Final Fantasy XIII nears 2 million sales mark

Square Enix's latest roleplaying extravaganza achieves opening sales of 1.5 million units in Japan, bolsters PS3 sales

The new Final Fantasy game has sold almost 2 million copies.

The new Final Fantasy game has sold almost 2 million copies.

Square Enix's roleplaying spectacle-spinner Final Fantasy XIII sold over 1.5 million units in its first four days on store shelves, reports Japanese tracker Enterbrain. Not bad at all, considering the game's only available for the PlayStation 3 in Japan (the English-language version for both PS3 and Xbox 360 doesn't ship until next March). Square Enix president Yoichi Wada revealed the company has already shipped 1.8 million copies, and expressed hope sales would reach the 2 million mark shortly.

Some perspective: Sony's Japanese PS3 install base stands at around 4 million units. Plug the 1.5 million figure in and you get 38 percent of that base holding a copy of Final Fantasy XIII. What's more, if Wada's forecast is accurate, we'll see that number soar to roughly half of all Japanese PS3 owners in the coming weeks.

According to Enterbrain, the next bestselling PS3 game in Japan is Konami's action-sneaker Metal Gear Solid 4, with just under 700,000 copies sold to date. Final Fantasy XIII just doubled that in its first four days on sale. By comparison, Metal Gear Solid 4 moved some 476,000 copies during its preliminary four-day sales window.

Major franchises always drive hardware sales. PS3 sales surged nearly 70,000 units, for instance, during Metal Gear Solid 4's introductory sales week in Japan. No surprise then that PS3 sales are up dramatically around Final Fantasy XIII's release, topping nearly 250,000 according to Enterbrain, or roughly 100,000 more than the system's prior high point when Sony release its slim-line PS3 in September.

Final Fantasy as a franchise can claim some 92 million units sold worldwide. The last in series, Final Fantasy XII for the PlayStation 2, sold over 2 million copies in Japan.

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