The upcoming Kingdom Hearts 3 marks a first for the series, as it will be the first console game in the franchise to be released on Xbox. However, there’s a possibility that the JRPG may also find its way to the Nintendo Switch if a new statement from director Tetsuya Nomura is to be believed.
Speaking at D23 Expo 2017, the Kingdom Hearts 3 director says that he isn’t ruling out the possibility of an eventual Nintendo Switch release for the upcoming JRPG, but this will likely be after the game is launched on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The team wants to focus on the two confirmed platforms first and then will consider additional platforms.
“The Nintendo Switch is definitely a very interesting piece of hardware, but if we lightly say, ‘Oh yeah, we’ll be on the Nintendo Switch,’ I’m sure people will come back and say, ‘But what about the PS4 and Xbox One? We want them out first. Don’t focus on other platforms.’ So for now, we want to focus on what platforms we’ve already announced we’re going to be releasing Kingdom Hearts 3 on. And so after, perhaps, maybe we can start thinking about other possibilities.”
The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One may have sold more units than the Nintendo Switch, but the Big N’s new console has captured the gaming community’s imagination ever since its massively-successful launch earlier this year. Given the popularity of the Nintendo Switch, as well as the anticipation surrounding the release of Kingdom Hearts 3, it certainly appears that releasing the upcoming JRPG on the console/handheld hybrid is a win-win for all.
Aside from a potential Switch release for Kingdom Hearts 3, Nomura also talked about the possibility of releasing HD collections of Kingdom Hearts titles on Xbox One. While releasing a Kingdom Hearts HD collection on Xbox One will certainly build anticipation for the upcoming Kingdom Hearts 3, the director noted that he isn’t sure whether there’s enough demand from fans outside of Western countries to justify an Xbox release.
“Just like with the previous answer, if we were to announce yet another non-Kingdom Hearts 3 [project]…people are going to be like, ‘Hey, what’s going on?’ So we will want to focus on releasing on the platforms that we have already announced. Do the Western audiences want Kingdom Hearts titles on the Microsoft or Xbox platforms? Japan might say ‘well, we don’t want any more on Xbox.’”
While it may be disappointing for Xbox One owners that HD collections of Kingdom Hearts titles may not be coming for the Microsoft console, Nomura may be justified in his skepticism about fan demand in Japan. Ever since the Xbox One was launched in Japan back in 2014, the console has sold poorly and has consistently lagged behind Sony and Nintendo in terms of sales, thus it may not be in Square Enix’s best interests to release more Kingdom Hearts games on Xbox.
It ultimately remains to be seen whether Kingdom Hearts 3 will make it to the Nintendo Switch, but with a planned 2018 launch date for the JRPG, it will likely be some time before we hear any news of whether a Switch release will indeed happen.
Kingdom Hearts 3 is scheduled for launch in 2018 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.