Final Fantasy XIII Demo Coming in March in Japan

Japanese game publisher Square Enix updated fans on several of its new titles at an event in Tokyo over the weekend. The roughly 1,500 fans who got to attend the closed-door "DKΣ3713" got a chance to see the latest trailers for a host of hot-games including three in the "Final Fantasy XIII" series and news of a playable demo for the game.

Among the biggest news from the event is that a playable demo of "Final Fantasy XIII" will be included in the Blu-ray Disc package for the "Final Fantasy VII Advent Children Complete" animation title. Square Enix will put the high-def version of the movie on sale in March next year packaged with the demo. The box will also include trailers for "Final Fantasy Versus XIII" and "Final Fantasy Agito XIII," making it a must-have for Final Fantasy fans.

This is likely the biggest piece of news for gamers outside of Japan as the country shares a Blu-ray Disc video region code with the U.S. and games are typically not region-locked. So, Ebay entrepreneurs start your engines -- this will be a hot item on the import market.

As for the game itself, "Final Fantasy XIII" is coming in 2009 in Japan, Square Enix said. As the event is Japan-focused it refrained from making any comment on other markets.

Square Enix made headlines at the recent E3 show in Los Angeles with news that "Final Fantasy XIII" will also be coming to the Xbox 360 platform. While any details concerning the Xbox 360 version of the game were not announced -- the console is in a trailing third place in Japan -- the company did seek to reassure fans that the game will be developed first-and-foremost for the PlayStation 3 platform so it will benefit from the console's full high-def gaming.

Only after the PlayStation 3 version is completed will the team work on the Xbox 360 version.

In addition to a spectacular trailer for the game a home movie-style video filmed by developed Tetsuya Nomura was also shown. In the video he talked and joked with four members of the FFXIII development team about their work on the game. Among the snippets to come out of the video was news that Square Enix will reveal some of the voice actors at October's Tokyo Game Show and that character development is due to be completed at around the same time. That would appear to rule out a playable demo of the game at TGS.

A part of the world in which the game takes place was also shown and it's huge. There was some discussion among the developers about just how much of the world to include on the playable demo and Nomura expressed a worry that gamers might easily get lost inside the world due to its size.

In other news, "Final Fantasy Agito XIII" will be appearing on the PlayStation Portable in addition to the PlayStation 3 and the trailer of "Final Fantasy Versus XIII" ended with the line "PlayStation 3 only worldwide."

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