We figured this might happen. At the end of most demos you play, it gives you either an exact launch date for the final product or, at the very least, a release window. Japanese gamers got the latter after finishing the hour-long Final Fantasy XIII demo that came with the recent Blu-Ray edition of "Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children."
You can view the visual evidence at GameZine; it's clear that Square-Enix plans to release FFXIII in Japan some time this winter. Now, this probably won't come as a huge shock to anyone, especially those who have been following the saga of the mystery date for this game, but it's still good to know. Technically, it's the first official announcement concerning a launch estimate for the hotly anticipated RPG. Granted, the fact that this demo is built using an old engine for the game's mechanics is irritating, but it's still a FFXIII demo. And when it's complete, everyone would want to know when they can get their hands on the full and complete game. Of course, "winter" could mean the title won't be ready until early 2010, which is bad news for North American and European gamers, who were hoping to see it arrive around summertime. Perhaps if winter turns into "late winter" for Japan, we can only hope for a "winter 2010" release here…? Let's just hope Square-Enix does manage to make the game available in Japan before 2009 is out; it would ease our minds a bit. Don't make us wait until 2011, damnit…
We'll keep you updated on the progress of FFXIII. Despite any misgivings people may have concerning that demo, we remain firm in our belief that the full game will be an absolute treat for any fan of the genre.
Related Game(s): Final Fantasy XIII