Namco Bandai said today Ni No Kuni is coming to North America this Winter, but we'll probably be getting it early next year.

You see, Winter 2012 actually begins in late December and ends sometime in March. It's entirely possible Namco could release the game in December during the holiday period, but the games industry typically doesn't work that way. Ni No Kuni releases in the first quarter of 2013 in Europe, which fuels the idea the game won't be out this year in North America.

“Our top priority for the Western release of Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is to localize the game with the same level of quality and attention to detail that fans of Level-5 and Studio Ghibli have come to expect," said Akihiro Hino, President and CEO of Level-5.

I asked a Namco representative to clarify what year the game would be shipping in, and they were unable to provide more detail.

Ni No Kuni will include both English and Japanese voiceovers. The game was released last November in Japan.