Final Fantasy XIII came out December 17, 2009 – in Japan, for the Playstation 3. During the years building up to its release, the word was that this title would be a PS3 exclusive; the only way you would be able to enjoy this very visually stunning game would be to have a PS3. Now even though having a PS3 could mean borrowing one from a friend, living on that friend’s couch and refusing to leave, or stealing one (all would have worked), their message all along was: You should really buy a PS3. Every mention of FFXIII was in essence a plug for the PS3.
Now I’ve bought systems specifically to play a specific game. To be specific, I bought Grand Theft Auto IV for the Xbox 360 a month before I even owned an Xbox 360. I’m not sure what possessed me – I suppose I figured that one of my two friends who owned Xboxes would invite me over, and then I could crack out on it while I was their guest. But I was enamored with that god damn game, and just to be close to it, you know? I bought it, and finally my loving wife was like “For Christ’s sake, just buy an Xbox already.” At the time, it was a thought that only barely crossed my mind. Until that point, I have to admit that I was pretty anti-Xbox. I didn’t like their insistence that Nintendo should participate in the 7th-gen console wars. They kept talking shit about sales, pushing and prodding Nintendo into trying to reveal more about their new system, criticizing every tech spec release, and straight up mocking their ideas and philosophy. Sony was a big fucking jerk, too. So while Microsoft and Sony held regular pissing contests and made fun of Nintendo’s dick which they had never even seen, Nintendo went on to outsell both of them and fuck all the girls in the school without even having to diss their would-be rivals. That is the unshakable integrity of a bona fide bad ass. And I’m what your ass might call a fanboy, but I consider a discerning loyalist.
Plus I only had money to support one habit, and Smash Bros. is not a flavor of crack on any other system.
And with PS3s still hovering around $300 on the low end of disc space and newness, the idea of buying one was just fucking ridiculous for my situation, and it still is. Final Fantasy XIII was just going to have to wait. No launch parties or reservation tickets this time. No chance of being able to read anything about this game for the spoilers or be discussing it with fellow first-batchers like I had enjoyed doing with FFXII and Kingdom Hearts 2.
Then the news came that Final Fantasy XIII was going to be released for the Xbox – a system that I now owned! Happy day, hooray, hurrah… but only in America, sad fucker! Not in Japan! No, no – in Japan, they insisted, FFXIII would continue to be a PS3 exclusive forever and ever – please stop asking, it’s never going to happen. I checked the compatibility of the overseas Xbox versions of FFXIII, and indeed, this game had been completely locked out of the Japanese region. There wasn’t even an “Asian” version that would play on the Japanese Xbox like there usually is for major international releases.
So I continued to act all in despair and shit, but had basically resigned myself to never being able to play the game while any other person on the planet would be playing it. I would wait until the PS3 dropped to $100, and then we’d get it on. I was able to “sample” the game at a friend’s place during my voyage back home, and it was a beautiful fucking thing, indeed.
Months passed, and the music of the game continued to ring in my ears. I downloaded the soundtrack. Used copies of the game began to appear in Den-Den Town for under $30. The PS3 underwent another price drop. A Sony shop opened up there, promising to satisfy every PS fantasy imaginable. And I continued to drink, guaranteeing that a PS3 purchase would happen just as soon as I found a million yen bill at the bottom of a Kirin can.
And then – after years of LYING and being fucks, the announcement came that Final Fantasy XIII International would be released for the Xbox 360 in Japan on December 16, 2010, 364 days after the initial release. While the greater part of me hummed a moaning sigh of joy and relief, the hand that was not grabbing the Kleenex box was flipping off those assholes who said that such a thing would never happen.
But I get it – it’s obvious that Sony gave Square-Enix a big-old blowjob of some sort on the condition that they never admit that FFXIII would be anything other than a PS3 release in Japan. I get it, because it makes sense. Exclusivity is a motherfucker for sales, and I was willing to deal with that reality. But I despise liars, and I rape them when they trick me out of moneys numbering in the hundreds of dollars (actually, I don’t, but how awesome would it be if I did and the jail had a PS3?). I believe that I came way too close to buying a Playstation 3 – which would not have been a completely lamentable purchase, but I would have bought it for XIII — specifically. That and Metal Gear Solid 4 would most likely be the only two games I owned for it. My curses would resound, and this outlet would not be the sanctuary of happiness that it is today.
This is my reservation ticket. I am a happy man. The game comes out for me in six days, and it is going to be fucking epic.