E3 2013: Square Shares New Kingdom Hearts III Details

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

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Kingdom Hearts

Following the initial reveal for Kingdom Hearts III at Sony’s E3 Press Conference yesterday, Square-Enix has shared some new information in regards to this long-awaited game in the series. According to a PR released by Square-Enix, the game takes place after the events from Kingdom Hearts II, where a “matured” Sora sets out on a new adventure. Although the story spans about 2 years, a decade’s worth of Kingdom Hearts games may have an effect on the character.

As Sora learns about the conflicts within Kingdom Hearts, and Master Xehanort’s plans to start a Keyblade War, he and his friends must seek the guardians of light to combat the forces of darkness. King Mickey and Riku go to search for previous Keyblade wielders, while Sora, Donald, and Goofy travel to various Disney worlds to look for the “Key to Return Hearts”.

The new Kingdom Hearts game is supposed to take advantage of the next-gen console technology to tell a “grand story” of “unparallelled scale”. Looking at the actual in-game footage in the trailer, it certainly looks a lot bigger in scale than the previous games.

Kingdom Hearts III will release for both Playstation 4 and Xbox One, making it the first game in the series to appear on a Microsoft console. According to another source, Kingdom Hearts III‘s production will not be handled by Tetusya Nomura, as he is busy with Final Fantasy XV. Instead, Square-Enix’s Osaka Studio, which brought us Dream Drop Distance and Birth By Sleep, as well as Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD Remix, is developing the game.

Square-Enix has also opened up a website for Kingdom Hearts III, which is still in the works. It confirms that we will see a more mature Sora than before.

About Andy Na

Andy was a member at Operation Rainfall since the beginning of its campaigning days. Though something of a troublemaker at the time, he now contributes to Operation Rainfall and shares his love for all things gaming and the visual arts. His favorite games include Xenoblade Chronicles, Kid Icarus Uprising, and No More Heroes. Andy currently holds a Bachelors degree in Cinema, which he uses to pursue filmmaking.

  • Axle_Magnum

    Not gonna stop hoping for a Wii U version.

  • Kyle Smith

    I want my Wii U version, Square! Bringing it over to Xbox One when it will become a bomb that will make the console fail is a stupid decision. You would have much better chances at selling more units if you made a Wii U version of it.

    • Ninty

      How would it make the console fail? and which console are you talking about, because even though the Xbox One is looking rough, all the games announced for it can only help.

    • Kyle Smith

      no, it wouldn’t. i’m talking about the stuff that Microsoft confirmed to be true, and the launch price is going to kill it.

  • Alex

    It’s probably no use complaining about it not coming to Wii U. If it was built under PS4/Xbone specs they’d probably have to spend a considerable amount of money to take it apart and build a version for the underpowered Wii U. Wii U is this generations Wii. It’s an underpowered system aimed at mass market appeal rather than horsepower. The Wii U just doesn’t have the install base to justify the downgrade.

    • Anastas

      The XBone doesn’t have ANY install base, so that’s not exactly a good measure to go by.
      We know that the Wii U possesses some DirectX11 capabilities, we just don’t know to what extent. But can you honestly tell me that what we’ve seen of KHIII is really pushing the graphics? It’s beautiful, sure, but it’s a very stylized look, and one the Wii U is clearly capable of.
      Even if it would be more difficult to port to the Wii U than the XBone, it wouldn’t be by much, and it would certainly sell well enough to warrant the cost. Half of the KH franchise has showed up on Nintendo consoles (and if you want to argue the validity of the non-numbered titles then you don’t know Kingdom Hearts). There is a significant number of Kingdom Hearts fans amongst the Nintendo fanbase, but there is no proof that the same can be said of Xbox.
      We certainly don’t know how much the XBone will sell, but it doesn’t look pretty. Contrarily, the Wii U’s future looks very pretty; with Smash Bros. and Mario Kart coming next year, the Wii U looks to repeat the 3DS’ second wind. This will all happen long before KHIII comes out, so it’s still very sensible to hold on to hope for a Wii U port.

    • Johnson Cameron

      Unfortunately i have to agree with Alex on this one, Nintendo did not push their console to be closer to be the PS4 and XboxOne. Instead it is only a slight bit better than PS3 and Xbox360 which ends up hurting Nintendo, when it comes to games like Kingdom Hearts 3,Final Fantasy XV etc.

      Let me ask you a question, if you believe stylized looks do not push graphical capabilities, then do you believe that Legend Of Zelda Skyward Sword for the WII(which has a stylized look) can be a port to the Gamecube? The simple answer is no, because if it were to do so, the entire world of Skyward Sword would have to be shrunken down into small sections, graphics would have to be cut down, in order to fit the Gamecube’s limitations.

