Square Enix has listed two new Kingdom Hearts products on its digital North American storefront, them being plushes based on the appearances of Sora and Riku from Kingdom Hearts II. They're both available for pre-order for $44.99, and currently possess November 2022 release windows.
You can view officially provided images of these upcoming plushes via our galleries below, as well as respective store page links:
Kingdom Hearts II - Sora Plush
Kingdom Hearts II - Riku Plush
UPDATE: Both plushes are now available for pre-order via the Square Enix Japan Store and AmiAmi. Their respective store page links are listed below:
Kingdom Hearts II Sora Plush - Square Enix Japan Store (July 16th, 2022 release for ¥4,180)
Kingdom Hearts II Riku Plush - Square Enix Japan Store (July 16th, 2022 release for ¥4,180)
Kingdom Hearts II Sora Plush - AmiAmi (July 2022 release for ¥3,550)
Kingdom Hearts II Riku Plush - AmiAmi (July 2022 release for ¥3,550)
Square Enix Japan has listed another new piece of Kingdom Hearts-themed merchandise, this time being a monogram glasses case based on Kingdom Hearts III. This leather case's exterior is decorated with iconic symbols from the series, such as the enemy emblems, and its size is 57mm x 160mm x 60mm.
Additionally, it is available for pre-order ahead of its June 25th, 2022 release date for ¥3,850 (approximately $33.47).
You can view the provided images for this upcoming product via our gallery below:
Kingdom Hearts III Monogram Folding Glasses Case
As a glasses wearer myself, this case is looking awfully appealing...
We will update this article with English store information when it is applicable to do so.
The product is now available to pre-order via Square Enix North America for $34.99 ahead of a provided October 2022 release window.
Bandai Japan has announced that they will be selling Kingdom Hearts 20th anniversary-themed wafers in Japan in June 2022. These confectionaries will be available in several 7-Elevens throughout the country. Additionally, purchasers can obtain random metallic cards with their wafers decorated with Kingdom Hearts characters.
Further details of this announcement were translated by our team's Ryuji, viewable below:
※Images are merely illustrative and not indicative of the product.
Inside each package, you can find a:
● Metallic Card (30 variants）
● Wafer (Cocoa Cream) x1
Images of the wafer and examples of obtainable cards are viewable via our gallery below and the official Bandai Japan website.
If you're a Kingdom Hearts fan in Japan, you have some sweetness to look forward to in the Summer! Let us know how the wafer tastes if you decide to try it.
The official Japan PR Twitter account for Kingdom Hearts Dark Road has announced that the title's offline version has been delayed again following the addition of a significant scenario.
A translation of the delay message has been provided via our team's Ryuji:
"The update for Kingdom Hearts Union x Dark Road, which was scheduled to be released this winter, will now take a little longer to release due to the addition of a major scenario to the story.
From his younger days to his days as a Master, we ask that you wait for this tale that tells the past of Xehanort."
You can view the tweet announcing this game's delay below:
A translation of the text in the new image has been provided, viewable below:
UPDATE: The North American Kingdom Hearts Dark Road acccount has provided an update on the delay, mirroring the Japanese account's announcement.
UPDATE: May 24th, 2022: The Ichiban Kuji has been delayed to July 16th, 2022, due to global distribution disruption and shipping delays.
Square Enix has revealed the release date, price point, and locations of launch for the items present in the Kingdom Hearts ~20th Anniversary~ Ichiban Kuji lottery.
The contents of the new lottery information has been translated by our team's Ryuji:
・Release date: To be released sequentially from July 16th, 2022 (Saturday)
・MSRP: 750 yen per purchase (10% tax already accounted for)
・Stores handling the product: 7-11 stores, Ito-Yokado stores
※ The product distribution will end as soon as stock runs out.
※ Images are merely illustrative and may differ from the final product.
※ Content is subject to change without notice.
Prize A: Sora Statue
Prize B: Kairi Statue
Prize C Design Clock
Prize D Plushie Mascot
Prize E: Canvas Board
Prize F: Hand towel
Prize G: Glass
Prize H: Keyblade Charm Collection
Last One Prize: Sora Statue - Last One ver.
Double Chance Campaign: Sora Statue - Last One ver.
What is Cloud gaming?
Cloud gaming, (not to be confused with subscription-based gaming), is the use of powerful centralized servers to render the game remotely rather than on the player's physical console and is currently being pushed by video game publishers as the new way to play video games.
