A Slim Chance

Featured - TidYun

This is my reward for getting excited about things. While it is due out in Japan on December 26th, Square-Enix announced on Monday that Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster will be delayed until March 2014 for us folks in the West. Not only that, but the PS Vita version of the game seems to have been delayed indefinitely for anyone outside of Japan. Those in North America will get their hands on the PS3 version come March 18th, with Europe able to play Blitzball a few days later on the 21st. While this may seem like unfortunate news (and it is), I choose to see it in another light.

It’s my belief that the delay is intentional and not due to localisation issues or other, unavoidable setbacks. I have a sneaking suspicion that we may have a pleasant surprise on our hands.

Final Fantasy X (and Tidus' face) in glorious HD.

Final Fantasy X (and Tidus’ face) in glorious HD.

Back on the 10th of October, Japan was given the brand new PS Vita Slim. As well as being available in a plethora of different pastel colours, it was also thinner, lighter and had a longer battery life than its predecessor. It skimped a little on the display technology, opting for LCD as opposed to OLED, with most people agreeing that the Slim has a slightly inferior picture quality as a result. However, most also agree that the difference is only noticeable if you’ve either got the two models side-by-side or are a display aficionado, neither of which will apply to me.

I’ve been increasingly interested in the Vita, ever since its close ties with the PS4 were further expanded upon (among other reasons). It was a little disappointing to hear that only Japan were getting the Vita Slim to begin with, but now I have cause to believe that the rest of the world might get the new model.

If you’ve not guessed by now, it’s my belief that Square-Enix are postponing the release of FFX/X-2 HD because Sony intend to release the Vita Slim in March 2014 (or shortly thereafter).

Japan is getting a special Vita Slim bundled with FFX/X-2 HD Remaster.

Japan is getting a special Vita Slim bundled with FFX/X-2 HD Remaster.

I dislike rumour based on incomplete information, but this is nothing so concrete. I am basing this theory on pure speculation and observation. That bundle may be slim (aha) evidence, but the more I think about it in conjunction with other, known facts, the more plausible it seems.

Consider first that Japan will not see the PS4 until the 22nd of February 2014. This delay isn’t mirrored exactly when you consider the Vita Slim; a March release would put the disparity at 5 months. However, it is almost exactly 3 months after FFX/X-2 HD is due out in Japan (December 26th). Alone, this means almost nothing: certainly not enough to base a console refresh on. But there’s more.

Remember that there was no mention of a delay prior to now with regards to the Western Vita version of FFX/X-2 HD. Certainly the Japanese version for both the PS3 and Vita is complete. If there were any localisation issues, surely this would affect both versions for us here in the West? In other words, why are we only getting the PS3 version in March? Is the Vita version still coming, albeit with a shiny Slim bundle to tempt us into purchasing?

Then there’s the recent price drops of the original Vita model. It’s been happening all over the place, with most retailers offering just about any combination of Wifi, 3G and bundled-games models for £169 here in the UK. If Sony intended to keep making a sensible profit on the different packages, they would price them differently, in my mind. This seems more like them trying to get rid of stock of the old model before introducing the Vita Slim.

Rikku is basically Yuffie, except less likely to steal your materia.

Rikku is basically Yuffie, except less likely to steal your materia.

It’s all conjecture at this point, but it’s something I came up with on my own. I’m not basing it on any whispered rumours or confidential contacts; just hope and reasoning. There’s every chance that this announced delay means absolutely nothing and that we’re never going to see the Vita Slim come to our shores… but I choose to believe otherwise. I believe that all signs point towards Sony giving me exactly what I want come March this year; May at the very latest. If I’m wrong, then I’ll be briefly disappointed. Luckily, I’ll have an excellent PS3 game to cheer me up.

About Chris Smith
A twenty-something gamer from the North-East of Scotland. By day, I’m a Computer Technician at a local IT recycling charity, where I fix and build PCs. Outside of that, most of my time is spent either sleeping or gaming, which I try accomplish in equal amounts.

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