In years past, this would have been the week for the big annual June Nintendo Direct, but in 2022 the Mario maker is so far nowhere to be seen. But the company could still be planning to close out the month with a showcase of some kind, according to a writer at Sony Santa Monica.
“I believe there is a Nintendo Direct coming on the 29th,” former IGN producer and current writer at the God of War studio, Alanah Pearce, told a viewer during a Twitch livestream yesterday. “I don’t know if that’s been announced. You heard it here first.” She double-checked her calendar on-stream and confirmed the date, adding that she didn’t consider it a leak because the information didn’t come from Nintendo or include any hint about what might be at the apparent event.
VGC corroborated the date, reporting that Pearce’s comments matched what the site had been told. Previously, there was speculation an event might be held this week, but that leaned on a leaked release date for a game that ended up being revealed at Summer Game Fest instead. Nintendo did not respond to a request for comment.
The Nintendo Direct format laid the groundwork for many of the pre-recorded showcases gaming companies regularly show throughout the year, but especially during the week when E3 would normally occur. And despite not doing a live press conference at the annual industry event in years, Nintendo has held a Direct presentation of some kind every June with the exception of 2016. That was the year before the Switch launched, and while the Wii U version of Breath of the Wild was shown extensively on the E3 show floor as part of Tree House Live, there wasn’t any larger showcase.
Nintendo missing June would be unusual then, and while we do live in weird times, the company has plenty of big new games coming up to show off. Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes, Xenoblade Chronicles 3, and Splatoon 3 all come out in the next few months. There also still remain plenty of question marks about Nintendo’s release plans for the second half of the year.
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The Advance Wars 1+2 remake was delayed because of the Russian war against Ukraine, and doesn’t yet have a new release date. Bayonetta 3 still needs a release date as well, and while Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are due out in November, there’s still room for another first-party game or two. A refresh of the Switch hardware isn’t out of the question either, though continued part shortages make that a more tenuous possibility.
Nintendo has reportedly also been keeping near-finished games on call to plug holes in its release calendar, and a June 29 Direct could possibly be an opportunity to reveal more of those. Fans are also hungry for updates on Breath of the Wild 2 and Metroid Prime 4. The latter was originally teased five years ago at, you guessed it, an E3 2017 Nintendo Direct.