Nintendo and Square Enix have announced that the North American release of Dragon Quest IX: Sentinel of the Starry Skies for DS has been set for June July 11, exactly a year after it launched in Japan. As was revealed in February, Nintendo will be publishing the game here -- although the English localization is being handled by Square Enix and not NOA's Treehouse team.

Dragon Quest IX has sold more than four million copies to date in Japan, where the game's WiFi "Pass-By Guest" feature has proven very popular. North American gamers will get a chance to experience it as the renamed "Tag Mode," silently trading character stats, battle records and play data with other DQIX players simply by walking near each other with their handhelds in sleep mode. If you encounter a player who's logged more than 400 hours in the game, it's probably this guy.

You'll find pre-order information (and a rather delightful trailer) on the game's official website.

Update: Dragon Quest IX will be released in Europe on July 23.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.