I remember years ago as a boy being mortally perplexed by hardware choices. As a youth, some of the hardest choices I made revolved around what console to subscribe to, as they all offered so many different features and franchises. It’s a little different these days though, with very few truly great exclusive titles driving system sales. Hell, even once proud exclusives from yesteryear are now gracing the multi-platform roster. Final Fantasy Versus XIII is the latest title to receive the cross platform conjecture, so we’ve conjured up a handful of reasons (otherwise known as more conjecture) for why this may well be the case.
Square Enix are no strangers to changing platforms
Forget the core Final Fantasy games for this example, as Square Enix have so many more examples in their wider catalogue that demonstrate some crazy platform jumps. Once the guardian of PS1 SRPGs, the Final Fantasy Tactics series has now transferred to the portable realm, gracing the DS, PSP and even the iPhone. Dragon Quest 9 got a DS only release, oddly enough following the incredible show they made with Dragon Quest 8 on PS2. Square Enix have made some crazy platform jumps before, so it wouldn’t exactly come as a surprise if they went back on their word and made FF Versus XIII a cross platform title.
Greater market share in the west
I’m not meaning to sound like a hater, but the PS3 just doesn’t have quite the market share that the Xbox 360 has over here in the west. Though the gap in hardware sales is closing by the week, cross platform games tend to sell more on 360 in America and Europe than they do on PS3. Japan is a very different story, but it makes sense from a numbers angle to launch the game on 360 as well, if only to cover the different hardware trends in both western and eastern markets.
Widening the brand’s appeal
Even discounting the effect of regional market differences, cross platform releases make sense from a financial perspective. If we’re going to completely discount advertising and product quality, more people being able to play your games is probably going to equate to more people buying your games. This could of course backfire if the game doesn’t live up to expectation, but it’s not like Square Enix to release any bad games; right? Someone back me up here.