confirmed the forthcoming release of FFXIII on Xbox 360 in Japan, dubbed "Final Fantasy XIII Ultimate Hits International." The game will be released in December and features English voice acting with Japanese subtitles (other subtitle options are also available). Despite early reports of the release, no additional content will arrive with FFXIII -- it differs from the PlayStation 3 version in Japan in that it will feature content originally only in the US release. It will also add an easy mode and "Final Fantasy XIII - Episode 1" (a short story book).
Square Enix producer Yoshinori Kitase told Famitsu (via Gamasutra) that the new version was spurred by the launch of the remodeled 360 earlier this year, which aimed to bolster the console's install base in Japan. "We feel that there are ... a lot of people in Japan who own nothing but 360s. Thanks to the new system and such, the situation's a lot different than it was in July 2008," he explained. FFXIII will be the first Xbox 360 title released under Square's "Ultimate Hits" budget line, dropping at ¥4,980 ($59.50) on December 16.