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Final Fantasy XIII exclusivity in discussion, says Sony France


SCEE France president Georges Fornay didn't choose his words carefully. Just days after Devil May Cry and Ace Combat, two long-time Sony exclusives, were announced for Xbox 360, on the eve of PlayStation 3's "official" European launch, Fornay told French newspaper Les Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace, "Enfin, pour Final Fantasy XIII, je peux vous dire que l'exclusivité est en discussion." That's something like: As far as Final Fantasy XIII goes, I can tell you that the exclusivity is in discussion. Well Georges, it looks like you'll be sleeping on the couch tonight.

But the repercussions of Fornay's vague remark go beyond losing pillow-talk privileges with Mr. Kutaragi. His words have ignited a polarized frenzy of paranoia and glee -- despite the obvious ambiguity of "l'exclusivité est en discussion." What does Fornay mean?

That's open to interpretation, and interpret we have. But let's not confuse a poor choice of words as confirmation of a megaton revelation. While Square Enix is a multi-platform developer, history tells us that Final Fantasy XIII will be published on one system, in this case, PS3 (and then perhaps ported to a handheld a decade from now). Final Fantasy XI has been the exception -- but it's also the exception in the series. [Note: FFVII & VIII were released for Windows roughly 10 & 4 months after their PS1 debuts.]

But there are other murmurs that support the popular interpretation of Fornay's comment -- that Sony has lost control of FFXIII's exclusivity. (Did Sony ever have it?). Last week, in an interview with GameSpot, Final Fantasy creator and Mistwalker founder Hironobu Sakaguchi gossiped that FFXIII's proprietary White Engine has been made "open platform," suggesting that Square Enix might be planning a FFXIII port for Xbox 360; or even a simultaneous release. Or, Square Enix might simply want to use the White Engine to create an Xbox 360 exclusive. We just don't know -- and neither does Fornay. Difference is: when he said it, we all were listening.

Source: Les Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace [subscription required]

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