Nintendo releases trailers for new Zelda and Pikmin games •

by Ana Lopez

Nintendo hosted a 45-minute Nintendo Direct live stream on Wednesday, revealing upcoming games and updates for Nintendo Switch.

As many players expected, Nintendo shared a trailer for the highly anticipated The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, the sequel to the franchise’s beloved Breath of the Wild. The game will be released on May 12, 2023 and will be the most expensive standard edition of a game to date, with a retail price of $69.99.

As the new Zelda game concluded its presentation, the stream opened with a trailer for it Picmin 4, which is set to release on July 21, 2023. That’s almost 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 piece of information here is that in Pikmin 4 you can ride a dog named Oatchi.

Nostalgic fans of long-standing Nintendo franchises in particular had even more to celebrate. Nintendo Switch Online subscribers 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 such as the Nintendo 64, NES, SNES and Sega Genesis. Some of the 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 first place was Pokémon Scarlet & Violet with 20.6 million).

Fans of these ink-spattered punk rock squids and octolings have some new material to look forward to in the coming months. Nintendo has announced a paid expansion pack for Splatoon 3, which will include two waves: Inkopolis, launching this spring, and Side Order, coming later. Inkopolis seems a bit disappointing; it’s a different setting to explore, but it doesn’t appear from this trailer 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 we will presumably douse with bright ink). That’s a little more intriguing than a Squid Sisters performance (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 expansion content news for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Fire Emblem Engage and Xenoblade Chronicles 3.

For those keeping score at home: No, there was no update on Silksong.

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