Moving to compete with the launch of the Game Boy Advance, Bandai has announced that Final Fantasy II for the WonderSwan Color will be released simultaneously, in March 2001. This is a fairly sudden development, as previously, very little information had been available concerning the remakes of the second and third games in Square's trademark series.
Bandai's combined release of the WonderSwan Color and Final Fantasy was highly successful, so it only makes sense that they would attempt to retain their share in what is proving to be an extremely competitive market. Their recent strength was emphasized by the fact that the WonderSwan Color's initial shipment sold out only two days after its initial release; 300,000 units have thus far been sold, comprising a quarter of Bandai's targeted sales before March 2001. In fact, at this pace, there will be little difficulty in reaching the projected 600,000 units sold before the end of 2000.
The fight between Bandai and Nintendo promises to continue, as the Final Fantasy remakes are not the only titles that are on the horizon. Nintendo in particular has some strong games scheduled for the upcoming few months, and so the release of
Final Fantasy II will not by any means give Bandai the upper hand. Regardless, any competition in the handheld market can only be considered a good thing; success in Japan, while not necessarily a guarantee of North American release, can only improve the chances, and judging from the number of people lining up to buy Wonder Swan Color and Final Fantasy , both would be both worthwhile and successful. Whatever the case, March 2001 promises to be a busy(and expensive) month.