Dragon Quest IX on DS

Series switches platforms.

Dragon Quest IX will be a Nintendo DS title, and is due out sometime in 2007, Square Enix has announced in Japan.

Given the series' massive popularity over there, the company's decision to make the next epic instalment for the diminutive Nintendo handheld is likely to cause a stir. For example, this paragraph, which wouldn't be here otherwise.

Developed by Level-5, who did the last PlayStation 2 title, Dragon Quest VIII, and are also working on PlayStation 3's White Knight Story, the ninth DQ RPG is subtitled "Hoshizora no Mamoribito", which is translated as something like "Defender of the Starry Skies" according to 1UP.

It will be done in 3D, with action-oriented battles and network options that will see up to four players teaming up. Series creator Yuji Horii has reportedly spoken of his desire to make a game that's "a true part of the series" and not simply a spin-off in the vein of other Nintendo DS RPGs based on renowned home-console series.

The game's said to be quite a way along, with a playable demo shown off at the game's unveiling in Japan, while Famitsu has a pair of screenshots demonstrating bright, handsome 3D RPG visuals more akin to the game's recent traditions than the top-down battling typically associated with the two-screen handheld.

Square-Enix's event in Japan also saw the unveiling of card-battler Dragon Quest: Monster Battle Road, according to reports.

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