You're killing me, Wada. You really are.
It's one of those rumors that, as a long time RPG fan and dedicated Final Fantasy lover, is almost too painful to believe. While all the indications have pointed towards an earlier-than-expected launch of Final Fantasy XIII in North America, you don't really start to believe it until you hear a status report from someone like Square-Enix president Yoichi Wada. According to GamesIndustry.biz , Wada has confirmed that everything has been "going very steadily" in regards to the US and European versions of the game:
"We’ve completed the master of the Japanese version, and for the US and European versions we’re just adding the final touches. The last stage of development has gone very smoothly this time. It took us a tremendous amount of time to develop the software for this generation, so that’s a lesson for the creators."
The "final touches?" Does that mean what I think it means? Supposedly, we're all in for a very big announcement on November 13 (that's this Friday) and the big rumor is that FFXIII might even have a global simultaneous release on December 17. That's the date for Japan and while I don't want to believe that, I'm willing to believe it could drop as early as February or March of next year…
Related Game(s): Final Fantasy XIII