Wednesday, November 30, 2016


A long time ago in the year 1987, a game software company called Square released a computer game on the Nintendo Family Computer (or NES in the West), a role-playing game or RPG called “Final Fantasy”. Many legends sprang from that moment, mostly on the circumstances of Square and the reason for the game’s name that have different answers from different people involved. But the important thing is, from that one game sprang a multi-title blockbuster videogame franchise that, despite the increasingly long wait between installments, remains a standard for computer RPGs. By the time this article is on site, “Final Fantasy XV” will have been released in Japan.

The big debut of a major game title on the Japanese market is sure to be loaded with licensed merchandising, and “FFXV” is no exception. The Verge reports that Sony, the electronics giant of which its PlayStation series of gaming consoles have been a home for the FF series since the seventh game, will also release a themed variant of its Walkman A-Series, the Final Fantasy XV Edition, to coincide with the game itself on November 29. The price of the 16GB storage model is set to be at ¥33,880, which is equivalent to $300 in the exchange rate as of this writing.

So what then is the deal about a Sony Walkman themed after FFXV? To be perfectly honest it would be the same arrangement as most other gadgets that have special editions licensed from popular games or other media franchises. The new Walkman’s color scheme for one is exactly the same as the default charcoal black of the basic A-Series. The back cover on the other hand gets some neatly embossed designs such as the XV numerical logo in the official title font, as well as images of the game’s main characters Prince Noctis and his bodyguard/companions, but rendered as super-deformed sprites from the series’ 16-bit days on the Nintendo Super NES. One change from the basic model that goes beyond simple alterations is the rumored custom icon sets for the touchscreen display, which is supposedly cribbed from in-game images and symbols. Oh, and it supports hi-resolution audio to boot.

To go with the FFXV Walkman, Sony is also bringing out similarly branded accessories. First is the FFXV MDR-100A headphone set for ¥29,380 ($260), followed by the SRS-HG1 Bluetooth speaker on November 30. Unfortunately while the Final Fantasy Walkman may see a Western release, the add-ons will be Japan-only imports.

“Final Fantasy XV” is the latest game in the series, taking a lengthy ten years of development by Square Enix. It sees players following Noctis and his friends trying to save their kingdom from a malevolent empire, set in the Final Fantasy typical magi-technological setting. No word yet on when the localization will come.

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