Dragon Quest XI Is an Early Vote of Confidence for Nintendo's NX

Square Enix's other flagship might be coming to PS4 and 3DS first, but an NX version could be on the horizon.

Analysis by Mike Williams, .

As you've already heard, Square Enix's Dragon Quest XI: In Search of Departed Time will be coming to PlayStation 4 and 3DS. The titles are slated to launch simultaneously sometime during the series' 30th anniversary, which is in 2016. Both versions will be handled by the core Dragon Quest team with different forks: The PlayStation 4 version is larger and powered by Unreal Engine 4, while the 3DS version switches between 2D and 3D play to evoke the feel of classic Dragon Quest.

The surprising thing is that Square Enix revealed at the end of the presentation that Dragon Quest XI may also be coming to Nintendo's unrevealed NX system. An NX port of Dragon Quest X is also "under consideration", according to as report by Gamespot.

"Additionally, we are also considering launching on Nintendo's in development NX platform," Square Enix said in a press release translated by Gematsu.

Square Enix has always been conservative with Dragon Quest releases. They tend to come out on the leading console/handheld platforms available in Japan. The initial Dragon Quest releases so far:

  • Dragon Quest (NES/Famicom)
  • Dragon Quest II: Luminaries of the Legendary Line (NES/Famicom)
  • Dragon Quest III: The Seeds of Salvation (NES/Famicom)
  • Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen (NES/Famicom)
  • Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride (Super Famicom)
  • Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation (Super Famicom)
  • Dragon Quest VII: Warriors of Eden (PlayStation)
  • Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King (PlayStation 2)
  • Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies (Nintendo DS)
  • Dragon Quest X: Awakening of the Five Races Online (Wii)

Many of these titles later came to other platforms, like Dragon Quest X expanding to Wii U and PC, but the primary releases are always on the platforms with larger installed userbases. Square Enix makes the safe bet on a single platform and then later decides if it's worth moving elsewhere. In this case, the company is pulled in two directions: towards the 3DS, which continues to dominate in Japan, and the PlayStation 4, the most popular home console in the region. They get to make a top-of-the-line Dragon Quest for PS4, but also have the 3DS juggernaut to fall back on.

These ports are the first NX games announced and they really weren't even announced. That Square Enix is willing to even divulge that the Nintendo NX is being considered as a potential platform is pretty big. The last we heard, Nintendo showed the NX to third-parties at E3 this year, so what Square Enix saw must have been compelling. The safe, conservative move would've been to say nothing and wait until next year.

Either way, the NX version of Dragon Quest XI will probably not be launching in 2016. Nintendo won't even be revealing the console or its final name until next year, so Square Enix has time to decide if the platform is the right home for the title.

Are you looking forward to Dragon Quest XI? What about the potential NX version? Let us know in the comments!

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Comments 16

  • Avatar for Don-Rumata #1 Don-Rumata 2 years ago
    I suppose this could be an indication either that Armor Project knows enough about the NX's control paradigm to assume they can make a comfortable port for the game or that DQXI for PS4 plays in a way that's already portable across TV consoles, or both.Edited July 2015 by Don-Rumata
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  • Avatar for Kuni-Nino #2 Kuni-Nino 2 years ago
    I don't think this means anything. What's stopping Square from changing their minds if NX is another dud?
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  • Avatar for franciscovillarrealh #3 franciscovillarrealh 2 years ago
    @Kuni-Nino Yeah, this strikes more as part fig leaf, part "Nintendo, please help us bring the 3DS version to the rest of the world".
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  • Avatar for The-Challenger #4 The-Challenger 2 years ago
    Has anyone confirmed whether or not the 3DS version will be exclusive to the New 3DS model? If it's not I may just skip the console version and stick with the quaint 3DS iteration. I will save money that way.
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  • Avatar for Keldorek #5 Keldorek 2 years ago
    @The-Challenger I'm almost positive I saw a regular 3DS at some point during the long video presentation.
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  • Avatar for Captain-Gonru #6 Captain-Gonru 2 years ago
    The 3DS version is day one for sure. And while I don't yet own a PS4, I'd buy that one too, should a NX version never happen.
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  • Avatar for frankiecowley93 #7 frankiecowley93 2 years ago
    I was always fascinated by the series, but apart from the old Pokemon games, a couple of Nintendo era Final Fantasy titles and recently Souls/Bloodborne, i haven't been a major RPG player. Having said that, i find Dragon Quest's aesthetic much more engaging and charming than Final Fantasy's so am definitely interested in this for Playstation 4.
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  • Avatar for cldmstrsn #8 cldmstrsn 2 years ago
    @Captain-Gonru You think it will come out for 3DS? in the West? man I wish I had your optimism!
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  • Avatar for LK4O4 #9 LK4O4 2 years ago
    Huh. I wonder why they landed on PS4 of all consoles instead of like Vita or something? The Dragon Quest games have never been graphical juggernauts, so it's not like they need the hardware power, and certainly the profit/cost ratio has to be way better on portables like 3DS/Vita than on high-definition platforms.

    Anyway, it also concerns me to hear developers already jumping ship off of the Wii U and over to the NX. I only just bought my Wii U a few months ago!Edited July 2015 by LK4O4
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  • Avatar for docexe #10 docexe 2 years ago
    Mmmm... I think I will expect until I see an official announcement rather than an “in consideration” before chanting victory. But it should give some positive buzz to the NX in any case.
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  • Avatar for Captain-Gonru #11 Captain-Gonru 2 years ago
    @cldmstrsn Well, some have pointed out the small PS4 install base in Japan. So, if you're releasing it on that system, you'll need to translate for the more profitable West.
    Now, if the games are identical content-wise, one could assume the text would be, too (I'm ruling out voice acting on 3DS, though it COULD handle it). At this point, you have English text, so why not put it on 3DS and send it West?
    I'm just super hopeful, really.
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  • Avatar for touchofkiel #12 touchofkiel 2 years ago
    Hm, first I've heard of that subtitle. Very Proustian.
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  • Avatar for cldmstrsn #13 cldmstrsn 2 years ago
    @Captain-Gonru That's a really good point! I didn't think of that. My thought was they make the PS4 version for the West while simultaneously releasing it in japan to try and grow the Japanese install base while also enjoying the oodles of cash for the 3DS version I just wasn't sure that exact tactic would work here in NA.
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  • Avatar for Mikki-Saturn #14 Mikki-Saturn 2 years ago
    All I can say is that screenshot looks like a screenshot of a game I want to play. So... fingers crossed!
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  • Avatar for inkybutt #15 inkybutt 2 years ago
    PS4/3DS is a little strange considering how far apart the two are technologically. Either the 3DS version will be serious truncated, or (more likely IMO) the game will adhere to the PS2-era design philosophy of DQVIII. Could also be one of those elusive New 3DS exclusives (I doubt the game will be more ambitious in scope than Xenoblade).
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