Square Enix has shipped 1 million copies of Final Fantasy XIII
to retail in Japan ahead of the game's December 17 launch on PlayStation 3.
Ultimately the publisher will move about 1.3 million units to retailers during the game's first week, according to reports translated by consumer weblog Kotaku
This is actually less than the 2 million Square Enix prepped for the launch of Final Fantasy XII on PlayStation 2 in 2006 -- but the PS2 at that time had a significantly larger userbase than the PS3.
The game is not expected to hit Western shores on either platform until Spring 2010
. The considerable gap between the game's Japanese release and its release in the West is likely due at least in part to the publisher's surprising decision to break traditional Final Fantasy PlayStation exclusivity with a release on both PS3 and Xbox 360 for FFXIII in North America and Europe.
In Japan, however, the game remains exclusive to PS3. It will be priced at ¥9240 ($100), one of the higher prices thus far charged for a console game release, even one as long-awaited as FFXIII, the thirteenth main installment in the publisher's seminal RPG franchise.