Square Enix's Yoshinori Kitase has told RPG Site at E3 2011 that he believers the real-time graphics in Final Fantasy XIII are "about the same" on both versions of the game - but also that Final Fantasy XIII-2 will sport improvements that will help narrow the gap between the two versions.
"What we believe is even with Final Fantasy XIII there wasn’t an awful lot of difference when it comes to real time graphics," he told us this week at the show in an FF13-2 interview. "It’s about the same."
The culprit for many of the woes of the Xbox 360 version of Final Fantasy XIII is actually down to the compression on prerendered video sequences. Even cutscenes that used the in-game assets were often prerendered in Final Fantasy XIII to make the animation smoother and events more cinematic.
Kitase went on to explain that in Final Fantasy XIII-2, these cinematic files aren't needed, and so in-engine cutscenes can be displayed which will look like an improvement over the original Final Fantasy XIII. "When it comes to actual movie files, which was very heavy, the compression capacity of the two consoles was quite visible. In the meantime, we are now capable of event scenes/drama scenes as real time graphics rather than movies. The real problem that was causing so much difference between two versions, is a relatively small amount… it only makes up a small percentage of the entire graphical elements in XIII-2, so it’s not going to be a very big issue anyway."
These improvements should hopefully help the game to hold even an illusion of feature parity. That said, Final Fantasy XIII-2 will still use 3 to 4 discs for gameplay due to the lacklustre space on the Xbox 360 discs for storing data. For a game that's supposed to be using less cinematics, that's a lot of gameplay.
You can catch our full Final Fantasy XIII-2 E3 2011 Interview with Motomu Toriyama and Yoshinori Kitase through this link! Remember you can see all the currently released screenshots, videos and artwork of Final Fantasy XIII-2 over in the Media Vault, too.