Unlike many of these articles, which look at the delay of PS3 version of the game due to the 360 or the difference in graphics since the Xbox 360 version of the game, this article looks at one specific limitation of the Xbox 360 which has affected the gameplay of the PS3 version, the multiple discs issue.
Since the announcement of the Xbox 360 version of Final Fantasy XIII, the developers have specifically stated several times that the PS3 version of the game would not be affected by the Xbox 360 version of the game. This was clearly a LIE. The game's graphics have already been downgraded as has been shown in many comparison pictures, but has the gameplay been affected?
Many PS3 fans were looking forward to playing the PS3 version of the game with the Japanese voices with English subtitles. It was safe to assume that this would be the case at least for the PS3 version, because it didn't have the size constraints of a DVD, Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm has this so why wouldn't Final Fantasy right? Wrong. Due to the limitations of the DVD, the PS3 version of the game has been compromised in order to "keep both versions of the game identical." This was confirmed with Final Fantasy XIII's producer in an interview with GameTrailers.
He specifically mentions here that it is because they want to keep the game the same on both platforms, is that the Xbox 360 version not affecting the PS3 version? How hard can it be to include the Japanese audio track in the game? It will most likely include English subtitles anyway; the Japanese language track would simply replace the English language track. Well we can at least hope this will be coming as DLC at a later stage...
The second way the Xbox 360 will affect the gameplay of the PS3 version of the game, is the pacing. When Final Fantasy moved to PlayStation 2, it only ever appeared on 1 DVD. This meant that unlike previous iterations on the original PlayStation, every area within the game could technically be open at any time. In previous games, some areas appeared on some discs, and were closed off in others. The same can even be said for games such as Lost Odyssey on the Xbox 360, due to the space constraints of the DVD, the majority of side-quests appeared on the final disc. Final Fantasy XIII will be affected in the same way.
This is not a huge problem if an RPG is 360 exclusive or developed for Xbox 360 first, but if it is meant to be developed on the PS3 first and take advantage of ALL it's features, then it is a problem.
If the game was on a single Blu-Ray disc, it would allow the player to explore many areas, and many side-quests at any time throughout the game. However, due to the DVD limitations of the Xbox 360, the game will be cut up, and many areas you visit at the beginning of the game will most likely not be available towards the end of the game. This may be one of the main reasons that many PS3 fans are looking forward to Final Fantasy Vs XIII more than Final Fantasy XIII, because Versus represents an upgrade in scale whereas Final Fantasy XIII is actually a downgrade from earlier Final Fantasy games in that sense.
What was it that you said Kitase only 2 months ago?
“So we don’t know how many discs it’ll be housed on for 360, but there won’t be a chance that we’ll compromise anything because, oh it didn’t fit in the 360 discs so we’ll have to take it out of the PS3 version, or vice versa.” Source.