Microsoft has scored a massive gaming coup, signing up Japanese game legend and creator of the Final Fantasy franchise Hironobu Sakaguchi to develop titles exclusively for the next generation Xbox.The Final Fantasy series of role playing games have proved to be massive sellers for previous generations of video game consoles - first with Nintendo with the NES and then with Sony's two PlayStation consoles. More than 60 million Final Fantasy games have been sold worldwide. Microsoft's deal means Sakaguchi and his Mistwalker game studio will develop two role-playing games solely for the next generation of the Xbox, which is rumoured to be unveiled later this year. Sakaguchi cited a 'shared vision' with Microsoft about the next generation of gaming as the reason for the deal. "I'm excited about the two epic game titles we will be developing," Sakaguchi said. "A number of talented creators have signed on to help develop these games, and I'm confident we will be able to create games that provide gamers with a new kind of thrill. "Microsoft's cutting-edge technologies in the next-generation platform will allow me to bring to life an array of ideas that I have had for many years," Sakaguchi said. "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." Sakaguchi started his career at Square Ltd in 1986 as director of planning and development. He was promoted to executive vice president in 1991 and eventually ascended to president of Square LA (now Square USA Inc) in 1995. In 2000, Sakaguchi was inducted into the coveted Academy of Interactive Arts & Science (AIAS) Hall of Fame for his groundbreaking work on the Final Fantasy series. In 2004, Sakaguchi announced that he had started his own development studio, called Mistwalker.