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Microsoft Counts on a Fantasy

Boot Camp feature for Monday, May 30, 2005

Microsoft counts on a fantasy to help sell the next Xbox in Japan. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Microsoft readily admits its current game console…the original Xbox…has been a flop in Japan. But when it stages the global launch of the Xbox360 this fall, it will have a not so secret weapon. The likely inclusion of a test version of Final Fantasy XI from Square Enix. It's the first time the best selling series of games will be brought to the Xbox platform and the Square Enix U.S. president Ichiro Otobe tells us…

"One of the reasons we haven't been able to provide product is that their network service, called Xbox Live has been very closed. Our product, our online game, its basic value is that anybody can get into the same world either through a PC or PS2. So it was very important for us to have an open network. And for Xbox360, Microsoft has allowed for us to get access to this open server of the Final Fantasy XI world."

It will be a first for Microsoft and a signal of how important the company sees the game in its effort to gain traction in Japan. Microsoft has also hired one of the creators of Final Fantasy, Hironobu Sakaguchi, to develop other games for the Xbox360. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.