Final Fantasy Saga

I was going to post some more Political Machine but E3 is this week.  E3 is arguably the biggest trade show concerning video games.  As such, developers use the expo to show off new games they’ve been working on or new hardware for the consoles.  Yesterday, Microsoft dominated the headlines.  New games were shown (Fallout 3, Gears of War 2, among others) but the biggest headline was that Final Fantasy XIII would no longer be Sony-exclusive.  The newest installment will be released on the 360 the same day as the PS3 version.

While great news for Microsoft fans, it’s horrible news for Sony fans…and gaming fans.  The loss of Final Fantasy-exclusivity has robbed Sony of its few remaining draws.  The only reasons to buy a PS3 now are for blu-ray and Metal Gear Solid 4Final Fantasy now joins Grand Theft Auto as a former Sony exclusive.  Game-wise, the 360 is on equal footing with the PlayStation 3.

Of course, this isn’t the first time Square-Enix has shifted loyalties.  Final Fantasy was originally a Nintendo franchise.  Indeed, two of the best games in the series, Final Fantasy IV (II in America) and VI (III in America) were released on the SNES.  Both are some of the best RPGs ever made.  While great games, Final Fantasy didn’t get truly popular until the release of Final Fantasy VII.  Because of Nintendo’s stubborn adherence to the cartridge format, Square left the Nintendo fold and joined the upstart Sony.  Final Fantasy VII was released on the original PlayStation and was one of the reasons why the PlayStation trumped the N64 and Sega Saturn.

Final Fantasy remained exclusive to Sony, with every installment in the series until XI being released on a Sony console.  Final Fantasy XI, because it was an MMO, was released on the PC, as well as the PS2.  Ironically, an Xbox 360 version was later made.  Square-Enix even patched up its relationship with Nintendo, releasing the spin-off series Crystal Chronicles and the sequel to Final Fantasy XII on Nintendo consoles.  The sequels to the acclaimed Final Fantasy Tactics were also released on Nintendo’s handheld gaming devices.

Despite that, the core lineage of the series has been released solely on Sony consoles.  With a 360 version in development, one of Sony’s ace draws has been eliminated.  Microsoft is on equal ground with Sony, the only differences between them being hardware and Metal Gear Solid 4 (and other titles, I’m sure, but MGS is the most renowned).  If this trend continues, the only thing separating Microsoft’s next-gen console from Sony’s will be the release date.

Screw my sister, I have money!


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