The extremely popular Japan RPG has jumped from the Playstation platform over to the Nintendo DS for the ninth edition. In a first for the series, Dragon Quest has gone exclusively portable.
When it launched in Japan, Dragon Quest VIII sold over 2 million units in two days for the PS2. While the series has gained a little popularity in the rest of the world, in Japan it is possibly the most popular series in the business. The switch from the PS2 platform to the Nintendo DS is a major coup for Nintendo. Square Enix has obviously been reading the same sales data everyone else has.
"More than the fact that Dragon Quest has returned (to Nintendo hardware)," said the Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, "I'm personally more impressed that it's being released on a portable machine. Portable gaming, which was in a corner of the gaming industry, has been moving into the main stream since about last year. This announcement has come as part of that trend, and I'm extremely pleased."
Iwata danced around questions about Sony and what this means for the company. "As we've stated before, we're not thinking about fighting Sony, but about how many people we can get to play games. The thing we're thinking about most is not portable systems, consoles, and so-forth, but that we want to get new people playing games."
Square Enix president Yoichi Wada explained the move on the portable market. "We ended up bringing it to DS under the consideration that we want to deliver to as many people as possible a Dragon Quest that offers a new experience," he said.
When asked about ports or Wii connectivity, Wada said the new Dragon Quest would be for the DS only. "We're making a product that uses the DS's wireless features. I don't believe there will be any connectivity with the Wii. Also, looking at the game design side of this new Dragon Quest IX, there won't be ports to other hardware."
No release date has been announced.