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Back of the FFXIII Lightning PS3 Experienced at Experience PlayStation

No new FFXIII build, but check out those vents!


Sony's Experience! PlayStation events aren't really known for providing exclusive early play chances. That's a reputation that won't be changing with the latest installment.

Held today (Monday, 11/23) in a basement mall area of Ikebukuro's Sunshine City (until Tokyo Midtown went up, this was the tallest building in Tokyo), this latest installment in the periodic demo event had probably the biggest draws yet since the event kicked off last year. Final Fantasy XIII and Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, likely the PlayStation brands' two biggest titles for the next few months, were both playable.

In FFXIII's case, the event build was the same as that of the Tokyo Game Show, allowing players to select between Snow and Lightning volumes. Still, waits to play on the two demo kiosks reached an hour.

The wait for Kingdom Hearts was much longer -- over two hours at some points. I didn't want to wait that long for a 10 minute play session, so I'm unable to say for sure if the build was old or new.

Other playable titles included Phantasy Star Portable 2, Winning Eleven 2010, Dragon Ball Raging Blast, Ratchet & Clank Future 2, Gran Turismo, Gundam VS Gundam Next Plus, Naruto: Narutimate Accel 3, and Dynasty Warriors 6 Empires. Those who played any two of the titles were given a PlayStation face towel.

Aside from the game kiosks, Sony had an open theater area showing off trailers for Gran Turismo 5, FFXIII, and other upcoming titles on a giant monitor. This theater was transformed into a lecture stage for a periodic show where comedy duo Dainao, consisting of Daisuke Nomura and Naoya Kawaguchi, introduced mall goers to the the merits of the PlayStation 3.

There was one major debut at the event. Sony was showing a sample of the white and pink "Lightning" PS3 that will be released in a limited edition bundle with Final Fantasy XIII on December 17. While the system had been previously shown at TGS, the glass case allowed for a view of the full system, front and back. Unfortunately, the bundle's packaging, which made its debut in a recent Weekly Shounen Jump issue, was not on display.

With this event out of the way, it looks like the next chance for a Final Fantasy XIII play test will be when the game hits on the 17th. As for Kingdom Hearts, Square Enix will presumably have a final build on offer at Jump Festa a couple of days later.

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