Tetsuya Nomura promised a brief update on Final Fantasy Versus XIII for this week's Famitsu. He provided a bit more than that, devoting a full one page of his four page interview with the magazine to the game. Here's some of what he said, as summed up at FF-Reunion.
Much of the discussion was about the game's event scenes. As with most games, there are two types of event scenes in Versus: pre-rendered and real time. The difference about the Versus real time scenes is that they're all controllable. They decided to get rid of the non controllable real time cut scenes in order to keep the play from stopping.
Regarding the controllable cut scenes, Nomura said to expect more natural expression as opposed to the game-like expression of past games. He also mentioned some sort of new system for this area, something that he feels has never been done before.
(The FF-Reunion summary says that Nomura said something about the cut scenes being more like an FPS than an RPG, but the context of the statement is a bit unclear so I'd suggest waiting for a more detailed summary.)
Nomura debuted three new screenshots for Famitsu's editors -- just for the editors, as Square Enix apparently won't let screens be shown to the general public. Famitsu was impressed, saying that they couldn't believe what they were looking at was real time.
The three screenshots included a scene of an Italy-like city showing Noctis looking up at a behemoth, an afternoon shot of Noctus on what appeared to be the side of the highway, and the same highway shot but at night. The signs on the highway apparently say "Meguro," which is a region of Tokyo (As far as I know the game doesn't actually take place in our world, although this isn't the first time a real world name has been found in the game).
One reason the game may look so good is because there are only minimal differences between the game's high and low quality models. According to Nomura, they've kept the high and low quality models the same, with exception to the greater hair detail in the high quality versions.
The inclusion of Takeshi Nozue on the staff also helped, said Nomura. Nozue was able to apply use his pre-rendering knowhow on the game's real time scenes, specifically with regards to lighting technology.
Famitsu noted that the screenshots looked like real photos. Nomura replied with an aside that you can take pictures in the game. Noctis has a cell phone, and you can take pics wherever you like.
Regarding when we'll get to see the images that Famitsu's editors were shown, Nomura just said we'll have to wait a bit. He also noted that areas we've already been shown now have the new lighting technology, so we'll have to wait to see these as well.
Moving on to a general development update, Nomura siad that because they're trying out a lot of new challenges, the development staff is still focused on the core members. However, they're making preparations to enter full production.
They're also gradually recording the game's voices. Regarding the recording, Nomura said that there are many scenes where the four male characters are engaged in realistic conversation, with their voices overlapping. These scenes are being recorded by having the four voice actors together on the recording session simultaneously.
So when will we get our next bit of Versus XIII info? Nomura said that the timing for the next reveal has been set, but he would not say when. For the next update, though, he said that they'd like to deliver it along with some good information.