This is an academic concern, since I don't particularly enjoy the genre. Still, the advantages of the Wii U controller with regards to RPGs are pretty obvious, even putting aside any potential innovations.
Maps and Inventory. They aren't sexy, but they are pretty useful, and having a persistent inventory would be very handy, particularly in a Borderlands/Diablo-type of game. But other parts of the game, like the battle system, could also be simplified and streamlined. Want to use a potion in the middle of battle? Tap the icon. Want to issue real-time orders to your party members? Tap the icon. Want to cast a spell without going though menus and submenus. Why, tap the icon!
Imagine playing a lightning-fast RPG that isn't overly simplified. Having a secondary display would allow that. And, of course, for the grindfests, you could play remotely on the screen. (I would question why you're still even playing at that point, but whatever.)
I'm going to answer my own question by cutting most WRPGs out of the equation (at least until the PS4/720 launch), since Western companies seem to focus on the most powerful hardware. But I think there's a good chance that 'big' JRPGs could migrate to the platform. Or should migrate. Then again, I think the Wiimote offered some cool enhancements to the RPG, like pointer-based NPC interaction, but that hasn't gone very far.
I think there is very little chance of Japanese RPGs ever leaving handhelds at this point.
As for which home console would receive the most support from JRPG developers, the functions or power have very little to do with it, don't they? If you have told me last gen that the 360 would receive the best support, I would have laughed in your face.
I don't think MS is gonna repeat the experience of giving moneyhats to Japanese devs to try and "win" Japan next generation, so I'm fairly sure the 720 won't be the destination for them.
Yeah, handhelds. I was going to mention those, but forgot. It looks like the Wii U would have to somehow unseat the PSP/Vita to get the RPG love. Actually, I can see Wii U/Vita cross-platform stuff, if Sony allows it.
And I think the PS3 has probably surpassed the 360 as a JRPG machine by now. Money only gets you so far.
I guess everything depends on the Wii U's initial performance. Unfortunately, even though Nintendo won the home console race this gen by a landslide, they are still somehow going into the next generation with no momentum whatsoever, particularly in Japan. So they'll need yet another reversal of fortune.
Still, just from a functional standpoint, the Wii U has a lot to offer to RPG developers. Without much thought required, fortunately.
Why though? Final Fantasy has been farting around on Playstation since 1996, the same time that the highest rated game of all-time is on N64. After that, the game that took it off the top is on the Wii. Nintendo isn't going to be in everyone's favor overnight. Its sad, and sad as heck.
After Dragon Quest X, what else are we guaranteed? What else are we guaranteed in the West?
I'm not sure what you're getting at. But I think it stands to reason that if every Japanese person has to buy a Wii U to play Dragon Quest X, then publishers will understand that that's where the JRPG audience is.
Yeah, FF was on Playstation. And Dragon Quest was on Playstation. And every other RPG ever was on Playstation, too. That's the point!
Why did DragonQuest ever leave Nintendo in the first place!? I-IV was on NES! What was wrong with SNES?
You guys don't think stinky Final Fantasy (I say that now, I definitely didn't say it then, circa FF III (US)) will say on Playstation? They're just magically going to "up and leave" and "abandon" their "fanbase?"
Dragon Quest usually comes late into a console's life, and Enix has said they'll always go to the console with the biggest userbase. It's the reason IX went to the DS, and X is coming to the Wii (and Wii U).
Final Fantasy... who knows. It appeals to people in the West more, and they've said they'll always go for the best hardware possible (or at least, that they wouldn't go to handhelds). So I don't know.
But FF's relevance has gone down since XIII and XIV. And I'm thinking the smaller JRPG devs will follow DQ, no matter when FF goes.
Also, I'm pretty sure the next FF will be multiplatform anyway, just like XIII was.
@Mr_Mustache Actually the first six DQ games were on the NES and SNES. DQVII was the first DQ game to be on a non-Nintendo console.
DQ left Nintendo and went to Sony basically because Square convinced Enix to follow them to Sony's camp when Square took Final Fantasy to Playstation. From what I remember reading and hearing, that was some serious salt in the wound for Nintendo. Nintendo was not happy about that.
I don't know if the developers are going to be flocking over to the Wii U to support it with a bunch of JRPG's, but for me personally, the Wii U will probably be the definitive platform for them. Unless, of course, the other platforms end up having dual-screen setups.