While Japanese gamers have been expecting the PlayStation 3 release of the Level-5 and Studio Ghibli role-playing game collaboration known as Ninokuni for over a year, their Western counterparts have had no such certainty. English-speaking RPG fans and Studio Ghibli enthusiasts alike can now breathe a sigh of relief, as Ninokuni: Shiroki Seihai no Joou (subtitled "Queen of the White Ashes") for the PS3 has been confirmed for a North American debut in early 2012.
During a Sony Computer Entertainment Asia press conference near Tokyo Game Show 2011's venue, Level-5 president Akihiro Hino today mentioned during an interview panel that an English version of the game is in production and confirmed its release window. This PS3 version of the game starts off the same as the DS version of the same name, but the story is told differently after the game's midpoint. According to Hino, the PS3 will have additional story content that will pick up where the DS version ended.
The game will also be launched in Asian markets in Japanese. Level-5 hasn't made plans for a Chinese-text version, but Hino said that if there is a huge demand for it, his company will consider it. The game will also feature downloadable content postrelease, but Hino can't make an official announcement about it until a later date.
In the game, players control Oliver, a 13-year-old boy who is transported into the world called Ninokuni, which is a parallel reality of his own world. He is on a quest to revive his recently deceased mother and is accompanied by a male fairy called Shizuku.