Final Fantasy XIII Fact Check: What We Know So Far

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Final Fantasy XIII

Aren't the Xbox 360 video sequences compressed since they're on DVD instead of Blu-ray?

Final Fantasy XIII's game engine renders all its in-game stuff and many of the cut scenes on the fly, but streams the lengthier cut scenes off disc as pre-rendered video. Early reports from a few magazines with final 360 code suggest the Xbox 360's pre-rendered cut scenes aren't as crisp or vibrant (or whatever--pick an adjective) as the PS3 version's, suggesting it's due to video compression due to DVD's storage constraints.

That said, they're quick to point out that even compressed, the video looks terrific, which makes me wonder why we're talking about it at all.

What about disc-swapping? Isn't the Xbox 360 inferior because I have to swap discs?

Some context: It takes 35 seconds for an Xbox 360 to boot up, from power-on to Xbox LIVE sign-in. Read that again: 35 seconds. We take that for granted each time we tap the power button and reach for the controller. Say you power your 360 on and off a couple times a day: That's one or two minutes on a daily basis spent waiting to play.

By contrast, it takes me 15 seconds to open the 360's disc tray, pop out a DVD, and insert a new one. Read that again: 15 seconds.

The Xbox 360 version of Final Fantasy XIII comes on three DVDs, which means that over the course of between 50 and 100 total game hours--assuming you're playing to finish--you'll have to make two swaps. That's 30 seconds out of somewhere between 180,000 and 360,000 total.

If that's too much to ask, or even a reason for preferring one version over another, you should probably quit gaming and check yourself into a mental ward, because you're either pathologically lazy or clinically nuts.

You're not really helping here. I just want to know which version to buy.

It's simple really. If you're an Xbox 360 owner, buy the Xbox 360 version. If you're a PS3 owner, buy the PS3 version. If you don't own either, have a look at the all the service-related reasons for owning one or the other. Don't base financial decisions that could lock you into a platform for years on message board conjecture.

Which version are you buying?

I'm fortunate enough to have both versions to hand, so I don't have to choose. But if I did, it'd be a coin toss.

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