Square Enix hopes to release the European version of Final Fantasy XIII "sooner than a year later than the Japanese release", producer Yoshinori Kitase has said.

Traditionally, the North American version of Final Fantasy games is released about half a year after the Japanese version, with the European version released half a year after that.

Given that Final Fantasy XIII looks like it will be released this Christmas in Japan, Europeans are faced with the prospect of having to wait till Christmas 2010 before getting their hands on the stunning-looking JRPG.

However, speaking to VideoGamer.com at a recent press event for Dissidia: Final Fantasy, a PSP fighting game due out this autumn, Kitase gave the strongest indication yet that the Europeans won't have to wait as long for Final Fantasy XIII as they have done for Final Fantasy games in the past.

He said: "Obviously we would like to release it over here as soon as possible. Traditionally the Final Fantasy numbered series, it takes about half a year between the release in Japan and the release in North America, and another half a year before it's released in Europe. But we would like to minimise this, this time.

"For example we have already started recording English voices, and also the text localisation has been in progress, too. Normally we complete the Japanese version first, then move on to the US and EU versions, but this time there are some tasks that are happening simultaneously. So this time we're hoping to release sooner than a year later than the Japanese release."

Commenting on the gap between the US and EU release, Kitase said: "We would like to make the gap as short as possible."

Be sure to check back tomorrow for the interview with Final Fantasy legend Yoshinori Kitase in full.

What do you think about the wait Europeans will have to endure for Final Fantasy XIII? Let us know in the comments section below.