At the Tokyo Game Show today, Square Enix announced that it would be releasing the next entry in their seminal RPG series, Final Fantasy XIII-2, on December 15 in Japan, with a Stateside release following on January 31, 2012 and the European release slightly thereafter on February 2, according to Joystiq.
Just like Final Fantasy XIII before it, Final Fantasy XIII-2 will be released in a PlayStation 3 bundle in Japan, this time with a “pearl black” color scheme. Dubbed “Lightning Edition Ver. 2,” it sports a dark pink vector of Lightning’s Final Fantasy XIII-2 design on the top of the typical black matte of the slimline PlayStation 3. The bundle will include a 320gb PlayStation 3 Slim with the Lightning design on it, Final Fantasy XIII-2, and a controller, and it will retail for ¥37,960 (roughly $495 USD).
No announcement has been given whether the bundle will be released outside of Japan.
Analysis: If there’s one thing that surprised most of us about this title, it’s the fact that Square Enix churned it out so fast, given that the original Final Fantasy XIII came out a little over 18 months ago. And given the track record for some of Square’s other titles—like say Final Fantasy Versus XIII—getting a sequel to a fairly large game seems rather unusual. Though, it’s been rumored that much of the game is content that was cut from Final Fantasy XIII rather than wholly new material. Having a couple of the same gameplay systems doesn’t hurt, either—we know from trailers and screenshots that XIII-2 shares a very similar battle system, more than likely modified slightly, from the original game.
As for the PlayStation 3 bundle, that the original Lightning Edition never came out here in the States, much to many color coordinators’ chagrin, including mine. Also, Sony hasn’t released any of the special edition or alternate color PlayStation 3 Slims in the States, so given these factors, it’s highly doubtful we’ll see this one, too. There might be a bundle with the game, similar to what Japan is getting, but I doubt it’ll be the Lightning Edition Ver. 2. It’s more likely to be the regular 320gb PlayStation 3.