I doubt Japan ever expected to play Final Fantasy XIII on Xbox 360, but last week a cut-price, content-boosted version of the game on Microsoft’s machine was released.
So, how did it do?
Final Fantasy XIII showed up 39th in the regional software chart. Sales figures aren’t noted for games past position 20, but if the game occupying 20th sold 22,579 units then FFXIII, which is 19 places lower, can be estimated to have a much lower tally.
When Final Fantasy XIII appeared on PS3 in Japan, in December 2009, launch-week sales were 1.5 million.
The only explanation for poor Xbox 360 sales we have is that Japan reads Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry blog, which pointed out, emphatically, that the Xbox 360 version of FFXIII was the vastly inferior of the two.
It certainly can’t be because no one cares about Final Fantasy XIII. Can it?
In reality, it’s probably a combination of factors. The Xbox 360 doesn’t quite have an installed base of 1.5 million in Japan, while the PS3 marches close to six million. And not only is the 360 port of FFXIII a poor one, it’s also a year late in Japan, where Final Fantasy fans had been lead to believe buying a PS3 was the only way they’d play the 13th instalment.
Final Fantasy XIII was released in March this year. Was it the show-stopping next-generation Final Fantasy debut Square Enix had promised? Wrote Oli Welsh for Eurogamer: “What’s left, though, is faultlessly accomplished, gorgeous to behold and, in the long run, thoroughly enjoyable. For better or worse, it’s another new beginning, and that’s one Final Fantasy tradition that should never be changed.”