Square Enix has said that it's hoping to release Final Fantasy XIII in Europe "sooner than a year later than the Japanese release".
Producer Yoshinori Kitase told Videogamer that the publisher is aiming to cut the traditional year-long wait for Final Fantasy games to appear in Europe. FFXIII will be released in Japan at the end of 2009.
"Obviously we would like to release it over here as soon as possible," Kitase said. "Traditionally the Final Fantasy numbered series, it takes about half a year between the release in Japan and the release in North America, and another half a year before it's released in Europe. But we would like to minimise this this time."
He explained that Square Enix has already started localising the title, something it used to do only after the Japanese version was finished.
"We have already started recording English voices, and also the text localisation has been in progress, too. Normally we complete the Japanese version first, then move on to the US and EU versions, but this time there are some tasks that are happening simultaneously. So this time we're hoping to release sooner than a year later than the Japanese release."
However, there are other possible reasons for a delay to the FFXIII's release in Europe and the US. The Japanese release is a PS3 exclusive, while it's also appearing on Xbox 360 in the West - and last year, Square Enix said it wouldn't start work on the conversion until the PS3 version was finished.
God speed, Square Enix coders and translators. Final Fantasy XIII looks rather good, and we don't want to wait too long.