LOS ANGELES — There was no preliminary. Just a trailer. A beautiful, enticing trailer.

As Microsoft senior Vice President Don Mattrick tried to end their E3 press conference, the president of Square Enix, Yoichi Wada, stopped him for one, final announcement. They only introduced it by its trailer. It was introduction enough.

In the startling final announcement at Microsoft’s E3 press conference today, Microsoft and Square Enix unveiled a much suspected fact: Final Fantasy XIII will be released on the Xbox 360 simultaneously with its release on the Playstation 3.

More than 85,000 copies of the game have already been shipped, said Wada, and the 2009 release date will be the same in North America as in Europe.

The trailer for Final Fantasy XIII for the PS3 has been available for more than a year now, but the new extended Xbox 360 trailer added some hints of plot to the mix. In addition to the female lead, there looks to be an array of colorful characters as in the game’s previous installments.

The graphics were visually breathtaking; arguably some of the best of available games. Microsoft asked that no videos or pictures be taken during the trailer, else there would have been some accompaniment for this article, but it is no lie to say that reporters were stunned.

This is bad news for Sony, for whom Final Fantasy XIII was a major draw to the PS3. The lack of exclusivity of the game, as well as other 360 crossovers like Grand Theft Auto and Guitar Hero, takes away the need for consumers to go out and buy the PS3, which many have not been doing.

The PS3 may have better graphics, yes, and a potentially larger capability of growth, but with its price and no big games sold solely for it, why spend the $400? Mattrick made the promise that the 360 is going to continue besting the PS3 for sales in 2009 and this is just strengthens that promise. If Sony does not have something huge to unveil in their press conference tomorrow, they may be completely screwed.

About The Author

Terri Schwartz was a Blast Contributing Editor from 2008-2009.

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