trend from Sqare Enix? Hashimoto folds his arms and ponders. There is much deliberation going on between the two guests. Kitase says that there is no intention to make one game like the other. They intend to make a new, unique game every time.
1:30 - Someone asks about a Wii version. The room laughs. Sigh guy even laughs. He asks this because they mention that Crystal Tools can scale to even the Wii. Kitase says that he has no idea what Mr. Iwata will say tomorrow, so there's no knowing now.
1:31 - Someone asks about possible Xbox Live features. Square Enix says that this has "yet to be decided."
1:34 - Sigh Guy asks a question! He's from Eurogamer. I like Eurogamer! Just not sighing. He asks about the difference between FFXI and FFXIII. Kitase says that the entire atmosphere and direction is totally different for Final Fantasy XIII, and that extends to visuals and everything else.
1:37 - "What is your favorite Final Fantasy game? And why?" It had to come sometime! Hashimoto says Final Fantasy VII, as he was really involved with the title. He cites visuals as a major reason. Kitase cops out and copies Hashimoto.
1:39 - Someone asks if FFXIII was influenced from the fighting sequences in Advent Children? Kitase says that there is no direct influence, but says there was some stimulation. He cites the speed in particular.
1:42 - Finally, FFXIII uses Active Time Battle, but no specifics can be given.
1:44 - I kid you not, Sigh Guy sighs once more as they conclude the session.
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