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E3: Square Enix unveils next-gen Final Fantasy

Square Enix has announced its plans to develop multiple new games in the Final Fantasy series, the new project encompassing simultaneous development on several platforms, including Sony's PS3.

Square Enix has announced plans to bring the next instalments in the Final Fantasy series to the PlayStation 3, additionally confirming support for the Nintendo Wii with two new titles for the console.

An ambitious new project entitled Fabula Nova Crystallis - Final Fantasy XIII will involve the development of several different games based on variations of the FF XIII universe. Each game will contain its own unique characters, worlds, storylines and events, but remain connected by a central theme and universe which Square Enix hopes to continue to expand and develop with future releases.

Currently in development are PS3 titles Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy Versus XIII. It is unconfirmed at this stage whether or not they will be ready for the November launch, but tying the first two new releases in the series to Sony's machine can only serve to significantly boost adoption rates for the console, such is the popularity of Final Fantasy - particularly in Japan, where rival Microsoft has so far failed to make a significant market impact.

The series has sold over 68 million units worldwide to date, and remains an exceptionally popular franchise with both Eastern and Western consumers. Square Enix is making a determined effort to capitalise on its success, and is diversifying the potential reach of the franchise with the creation of multiple platform games, including a mobile phone version called Final Fantasy Agito XIII.

Nintendo's Wii console will gain Chrystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers and Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen and the Tower of Mirrors. Square Enix has also announced new titles for Nintendo DS, GBA and PSP, turning the series into a massively ambitious, global, multi-platform project and potentially giving Sony a worthy lead on its rivals in terms of early adoption for its next-generation console debut.