Nintendo hosted a forty-five minute Nintendo Direct livestream on Wednesday, revealing upcoming games and updates for the Nintendo Switch.
As many players expected, Nintendo shared a trailer for the highly anticipated “The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom,” the follow-up to the franchise’s beloved “Breath of the Wild.” The game will be released on May 12, 2023, and will be the most costly standard edition of a game yet, retailing for $69.99.
While the new “Zelda” game capped off the presentation, the stream opened with a trailer for “Pikmin 4,” which is slated for release on July 21, 2023. That’s nearly two years after Nintendo partnered with “Pokémon Go” maker Niantic to launch the AR game “Pikmin Bloom,” which encourages players to walk outside and collect seedlings. Perhaps the most important bit of information here is that in “Pikmin 4,” you can ride on a dog named Oatchi.
Particularly nostalgic fans of longstanding Nintendo franchises had even more to celebrate. Subscribers to Nintendo Switch Online will soon be able to play select Game Boy, Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance games; the platform already offers certain games from old consoles like the Nintendo 64, NES, SNES and Sega Genesis. Some games, available today, include “Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins,” “Mario Kart: Super Circuit,” “Kirby’s Dream Land” and “The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap.”
“Zelda” and “Pikmin” have decades of history, but Nintendo has also found success in more recent franchises like “Splatoon,” which debuted in 2015 — the most recent installment, “Splatoon 3,” was released on Nintendo Switch in September. “Splatoon 3” was the second-best-selling game for Nintendo last quarter, with 10.1 million units sold (in the top spot was “Pokémon Scarlet & Violet” at 20.6 million).
Fans of these ink-splattered, punk rock squids and octolings have some new material to look forward to in the coming months. Nintendo announced a paid expansion pack for “Splatoon 3,” which will span two waves: Inkopolis, launching this spring, and Side Order, which will come later. Inkopolis seems a bit underwhelming; it’s another setting to explore, but from this trailer, it doesn’t appear that the weapons and gear available will be any different than what’s already in the game. The second wave, however, seems to plunge us into a colorless, blank canvas of a world (which presumably, we will douse in bright ink). That’s a bit more intriguing than a performance by the Squid Sisters (no offense to that very cool fictional band).
Other announcements include “Metroid Prime Remastered” (available now), “Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe” (out February 24), and news about expansion content for “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe,” “Fire Emblem Engage” and “Xenoblade Chronicles 3.”
To those keeping score at home: no, there was no update on “Silksong.”