Rumor Killers: FFXIII DLC, PS3 Slim Bundles, 250gb 360 bundle

Final Fantasy XIII DLC?

It may not even be completed yet, but Square Enix is already discussing the possibilities of additional DLC (downloadable content) being offered on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network. In an interview over at RPGSite, Yoshinori Kitase, Final Fantasy XIII’s producer, mentioned that they are ‘exploring’ the possibility of downloadable content to possibly add new areas, items or enemies to the game. Kitase also hastened to mention that the DLC would be gameplay related, not expanding on the story.

Square Enix is no stranger to introducing DLC which adds items and dungeons rather than additional storylines. With recent titles Infinite Undiscovery and The Last Remnant ,they offered many different bits and pieces to download for a nominal fee. Suggesting DLC before a game has even launched is a somewhat controversial thing, as content like Resident Evil 5‘s Versus Mode left many fans disappointed and even angered. It makes you wonder why such things couldn’t be included with the full release, being drip fed into Xbox Live Marketplace and PSN store post-release instead. Of course, if FFXIII DLC does appear on the scene, it could be construed as simply extending the lifespan of a game which has already been finalised to a point where additional items simply can’t be easily added.

The fact that Kitase has merely suggested the possibility of DLC with no official announcement does feel a little like Square Enix is testing the water–so to speak–to ensure that no backlash occurs. SE knows that Final Fantasy fans absorb everything related to the series. If a small suggestion goes out about something like this, it will quickly be discussed by many online which allows Square Enix to guage interest for such DLC and see if fans would prefer extra storylines to be included. There is certainly potential for Final Fantasy XIII DLC. While there may be the cynical concern that such DLC would merely be something like an extra weapon or two, there are a lot of positives that could come from this. Even a Final Fantasy XIII-2 emerging from this could be possible, as DLC such as GTA4’s The Lost and the Damned have been more like expansion packs than simple add-on content. The same could be true with Final Fantasy XIII, much to the delight of fans.

There is–of course–the negative side to the possibility of FFXIII DLC; could it potentially detract from the main game in the long run? What if it was something relatively pointless like new clothing for the characters, or an arena mode such as seen in the recent Mass Effect DLC. When the latter arrived last week, many were excited but ultimately disappointed as it detracted from the whole purpose of the game and tried to turn Mass Effect into something it is not: a pure action game. Such an occurrence for Final Fantasy XIII would be a real shame and a waste.

When looking at Square Enix’s past history with DLC, it certainly looks very plausible at some point. Other titles such as Mistwalker’s Lost Odyssey and Blue Dragon have done similar packs in the past, adding extra dungeons and difficulty levels to much commercial success. As a self confirmed Final Fantasy addict, I can also quite easily see FF fans snapping up mostly anything to do with XIII. It is hotly anticipated and all RPG fans love to see any possible way of extending the lifespan of their beloved title. Final Fantasy XIII may still only be on the horizon but I would be very, very surprised if some form of DLC didn’t arrive at some point in the future.

TGR Says: True

PS3 Slim bundles announced?

On the same day as many people rushed out to finally buy a PlayStation 3 Slim, a French site announced a number of PS3 Slim bundles on the way to shelves. The site doesn’t name the source, merely stating that a ‘contact’ has provided them with the information. It certainly makes for an interesting read with some intriguing insight into what could lay ahead, providing it is accurate. All the bundles are priced at €339/$483 and comprise titles such as Gran Turismo 5, Uncharted 2, Tekken 6 and Assassin’s Creed 2. As the release dates for some titles seem to be slightly different from European expectations, it suggests that these bundles are intended for worldwide release. Sony will no doubt be spending the Autumn and Winter seasons heavily pushing the PS3 slim in time for Christmas. It is extremely likely that we will see at least some of these bundles, if not all, in the near future.

TGR Says: True

250gb 360 bundle on the way soon?

With the impending festive season fast approaching, so are the console bundle rumors. We discussed the possibility of a PS3 Slim only a few weeks ago did –which of course turned out to be true–and now it looks like Microsoft will be releasing a new 250gb HD Xbox 360 Elite bundle before Christmas. Much like the PS3 Slim leak, all of this speculation came from a product listing on Amazon Germany. Although this listing has been taken down since, it clearly states that the Xbox 360 Elite comes with a 250gb HD, two wireless controllers and Forza Motorsport 3 with the price listed at €279/$400. No release date was mentioned, but it is worth noting that Forza Motorsport 3 has a release date of October 23rd.

This rumor was further reinforced when South African retailer BT Games released an advert depicting a ‘Super Elite’ Xbox 360, which also included a 250gb HD and 2 wireless controllers on the very next day. It’s fair enough that one company can make a mistake, but two? Things are looking a lot more likely for the emergence of an Xbox 360 Elite 250gb in the near future. Most intriguingly with the situation was that when Kotaku asked Microsoft for more details, instead of simply stating its usual line of ‘We don’t comment on rumors and speculation’, it stated ‘We’ve made no such announcement.’ With the recent removal of the Xbox 360 Pro from the Xbox 360 Hardware line up, it would make a lot of sense for Microsoft to add a third console to its line up, making the Xbox 360 Elite 120gb the mid-range choice and the 250gb version available as a premium package. With HD movie rentals and the newly launched Games on Demand service, no one could argue against the Xbox 360 needing a Hard Drive upgrade. As a regular Xbox 360 user, I would be happy to see a larger Hard Drive available to purchase. It doesn’t take a lot for even my mid range 60gb HD to creak, and the increasing number of patches and DLC does start to limit the available space.

There is still the possibility that this is simply a mistake on the two retailers’ part, which is why we need to wait for an official announcement. However, I suspect it is much more likely that Microsoft is simply biding it’s time for the best moment to make such an unveiling. It is only a matter of time.

TGR says: True

Author: Jennifer Allen