The technology allows for things like better graphics, higher FPS-rates, better lighting, all with minimal hardware requirements for the client. You could play the most recent, most graphics heavy game at 4K 60fps from your two-year-old iPhone.
At least that's the idea. The problem is... It's still way too early for this to be technologically viable. And the recent release of the Kingdom Hearts Cloud versions prove it.
Square Enix and Nintendo decided to go against what most professionals have already said about cloud gaming, and published a cloud version the Kingdom Hearts series at nearly full price on a console designed to be used on the go with limited or no internet connection. Which is actually pretty disappointing as a fan of both the Kingdom Hearts series and Square Enix themselves.
I think the best way to describe the problem is to compare it to traditional video streaming. When you watch a movie on Netflix, the movie is already rendered and ready to go on Netflix's servers, and will be downloaded in real time as you watch, with a few seconds of buffer to give you the most seamless experience.
What is a buffer?
In streaming, buffering means the platform gives itself a small head start. It starts downloading the content a few seconds (or less) before actually playing it. If the buffer runs out while watching, you might experience a short pause, a temporary drop in resolution, or both.
I think anyone that actively watched Youtube 10 years ago are all too familiar with this. As ISP's infrastructure gets better, the need for a buffer decreases, but it's still there in some capacity, and is likely to still be there for the foreseeable future.
However in cloud gaming, buffering isn't possible in any capacity. Since your console has to record your input, pass it on to the server, render the gameplay, then send it back to you all within a few milliseconds. There is no room for buffering, at all. Even just half a second of buffering means you'd be playing the game with a ping of 500ms. And I think most people would agree that isn't a great experience, especially when it comes to fast-paced games like Kingdom Hearts.
Credit: Screenshot taken from HMK's video about the same topic
If the Cloud game you're playing has servers within a hundred mile radius, and you have a good internet connection with low latency, you might be able to play it somewhat smoothly. But anyone outside of the most central parts in the most populated regions are out of luck.
If video game publishers keep pushing this technology too early, they risk taking huge hits to their image from their intended audience. I hope this outrage turns out to be a learning experience for Square Enix and for other publishers witnessing the outrage.
Maybe one day in the future, we'll have fast enough connections that most of the world will be able to experience and enjoy cloud gaming as it's intended, without having to live right next to the data center. But we're not quite there yet.
The official Kingdom Hearts Twitter account has announced that as part of the franchise's 20-year anniversary event, they will be sending fan questions to the development team. Additionally, the team yearns to know fan-favorite quotes from the series.
You can view the announcement of this event and take part in it via the official Kingdom Hearts Twitter account below:
Square Enix has announced that Kingdom Hearts Integrum Masterpiece for Cloud is now available for purchase on Nintendo Switch.
The store pages for the collection and each individual title are listed below. Each purchaseable item is currently 20% off.
Kingdom Hearts Integrum Masterpiece for Cloud (Base Price - $89.99; Sale Price - $71.99)
Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX (Base Price - $39.99; Sale Price - $31.99)
Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue (Base Price - $49.99; Sale Price - $39.99)
Kingdom Hearts III + Re Mind (Base Price - $49.99; Sale Price - $39.99)
Players who purchase Kingdom Hearts Integrum Masterpiece for Cloud or Kingdom Hearts III + Re Mind by itself will receive the Advent Red Keyblade for the latter title, viewable via our gallery below:
If you missed it, Square Enix announced that the demos and full releases of these games have received a patch to address unspecified issues.
Lastly, Square Enix has shared a launch trailer for this collection, viewable below:
Square Enix Japan has revealed a brief 15-second trailer for the release of Kingdom Hearts Integrum Masterpiece for Cloud. This commerical is solely meant to advertise the game's current launch in the region.
You can view the Japan launch trailer for Kingdom Hearts Integrum Masterpiece for Cloud below:
These Cloud games are releasing on February 10th, 2022.
For more information on Kingdom Hearts Integrum Masterpiece for Cloud, check out our prior coverage.
Square Enix has unveiled a new product available for pre-order via their Japan digital storefront. This item is a tote bag that comes with attachable Sora and Mickey plushes, releasing on June 25, 2022 for ¥11,000 ($95.22).
You can currently pre-order this tote bag and plushes via the Japan store and view the provided images of the item via our gallery below:
UPDATE: This item is now available for pre-order via the North American Square Enix store for $99.99 ahead of a provided October 2022 release window!
