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.
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