At the end of October we highlighted a minor oddity in Nintendo's list of upcoming releases. It showed Fire Emblem Fates as a single release in Europe, but listed the separate parts - Conquest and Birthright - for North America. This was intriguing as it reinforced the ongoing listing on Amazon UK - which weirdly only displays a certain message while browsing the main website on a smartphone - which states that only one version will come to the EU, with the player having a choice on which story path to take in game.
In Japan, of course, Conquest and Birthright were separate retail releases, rather like a mainline Pokémon game, while both could be bought together in a special pack; each version had one of the main storylines, with a third story course being a downloadable extra. Considering the pre-order price of Fates on Amazon UK is £34.99 (the standard for a major 3DS retail game), that suggest Europe could get a great deal if both full storylines are on one cart. That raises the question of how pricing and purchase options will play out in North America.
We may not know about pricing yet, but our own Mitch Vogel saw for himself reservation cards - in a US Target store - for Conquest and Birthright as separate entities, just as was indicated in that Nintendo release listing.
Assuming this stays that way up to release, it could be a surprising discrepancy between regions, and we can be sure that fans will be looking at prices very closely to see whether North Americans have to pay more than their European equivalents for all the content. That's assuming the EU version includes both full paths as the Amazon listing suggests.
At the moment there's no release window for Fire Emblem Fates beyond '2016' in the West, but it'll be an intriguing one to follow.