The Japanese portal website for Kingdom Hearts has updated, giving more details for the franchise's 20th anniversary event. The event is using a special lottery system in order to attend, where 150 people will be chosen from applying and will be able to experience the stage and exhibition.
The event will take place on Sunday, April 10th, 2022 in Shibuya Hikarie on the 9th floor of Hikarie Hall. Doors will open at 14:00 and the stage event starts at 17:00. Attendees are free to experience the special exhibition until the stage events starts. The event is scheduled to end around 20:00. It is prohibited to take videos or photos during the stage performance or record audio.
If fans were wanting to attend, the application process starts Thursday, February 17, 2022 at 23:59. Applicants wanting to attend must be a legal resident of Japan and are of 18 years of age or older. You must register as a member of Square Enix Members and install the mobile application.
After the application process has ended, the winners will be decided and not on a first-come, first-serve basis. Winners will be notified by email in early March 2022. You can apply via the official Square Enix Japan Member website.
You can view newly revealed images of the event's Special Live Talk Show and Memories Locker below:
The official Kingdom Hearts Japan Twitter account has shared a new development regarding the soon-to-be-released Kingdom Hearts Integrum Masterpiece for Cloud.
A translation of the announcement has been performed via our team's Ryuji, viewable below:
"The Kingdom Hearts series of games on Nintendo Switch have been patched with this Day 1 patch, aimed to fix gameplay issues that occur mid-play on both the full and demo versions of the games."
No specific errors or bugs have been stated.
You can view the initial tweet sharing this announcement below:
The official Utada Hikaru Youtube channel has announced that they will be premiering the music video of the A. G. Cook remix "Face My Fears" tomorrow at 7 AM EST/ 4 AM PST.
UPDATE: The remix video is now viewable, available below:
If you missed it, check out Utada Hikaru's live performance of "Face My Fears".
Square Enix has shared new official Kingdom Hearts artwork via the franchise's official Twitter accounts (English & Japanese), commemorating the legendary Final Fantasy VII's 25th anniversary.
Sora is shown in Scala ad Caelum, mirroring a pose Cloud does in the key art for Final Fantasy VII Remake, with Midgar as the backdrop.
This isn't the first time the Kingdom Hearts media accounts have celebrated Final Fantasy VII this way, as it previously occurred in 2017 for Final Fantasy VII's 20th anniversary.
You can view the new Kingdom Hearts art featuring Sora to celebrate Final Fantasy VII's 25th anniversary via our gallery below:
Chapter 22 for the Kingdom Hearts III manga is now available in English from Yen Press. Toy Box Part 3 can be bought as a digital download from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Walker, ComiXology, Google Play, iBooks, and Kobo. The issue's price varies from $1.99 for the United States to $2.99 in Canada.
Chapter 22 was released in Japanese on Gangan Online back on January 13th Chapter 22 is planned to release on Gangan Online on February 10th.
You can also check out the articles for the previous chapters by clicking on the links below!
Chapter 0 Prologue Japanese English
Chapter 1 The New Departure Japanese English
Chapter 2 Olympus Coliseum Part 1 Japanese English
Chapter 3 Olympus Coliseum Part 2 Japanese English
Chapter 4 Olympus Coliseum Part 3 Japanese English
Chapter 5 Olympus Coliseum Part 4 Japanese English
Chapter 6 Olympus Coliseum Part 5 Japanese English
Chapter 7 Olympus Coliseum Part 6 Japanese English
Chapter 8 Olympus Coliseum Part 7 Japanese English
Chapter 9 The Dark World Japanese English
Chapter 10 Unbreakable Connection Japanese English
Chapter 11 The Self inside the Mirror Japanese English
Chapter 12 Reunion Japanese English
Chapter 13 Warmth Japanese English
Chapter 14 Destiny Island Japanese English
Chapter 15 Remaining Light Japanese English
Chapter 16 Tracking the Bond Japanese English
Chapter 17 Following the Heart's Guidance Japanese English
Chapter 18 Twilight Town  Japanese English
Chapter 19 Twilight Town  Japanese English
Chapter 20 Tox Box  Japanese English
Chapter 21 Toy Box  Japanese English
Chapter 22 Toy Box  Japanese
In addition, Volume 2 of the manga is now available for Japan. The English version is schedule to release on March 22nd.