In a press conference day, among other announcements and showcases, Yuji Horii appeared on stage with various members of Square Enix and others to announced that Dragon Quest IX, the next main series Dragon Quest game, not a spin-off, not some other form of Dragon Quest game would be released on the DS and they hope to release it sometime in 2007.
What few details we have, from the mouth of Horii, is that while they are limits to developing for portable hardware, Horii is approaching this game in the same spirit he did the original Dragon Quest. And that’s when the even more surprising news comes – it’s completely from the last eight games, will have an action-type battle system and be four-player able over the 'net. Level 5 will again be handling the graphics engine.
Regardless of what it may or may not mean for Sony, this is a smart move for Square. The DS is hot and getting hotter, Dragon Quest is the kind of game that never really needed “next-gen” type power to get across the art style (not that it doesn’t look great in something like Blue Dragon, it just isn’t as reliant on being technically advanced as Final Fantasy), and it’s going to take them less time and money to make. Dragon Quest on the DS will probably be out sooner and generate more revenue and profit than it would for the PS3 or 360.
So, dumb question, are all the Dragon Quest games done by the Dragon Ball Z/Chrono Trigger art guy, or do they have different artists from time to time? All I’ve ever seen is DQ8, and I’ve never warmed to that guy’s art.
Hm. From this description, it sounds like it is a spinoff, in all but name. I’m having a hard time seeing a motivation for pulling a stunt like that, though. It seems almost like it’s a political move, intended specifically to screw Sony.
I don’t think they are trying to screw Sony but I do think a lot of Japanese devs are sort of pausing right now and waiting to see which way the wind blows between Wii and PS3 before deciding on platforms for their titles.
So, DQIX on the DS becomes SE’s fiscal backbone for the year with FF13 likely to hit in 2008. Then bring DQX to a console in 2009 or 2010 when it will probably be clear who has the install base lead.
I think discussing the magnitude of the loss is a bit premature. No way would a next gen Dragon Quest be finished for 2007 and maybe not even in 2008. This isn’t like DQ going to Wii or 360. If the PS3 has legs in Japan then it’s still very possible that DQX could still come to the console by mid-generation, which is about the same time DQ has hit consoles the past two generations.
However, I do think that the Wii will end up doing better in Japan than the PS3 and DQX will ultimately go there.