Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi has joined Microsoft Games Studios, where he is set to develop two role-playing games exclusively for the next Xbox console.

The games are said to make use of "cutting-edge technologies in the next-generation platform", allowing Sakaguchi to finally make use of ideas that he claims to have had for many years and in his own words are said to be "epic games".

Talking about his move to Microsoft, Sakaguchi commented "I want these games to be alive with a new vision for gaming and vividly depict new characters that will transcend the game, find a place in the hearts of gamers, and make time spent with my games a fond and long-lasting memory."

Hironobu Sakaguchi was in charge of game development at Square Enix until 2001, and has seen his Final Fantasy franchise sell in excess of 60 million units worldwide since the original title was launched back in 1987 - no doubt Microsoft are hoping he can bring the same success with him, whilst boosting popularity of the brand both in Japan and around the globe.

It's still not known when Xbox 2 will be launching, although speculation is pointing towards a pre-Christmas release in America and Europe. Meanwhile UK retailers have been hit by a stock shortage of the current machine, leading to the possibility of a new model in preparation for release during March to coincide with the Fourth anniversary of Xbox in Europe.

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