A series of images on Nintendo's Facebook page and finally a mysterious listing on Gamestop lead to the big reveal earlier today that the open world JRPG is coming to the U.s.
It all started with a little bit of Internet sleuthing by the folks at NeoGAF, who discovered an April 3, 2012 listing for "Xenoblade Chronicles GS Exclusive." And then the official Nintendo Facebook page started posting images from the game. Signs of an imminent release? As is usually the case, where there's smoke, there's fire, as the Monolith Soft-developed JRPG officially has a page on the U.S. Nintendo site with an April 2012 release date.
Even as support for the console is beginning to wind down in advance of the release of the Wii U, it was kind of taken for granted that Nintendo was simply going to forgo a U.S. release for the game, even though it had been localized in English for the U.K. last year. However, either the numbers for the Japanese and European releases were solid enough or the fan demand for the game to get a North American release were so prevalent that the Big N decided to go ahead and give the game a shot here.
As this IGN article correctly points out, speculation about the Gamestop listing's "GS Exclusive" bit doesn't necessarily indicate that the game will be exclusive to the retailer, simply that there might be a special edition of the game which is exclusive to Gamestop.
Here's the synopsis of the game from the Nintendo site:
An epic clash between man and machine
Available exclusively for the Wii™ system, the Xenoblade Chronicles™ game combines science fiction and fantasy into an unforgettable open-world adventure. Players will discover expansive environments and deep character customization options as they delve into an epic conflict between the Homs (humans) and Mechons (robots) and uncover the secret of the ancient Monado blade. With richly detailed role-playing elements, Xenoblade Chronicles offers an extraordinary experience for veteran gamers and genre newcomers alike.
Xenoblade Chronicles will be out in April for the Nintendo Wii.