'Final Fantasy XIII' Coming March 9, 2010

Final Fantasy XIII

That Spring 2010 North American release date for "Final Fantasy XIII" just got a little more specific. Japan was already scheduled to get the new sequel on December 17, but the U.S. got its own launch date today as well, almost three months later on March 9, 2010.

"We know that our fans have been eagerly awaiting the next installation of the franchise –- 'Final Fantasy XIII' will exceed all expectations," Square Enix president and chief executive officer John Yamamoto said in a press release. "Coming simultaneously to PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 for the first time, 'Final Fantasy XIII' will be available to all players who are looking for the most immersive gaming experience of 2010."

The announcement came with a new mini-documentary showcasing the game's new Paradigm character role assignment and battle system, as well as a lizard creature getting juggled with a staff in midair and some commentary from the game's developers.

The game's theme song "My Hands" will be provided by recording artist Leona Lewis, and Yamamoto calls it "a rich ballad that compliments a powerful scene of 'Final Fantasy XIII."

The predictably complex fight mechanics show up for a few seconds in the video. Battle director Yuji Abe also pops in briefly to say that he hopes players will embrace the challenge he has crafted for them. His menacing bow at the end of his segment is a little bit priceless.

Are you glad to hear that "Final Fantasy XIII" has a street date? What do you think of the new gameplay footage? Share your reactions in the comment section below.