Kingdom Hearts 4 release date and platform predictions

Square Enix
Square Enix /

Kingdom Hearts 4 was officially announced today and, my word, am I on cloud nine. The totally unexpected announcement jump-started my Sunday morning and I’ve probably rewatched the brief announcement trailer about 20 times by now.

After breaking down some of the key takeaways from the brief trailer, let’s get to what we all really want to know. When the heck is Kingdom Hearts 4 releasing and what platforms will it be available for?

Kingdom Hearts 4 release date?

The official press release from Square Enix did not offer a release window so all we can do is speculate. The trailer itself says this is “development footage,” but we don’t know how early in development it is. While this slice of gameplay shown certainly looks polished, it’s possible that this is just a very small sliver of what has actually been worked on so far.

We don’t know how much of the actual game is in a playable state like this, and in reality, it’s less than like 30 seconds of actual gameplay. It’s possible that Square really wanted to polish this for the announcement.

I’m willing to bet Kingdom Hearts 4 is still very early in development and at least a few years off.

Looking back, Kingdom Hearts 3 was first announced in June 2013. In that trailer, we also got a very brief look at gameplay.

It turned out that Kingdom Hearts 3 was still years away. We would continue to get trailers over the next couple of years but Kingdom Hearts 3 didn’t actually release until January 2019.

I’m really hoping we don’t have to wait six years for Kingdom Hearts 4 to arrive. If I had to guess — or hope — I’d say Kingdom Hearts 4 will take at least two or three more years. I’m predicting a 2024 or 2025 launch date. I’d love it to be sooner, but I think we can assume that Square likes to take their time with this franchise.

What platforms will Kingdom Hearts 4 launch on?

Similarly, Square Enix did not announce what platforms Kingdom Hearts 4 would be released on. Although most of the Kingdom Hearts games are now widely available on multiple platforms (even Nintendo Switch), it wasn’t always this way.

Kingdom Hearts 3 was the first mainline entry in the series to release simultaneously on Xbox and PlayStation. Previously, the main games in the Xehanort Saga had launched as exclusives on either PlayStation or certain Nintendo handhelds. It seems now that Kingdom Hearts is a full-fledged multiplatform franchise.

I’m expecting Kingdom Hearts 4 to launch on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S at first. I’m thinking it will also come to PC, but there’s a chance we may have to wait. Kingdom Hearts 3, for example, didn’t release on PC until two years after the console launch.

A Nintendo Switch release is the most questionable right now simply because of how far off it could be. Who knows, we may even have an entirely newer, more powerful Switch model by the time this game arrives so maybe it will be offered at launch.

I think the safest thing to assume right now is Kingdom Hearts 4 to be available on PlayStation and Xbox platforms at launch. And it’s quite possible we could have the PS5 Pro by then or some more powerful version of the Xbox — especially if the game is still a few years away.

What’s interesting is Kingdom Hearts 3 was announced just months before the PS4 and Xbox One launched. However, the game didn’t actually release until nearly the end of these consoles’ respective lifecycles, just months before the PS5 and Xbox Series X arrived. The game was, of course, backwards compatible with these newer generation consoles, but we haven’t had a full-fledged Kingdom Hearts mainline game created specifically for the newest generation yet. I’m hoping Kingdom Hearts 4 doesn’t arrive at the end of the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S lifespan.