Final Fantasy XIII Japan Release Date Confirmed

Finally, Final Fantasy XIII gets a release date, which should be grand news to any of you wondering like me whether Square Enix was planning to actually release something or just loop shots of stunningly beautiful vagabonds doing power yoga poses 20 feet in the air.

Oh right, the date. December 17th in Japan, exclusively for PlayStation 3 owners. Sorry everyone else, you'll have to wait until sometime in 2010 (they say spring, but don't count on it) for localized versions. Oh, and Japanese Xbox 360 owners? I'm afraid you're permanently out of luck, but if you've been paying attention the last year or so, that's not really new news.

What'll it cost? Brace yourselves: 100 US dollars (9,240 Japanese yen). That's right, 100 bucks, and if you're lucky, I hear it might come with the manual and case. What'll it cost to import? Lord knows, but figure import premiums in the three-figure range, along with whatever it takes to buy the Dollhouse or Matrix tech and imprint four or five years of kanji and hiragana and katakana and romaji studies along with working through the crazy-daisy Japanese pitch-accent system.

Final Fantasy is the most-anticipated operatic role-playing game (ORPG?) everyone's probably sick of hearing's "most-anticipated." According to Square Enix, the series has sold over 85 million units worldwide, making it the sixth most popular franchise of all time (well, according to Wikipedia).

Will I import it? Maybe. US PS3's can play most Japanese games (or so I'm told). It'll depend on my tolerance for reading the inevitable English translation by hand as I'm working things over.

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