      ^This is the exact thing as KH3 going to WII-U. Yes it could fit on there, but mind you, the worlds would have to be shrunken down somewhat, and the graphics would be a bit cut down from it’s usual resolution to fit in the WII-U

      So it could happen, but if Square Enix where to port it to WII-U, would the owners of the WII-U be willing to pay for it, and would they be able to take the hit in quality and also limitations in hardware? WII-U users must answer the question of that.

    • Anastas

      Except the Wii U is significantly more power than the PS3 (and the PS3 is well more powerful than the 360, the fact that you lump them together so really makes me think you’re repeating tired rhetoric rather than actually providing any knowledge on console specs). The Wii U is heavily customized in both CPU and GPU; we know it is capable of DirectX11 to some extent.

      The point about KHIII being stylized was that it clearly isn’t pushing DirectX11 to a point that the Wii U is not capable of; I really doubt anything is at this point. This talk of the Wii U’s lack of power is really rather overblown as even the PS4 and XBone have yet to demonstrate anything that greatly outperforms 7th gen systems at their best. We won’t be noticing this gap in performance till later on in the consoles’ lifetimes.

    • Johnson Cameron

      Let’s go with your argument here, significant is subjective and i am only using Xbox360 and PS3 as examples(although i do not like Xbox at all, i have noted this before). As they are last gen consoles and each generation should exceed the next after the 7-9 year cycle.

      While yes WII-U has IBM processor that could theoretically run the next gen console work, and 1gb more of ram than the last gen(to some extent directx11). WII-U still has it’s limitations due to the fact, that if you have companies like Square Enix who have a history of pushing next gen console hardware(like a PS4,Xboxone,WII-U) to it’s limit and then maturing upon that every release it is going to be difficult for them to downgrade their entire games just so people on the WII-U can play it.

      But you do not know yet, it is unknown whether or not KH3 could be on the WII-U or if KH3 is pushed to the limit to where the WII-U can not accept KH3. The only thing we did see was a trailer and some pictures.

      I am not saying it can not ever be possible. But i am saying if it does not make it on the WII-U, it was only due to the limitations. I am certain all companies had a non disclosure and tried to see what they could do for an Xboxone,WII-U,PS4. I am certain Square Enix would have made it available for the WII-U had it have 4 GB of RAM, a better graphics card than it had, and an easier dev kit.

      ^ I will be honest, these are what all developers are mad about above and have stated it publicly. I am sure they all wanted a piece of the WII-U and make money on their games to make it available on every platform. But it is hard to port it over, when it feels like taking half a step back in the programming,porting and also hardware limitations as well.

    • Anastas

      Well, I’m still going to have to disagree, I think the developer reaction has far more to do with sales expectations (whether or not those expectations were reasonable) than power. Even if the numbers lean to support the PS4 and XBone, I’m having trouble seeing a significant difference between the games shown on all systems, and if the differences have become so minute that I can’t make them out with the naked eye, then yes, I honestly wouldn’t mind buying a graphically inferior version of a game on a system I already own as opposed to a slightly better version for a system I’d need to work up some money to purchase.

      Regardless, this is all conjecture at this point; even if the games don’t look too different now, we have no idea what the future may hold. On the other side of things, the Wii U could still develop an install base to certainly justify porting games over to it, regardless of graphical quality. Really, we can only wait and see what will happen, but these are my beliefs.

      Though I don’t think many will argue with my conjecture that the XBone’s install base will fail to justify FFXVI or KHIV.

    • Johnson Cameron

      Let me first say before more people thumb me down, i am not a fanboy for Sony, and i am not one of Nintendo, being a person who has both the WII and PS3 and will eventually get a WII-U along with a PS4 i see both sides of the issue.

      Granted sales are one part of the equation. But looking at your argument and debate, you have now changed it from being about KH3, to it being about the WII-U, to turning it into a WII-U Vs PS4 debate. I will say this and close the argument because we are getting completely off the topic here, and there is no way this debate is going to go anywhere but a back and fourth.

      I am not saying that it is the lack of WII-U’s sales or install base, that does not matter when you know people will eventually buy it. The problem lies within whether there are more people like you, who can get a petition and ask Square Enix and be willing to pay the money for Kingdom Hearts 3 on WII-U. It is not up to me, really. But i am saying this much, that there are limitations to the WII-U a bit. No console is perfect.

    • Anastas

      It’s not PS4 vs. Wii U, obviously the PS4 is more powerful, but just because something is capable does not mean that those capabilities are being used.

