There are many assumptions and rumors concerning the Final Fantasy XIII release date, and that's simply because it doesn't have an official date for either Japan or North America.
But Square-Enix has remained firm in their stance that the most anticipated RPG of the generation will be available on Japanese shelves by the end of 2009. And recently, according to Final Fantasy-XIII.net (citing ITMedia), Square-Enix president Yoichi Wada has once again confirmed that stance. He said the development of the game is "going well," and the team is ready to make a big splash at this year's Tokyo Game Show, which kicks off towards the end of September. Wada also provided us with the exciting news that they will give FFXIII an actual Japanese date in "several weeks." Of course, we won't see it here until 2010, but Wada reassured everyone by saying it most certainly will launch at "the end of the year" in Japan. We've also heard in the past that Square-Enix is working to speed up the typically lengthy localization process, which could mean that FFXIII might launch here as early as late spring or early summer. Of course, that's nothing more than speculation mixed with a wee bit of hope, but whatever.
By the way, "in several weeks" could correspond to the upcoming GamesCom event, so everyone stay tuned. We have the feeling that a late-November/early-December Japanese release date is accurate…
Related Game(s): Final Fantasy XIII