Today Square Enix hosted a livestream from Tokyo dedicated to Dragon Quest XI. Despite the lack of any hint on the topic, quite a few websites alleged that the publisher could finally reveal the Nintendo Switch version of the game, and as it often happens nowadays, mere speculation became rumor.
Unfortunately, it was not to be. The stream was advertised as a relaxed chat among developers (Director Takeshi Uchikawa, PS4 Producer Hokuto Okamoto, and 3DS Producer Kenjin Yokota), about the year past, their own work, and similar topics, and that’s all it delivered. The only real mention of the Switch was when the developers brought up The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild on the console as one of the games that interested them this year.
They did have a poll on what platform the roughly 5,000 viewers played the game on, and the results were as follows.
The PS4 version received 37.7% of votes, the 3DS version got 27,2%, 26.3% of viewers played both, and only 8.8% pledged to buy the game in the future. From what we know, in Japan, the 3DS version marginally outsold the PS4 version, but the result of this poll should not surprise since the audience was probably mostly formed by core gamers that are more likely to have played the game on PS4.
A second poll was hosted as usual at the end of the stream, asking whether viewers enjoyed it or not. This was slightly more surprising: normally the Nico Nico audience reacts fairly negatively to lack of news, but as you can see below, 78.8% rated the stream “very good, and ” 15.8% “pretty good,” while only 2.8% had a fairly negative opinion and 1.4% a very negative one.
The stream was indeed quite fun, with the developers chatting pleasantly about development, work, and gaming with a relaxed, Holiday-like atmosphere. They even had themed desserts that will be served at Luida’s Bar in Roppongi, Tokyo. And the Japanese love desserts.
The one piece of news shared by the panel was that the game is going to be put on sale on digital storefronts, and it’s a rather big one: the PS4 version will be dropped from 9,698 yen to 5,698, while the 3DS version will get a discount as well, from 6,458 yen to 3,958.
The sale will extend to other Dragon Quest titles including Dragon Quest X, Dragon Quest Builders, Dragon Quest Heroes and Dragon Quest Heroes II. It will be active on the Japanese PlayStation Store and on the Nintendo eShop between December 26th and January 8th.
If you can’t wait for Dragon Quest XI‘s release in the west, which still doesn’t have a firm launch date or even confirmed platforms (even if the PS4 version was heavily hinted), the period after Christmas is probably your best bet to grab the Japanese version.
Incidentally, the sale comes to celebrate a rather specific number, and it’s over 500,000,000 hours of gameplay for Square Enix games in 2017. According to the accompanying press release, this is measured via the PlayStation Network, but it’s not specified whether Square Enix used the power of statistics to extended the calculation to other platforms, of those hours are just on PlayStation consoles. Either way, it’s definitely a lot of hours.
At this point, it’ll be interesting to see when Square Enix will finally reveal the Switch version of Dragon Quest XI, especially considering that we don’t even know what it’ll look like. With the game on PS4 and 3DS going on sale, will Japanese gamers double dip when it finally comes to Nintendo’s new console? Only Media Create will be able to answer this question, in due time.