Dragon Quest X will be released for Nintendo's Wii U, Square Enix has confirmed.
The publisher revealed the news at a press conference in Tokyo earlier today, confirming that the next iteration of the enormously popular RPG will be headed not only to Nintendo's ageing Wii as previously announced but its successor as well.
Officially titled Dragon Quest X Mezameshi Itsutsu No Shuzoku, DQX will be an online RPG, and support cross-platform play between Wii and Wii U. Some level of 3DS connectivity is planned, though designer Yuji Hori gave few details, saying the team was thinking about a way for players to transfer their character to 3DS and share and receive data over SpotPass.
In a first for the series, it is being developed internally at Square Enix, with Hori, composer Koichi Sugiyama, and character designer Akira Toriyama all on board.
Dragon Quest X was first announced and confirmed for Wii almost three years ago, before Dragon Quest IX had even been released. The first suggestion that it could be headed for Nintendo's Wii successor came in June, when nervous Square Enix investors raised concerns at the prospect of a game in one of Japan's most popular franchises of all time being released solely for the ageing Wii.
Square Enix CEO Yoichi Wada said the team was carrying out "technical investigations" into how to make a Wii U release possible, and with those investigations complete Nintendo's upcoming console has just been given a major boost, at least in Japan. Not only is the appearance of the next game in a series which has shipped 57 million units worldwide since 1986 sure to drive early sales of the console, but it is a ringing endorsement of Nintendo's new hardware by a major thirdparty.
No specific release date was announced – no surprise, given that Nintendo is yet to confirm its Wii U launch plans – but Dragon Quest X is due in 2012, with Square Enix planning a beta test in the near future.