Dragon Quest XI is the eleventh mainline entry in the storied role-playing franchise created by Square Enix and Yuji Horii's production studio, Armor Project. The title was initially released in Japan simultaneously for the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo 3DS on July 29, 2017 with plans to eventually publish a port for the Nintendo Switch. Square Enix also released Dragon Quest XI in North America and Europe on September 4, 2018 for the PlayStation 4 as well as the PC via Steam. The localized version featured a number of improvements including newly added voice acting that was not present in the Japanese release, reworked menus and an extra difficulty mode among other additions.
The two different releases of Dragon Quest XI were co-developed by an additional company for each iteration. The PlayStation 4 version saw assistance from ORCA, who used Unreal Engine 4 to develop the title, and Toylogic collaborated with Square Enix to created the 3DS version. Both interpretations of XI feature a polygonal 3D presentation, with the PS4 containing fully proportioned characters while the the 3DS has a more super-deformed art style. However, the 3DS version contains an option to experience the entire game with a classic 2D sprite-based art style as well which, in the game's opening hours, is displayed on the 3DS's bottom screen while the 3D visuals play out on the top screen. The PS4 release also contains two different options for battle gameplay: a traditional menu-based system and a real-time system where the player directly controls the hero while the other party members are controlled by the computer. So in total, with all the different iterations and graphical modes, there are three distinct versions of Dragon Quest XI that all contain the same story but vastly different presentations and even slightly different gameplay systems.