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Xbox 360 Invades the Final Fantasy XIII Official Site

Square Enix provides a glimpse at the bonus content in the long awaited 360 version of FFXIII.

 

If you haven't been to the Final Fantasy XIII official site in a while, I'd suggest giving it a quick look today.

You'll find the same layout as when FFXIII first hit PlayStation 3 last December, complete with scrolling CG images and random music in the background.

But there's something a bit different about the site now:

That's right! It's been invaded by Xbox 360 green!

Coinciding with today's formal announcement of a Japanese release for the Xbox 360 version of Final Fantasy XIII, Square Enix updated the official site with all the details.

FFXIII is being renamed "Final Fantasy XIII Ultimate Hits International" for its Japanese Xbox 360 debut. The game will arrive on December 16, priced at ¥4,980.

The PS3 version, for comparison, arrived on December 17 of last year, priced ¥9,240.

The "Ultimate Hits" in the name explains the low price. Ultimate Hits is Square Enix's budget line. This marks the first time an Xbox 360 game has appeared in the lineup (games like Infinite Undiscovery were re-released under Microsoft's Platinum Collection line). Square Enix hasn't shown the game's packaging yet, so it's unclear if we can expect the typical silver design.

The "International" part of the name is explained by what exactly 360 owners will be getting on the disc. The 360 version will ship on three DVDs, the same as its overseas counterpart. The game will be playable exclusively with English voices. Subtitles will be freely selectable between Japanese, English and European languages. The theme song will be the overseas "My Hands" song from Leona Lewis.

Square Enix has announced just one content change for 360 owners. The game will include an "Easy Mode" which adjusts the balance of battle, making things easier for players who want to get through the whole story.

The other new features for the 360 version come in the form of a first print run bonus item, a booklet called "Final Fantasy XIII Corridor of Memory." This includes the following:

Visual Art Collection
A collection of all the high quality key visuals that were used domestically and abroad.
Final Fantasy XIII Unused Event Scenes
A look at event scenes that were cut from the final game. Square Enix has also included the script for these sequences.
Final Fantasy XIII Episode i
A newly created after story to the Final Fantasy XIII story, presented as a novel. The novel tells what happened to Lightning and all after the game.

(NOTE: In our live blog from Microsoft's press conference, we mistakenly reported the Episode i after story as being part of the game. It's just included in the bonus booklet.)

In an interview in this week's Famitsu, director Motomu Toriyama and Yoshinori Kitase explained why they decided to bring the game to the Japanese Xbox 360 and also commented on some of the bonus content.

Kitasei explained that they wanted to bring the 360 to Japan because they felt that there might be some gamers in Japan who only have 360. Additionally, due to the release of the slimline 360 earlier this year, the system's situation has changed from July 2008, when the 360 version's overseas version was originally announced.

Toriyama commented on the deleted scenes that are being included in the bonus booklet. These were removed from the final game because they did not fit in with the tempo, he explained. One event had Serah and Snow go shopping for a birthday present for Lightning. This was cut because a scene where Snow uses the toilet did not fit in with the serious scenario.

As for the Episode i after story, Toriyama said that this has volume equivalent to the length of a chapter in a novel.

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