      The PS4 is not being used to its full potential, and why would it be? The thing hasn’t even launched yet. Since the PS4 isn’t being used at its full potential, games for it could still run on Wii U, even if there’s a little tweaking involved. KHIII in particular doesn’t appear to be any more graphically intense than games already running on the Wii U, so I think your opinion on this matter is based on a fair share of bias. The difference between Wii U and PS4 graphics is negligible; if you did not already have a concept in your mind of the Wii U being graphically inferior you would not believe in this idea of KH not being able to be ported to the system.

      You’re greatly exaggerating the difference between the Wii U architecture and the PS4’s. Yes, the PS4 and XBone are practically identical and that makes for easy porting between the two, but that does not make porting to the Wii U some large hurdle, even by comparison. Games have been ported between much more varied system architectures than this, and inability to make a port between PS4 and Wii U based purely on system architecture would mark a level of laziness that can only be seen as shameful. Square Enix has the money to bring a game to multiple systems no matter the specs, and they would definitely make their money back on Wii U ports.

      I am not trying to set the argument off course, I’ve always been trying to prove that it’s perfectly reasonable to hope for a port of KHIII on the Wii U, and my arguments for its specs have only been in support of proving this opinion. Myself, I wouldn’t have even considered specs being an issue if not for the originator of this argument suggesting it in the first place. It’s an entirely ludicrous notion to me; the clear situation at hand is that Square does not see the Wii U as large enough of a market to justify a port, and they have yet to be burned by the XBone’s poor reception. If a problem of graphics were ever to enter their minds, then it would require the level of ignorance that is merely annoying here on the internet, but rather unprofessional amongst a famous development studio.
      Look at Bayonetta 2, look at Pikmin 3, look at X; these are all games running on the Wii U, they are all gorgeous. Do not look at the specs, you’ve read in them the wrong message; they’ve told you a story contrary to what we are witnessing in reality. KHIII is not only possible on Wii U, it is logical and deserved, and there is great use in complaining about its omission on this grossly underrated system. Look at the very site you’re commenting on to see proof of that.

    • An Tran

      After seeing ‘X’s massive world and impressive draw distance, I highly doubt KH3’s world would need any cutting down on Wii U. Especially since Kingdom Hearts is nowhere near as open as X is.
      Also, would XBone users be willing to pay for a version? The main pool of Xbox fans wouldn’t exactly be the ones clamoring for a version of the third game in a series that they have never had experience with before. Nintendo fans have gotten 4 spin-offs to ease them into the series, therefore there’s definitely money to be made from the Nintendo fanbase. You can’t say the same for Xbone.

    • Johnson Cameron

      Here is the geist of what i am trying to say.

      1.WII-U most likely could run this, but some things will take a hit if it does, i am just concerned about WII-U’s port version being stripped down of some elements to run the game. I could be wrong, unless devolopers themselves say so, i will believe it. .

      2. Most Xbone users will not buy JRPG’s they have a track record of not doing so.

      3. Yes there is money to be made on Nintendo’s fanbase i do not disagree. But when i look at the specs and all of the above, i keep saying in my mind, that some things will take a hit when being ported over. Again if Square Enix confirms it can run on the WII-U with everything in tact, then i think it should be ported to the WII-U.

    • Anastas

      Here’s the gist of what I’M trying to say:
      2. DUH.

    • Johnson Cameron

      1. Unless Square Enix confirms it themselves i will believe you.

      2. Why does it matter?

      3. So i should judge by screenshots and not something of pure evidence and science?

    • SecretX

      lol what a troll. you do know this was a site that wanted wii games, which we did get, so your argument is invalid.

  • JTShiro

    I believe Nomura will be as involved as past titles (he has gotten at least co-director and story credits for every title so far), as for the Osaka Team developing the title I’m actually really happy about that since I felt like they brought the series forward with the spinoff titles in terms of story and gameplay

  • SecretX

    i so want a wii u version. time to tell square enix what we want you guys. Japan should really support Ps4 and Wii u.

  • chris gonzalez
  • Roberto Mora

    Kingdom Hearts on a xbox what a fail square enix. Square is becoming a really disappointing company, what next another game with lightning, oh wait i forgot that happening too, get out of here square enix your drunk 😀

  • Kingdom Hearts is light????

    I don’t care about the story anymore, it’s a complete clusterfuck.

    All I want to do is have to rescue Princess Leia from the Death Star, then take the Gummi Ship down the trench run.

  • Kingdom Hearts is light????

    Also, buy a real next gen console, you cheapasses.

  • Talera Ristain

    I panicked at first when I heard it wasn’t Nomura. But then I heard it was the BBS team and was like “Awwww yeah”. BBS honestly could have been a numbered version of the series. It was fantastic. I can’t wait to see how they do with KH3.