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For those of you who have been following the development of Square Enix's Dragon Quest XI, you may have noticed that while the Nintendo Switch version was announced some time ago, it would be coming after the other console versions in the west. Well, Square finally explained why the Switch version is coming late.
Game Informer is reporting that producer Hokuto Okamoto confirmed the news at this year's PAX East event in Boston, Massachusetts, where Okamoto told the outlet that due to some hiccups with the Unreal Engine 4 build they had, the team had to postpone the port for the Nintendo Switch. Okatomo tells Game Informer...
As we were working on Dragon Quest XI on Unreal Engine 4, we were also wanting to work on the Switch version, as well. Unfortunately, the engine was not compatible at first, though Nintendo and Epic were working on it together. When the engine revision released making porting to the Switch possible, we started working out our plans for the release.
This actually isn't quite as uncommon as some people might think. A lot of times games are announced and ports are put into production but they don't always see the light of day at the exact same time as some of their other console brethren due to lack of support from a certain engine build.
In this case, it sounds like the work that was already put into _Dragon Quest XI _had begun well before Epic Games optimized the Unreal Engine 4 to support easy ports for the Nintendo Switch. The game was originally announced back in 2015, so obviously work had already begun on the title well before Nintendo even announced the Switch.
So far into development, Okamoto realized that the version of Unreal that the team was working with was outdated, and so porting to the Switch wasn't going to be the hop, skip and a jump that the team originally thought.
The woes for Dragon Quest XI don't end with delays for the Switch release, though. While the PS4 and PC versions are due out this September in the West, another version will also be absent: the Nintendo 3DS.
Over in Japan, the game came out for the PS4 and Nintendo 3DS. For the West, it's going to be available for the Switch, PS4, and PC.
In some ways, you could say that the Switch version compensates for the lack of the Nintendo 3DS version, but it's still not the same thing. Keep in mind that a lot of people who already own a 3DS will be deprived of the experience of playing the JRPG in the West. Alternatively, people who don't have a Nintendo Switch will have to purchase one if they want to play Dragon Quest XI on the go. For now, though, Switch gamers won't be able to play the game with their PC and PS4 brethren.