Final Fantasy XIII-2 Announced For PS3, Xbox 360 This Year

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Just like that, a short-lived rumor's put to rest. Final Fantasy XIII-2 is on, and it's coming this year. One little wrinkle: You'll have to understand Japanese to play it.

Or will you? Yesterday's news pegged the game to a Japan-only release. Today's? Square Enix says the roleplaying game's headed to North American audiences "next winter" on both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

That winter sometimes arrives for those of us north of Mason-Dixon in October notwithstanding, the season officially kicks off on December 22 and doesn't wrap until May/June March 20, 2012.

The chances Square Enix would release the game three days before Christmas? Yep, zero. The chances we won't see the game until March 2012, a year after Final Fantasy XIII's release? All but guaranteed.

Square Enix says production on FFXIII-2 is "underway," and that it "builds upon the best aspects of Final Fantasy XIII."

"In particular, a brand new story and evolved battle system promise to stand out markedly against the standard for high-quality content established by the previous title."

The company also revealed that the franchise has sold over 97 million units worldwide through September 2010.

Meanwhile, we're still waiting on Final Fantasy Versus XIII, more an action companion to the original roleplaying game than a sequel. Final Fantasy XIII-2 will by contrast be a direct sequel, and only the second in the franchise's history after Final Fantasy X-2 to have the deuce appended to the title.

Update: You want the trailer? We've got the (leaked?) trailer. Only it's in Japanese, and spoils FFXIII's ending.

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