In a surprise release, the fantastic 3DS rhythm game Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy was released to day on New Zealand's iTunes store. Yes, Theatrhythm has apparently been ported to iOS devices fourth generation and above. The significance of the release in New Zealand is simply that it portends release in other territories later in the day. Perhaps most mysterious, however, is that the app is currently listed as free.
Square Enix seems to have discovered an interesting way to monetize the game's content. A Rock Band style music shop for Final Fantasy music definitely seems like a profitable venture, right? Some in-app purchases that are shown in the game's iTunes profile include "Aerith's Theme" and Final Fantasy X's "Suteki da Na (Isn't it Beautiful)", each for $1.29. The full title is cut off by a border, but there's also a "Final Fantasy IX" purchase that costs $4.19, which could be a bundle or a full album.
A pretty brilliant idea from Square Enix and definitely in-line with the monetization-style that iOS apps often encourage. The 3DS cart is running for about $30 at various online shops right now, so it should be interesting to see if all the songs in the iTunes game end up costing a similar amount. Of course, the title has yet to be released anywhere beyond New Zealand, so maybe this is all one big accident that we shouldn't be talking about yet. How about that Theatrhythm, right everyone?