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A Nintendo Direct is coming this week, and the Last of the Nintendogs podcast discussed what you should expect from the video presentation. But since you’re busy, I’m also going to write down those predictions for you. Let’s talk about some of the sure things alongside some longshots as Nintendo gives us an update on its upcoming release slate for the Switch.
Games we’re expecting to get updates on:
- Kirby and the Forgotten Land
- Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope
- Project Triangle Stratetgy
- Advance Wars 1+2 ReBoot Camp
Games we know about that we might hear about again:
- Splatoon 3
- Bayonetta 3
- Final Fantasy Pixel Remasters
- Sports Story
- Hollow Knight: Silk Song
Unannounced games you should expect at this Nintendo Direct
Nintendo also has a list of unannounced games that we generally have some idea about. And we could hear about some of them at the Direct tomorrow. Let’s take a look at each of them.
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The circumstantial evidence is mounting that James Bond is due to return to gaming. Achievements leaked for an Xbox version of GoldenEye 007, which Nintendo originally released for Nintendo 64 in 1997. And someone — it isn’t clear who — asked for German regulators to remove GoldenEye from the prohibited games list in the country late last year. It seems like Nintendo and Microsoft (which now owns the shooter’s developer Rare) have come to an agreement to bring the game back, and it seems likely that we hear about it at this Nintendo Direct. And it may launch in the next few weeks.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3
Xenoblade Chronicles is a beloved Nintendo role-playing adventure franchise. Nintendo’s EPD 1, which works with partner studios on games like Xenoblade Chronicles, Kirby, and Fire Emblem, has been very busy lately. But it’s also one of Nintendo’s few production houses with the capacity to release games in quick succession. And this game has done its time in the rumor mill for quite some time now, so we could finally hear about it at any moment.
1-2 Switch sequel
This is a rumor from well-regarded Nintendo rumor source Zippo. He claims that Nintendo is making a followup to the Nintendo Switch launch game that emphasized the console’s gimmicky features like HD rumble. Due to its availability at launch, 1-2 Switch certainly sold well. But Red Steel also sold well when it debuted on Wii. Do you remember Red Steel? If so, cherish that memory because future generations won’t remember it.
We are rapidly approaching the third anniversary of the release of Fire Emblem: Three Houses for Switch. Nintendo and developer Intelligent Systems (along with partner studio and Koei Tecmo subsidiary Kou Shibusawa) are likely coming together again for another release in the franchise. Intelligent Systems has released a new Fire Emblem every two-to-four years since 2005. The only question is whether this is a remake of an older game or an entirely new game, and the rumors are pointing toward the latter.
Nintendo’s EPD 10 hasn’t released a new game since 2019’s Super Mario Maker 2. It did also port a Deluxe version of Pikmin 3 in 2020, but it likely did that alongside something new. The question is what is that new project. This team also makes the New Super Mario Bros. games, but that series seems like it is done. Of course, maybe we get a new 2D Mario from this team, which I would love. But Nintendo creative boss Shigeru Miyamoto said in 2015 that a fourth Pikmin was in development, and maybe now — after the strong reception for Pikmin 3 Deluxe — is the time to get that project out the door.
If we don’t see Pikmin 4 here or at a Summer Direct, then I bet this team has moved on to something related to 2D Mario.
Metroid Prime Remaster
Metroid Prime Remaster is one of those games that I’ve heard about for a long time. For a while, I mistakenly thought I was hearing about Metroid Prime Trilogy HD — but that was incorrect. Instead, the game I was hearing about was a Metroid Prime Remaster from Retro Studios that is essentially complete and could come out at any time. But that doesn’t mean Nintendo will rush it out. Instead, it seems likely that the company will try to save the game for its 20th anniversary in November — so it’s unlikely that it will show up here. This is the opposite of what I say on the podcast, but I’ve had time to think about it. And I’m a better person than I was then.
Legend of Zelda — Breath of the Wild or HD ports
Nintendo will mention Breath of the Wild 2. It probably won’t give us a deep look at the game, but it may show a teaser to reveal the name. I would expect we have to wait until E3 to get the real start of the marketing campaign for this most anticipated of sequels, though.
The publisher may give us plenty of Zelda in the form of ports of the HD remasters of Twilight Princess and Wind Waker HD. Both of those games are long overdue to come to the Switch from Wii U, and this year could serve as the ideal timeframe to launch those games — especially if Breath of the Wild 2 slips into early 2023.
New game from EPD 9 (Mario Kart/Arms team)
Finally, we have the question of the Mario Kart team. Nintendo’s EPD 9 handles Mario Kart and Arms. It hasn’t released a new game since 2017. It is long overdue for something new. And yet a Mario Kart 9 seems unlikely due to the ongoing dominant sales of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. An Arms sequel is also a possibility, but it seems just as possible that the team could make something new or pick up a dormant franchise while it takes its time with a Mario Kart followup. Or maybe the team will finally go back to Nintendogs and represent the podcast.