The First Nintendo Direct of 2023 Brings Exciting New Things to Switch
Nintendo Directs are a little bit like a holiday. We all know that Nintendo likes to keep things close to the chest as far as announcements, so whenever a Direct comes along for a lifelong Nintendo fan like me, it makes us feel a little giddy, like Christmas morning.
That’s not to say it always ends up being great, as sometimes the news is just meh. It’s hard to know what to expect, but now that we’ve had a chance to sit down and take it all in, I think it’s fair to say that there’s some exciting stuff coming down the pipes for the Nintendo Switch in 2023.
As always, there’s rumors and high hopes, and that comes with disappointments. Animal Crossing fans hoping for something new got no such thing - and that makes sense, since the company already said there’d be no big updates to the game last year. Similarly, news of Metroid Prime 4 was not forthcoming.
So what did we get to look forward to? The Direct kicked off with titles like Pikmin 4, coming in July of this year, a Xenoblade Chronicles Expansion Pass DLC with a new character, Lapidarist Masha, and the inclusion of roguelike battles and the potential to win outfits, with a promise for more with Volume 4 later this year, a fun looking rhythm/dance title, Samba de Amigo Party Central, and a fashion game called Fashion Dreamer.
Some other interesting pulls from the front half of the showcase include Dead Cells: Return to Castlevania, which features Belmont himself, and battles with Death and Dracula, as well as the return of classic weapons and a ton of great music from the game, with 12 covers and 51 songs included. If you’re as psyched as we were about this, it’s coming March 6 and you can preorder it now on the Nintendo eShop.
TRON makes a return to consoles too, with an April 2023 release of TRON: Identity looking intriguing. This narrative puzzle game looks gorgeous and includes a story that changes with your decisions.
Bayonetta fans get a look into the before times with Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon, which not only lays out Bayonetta’s beginnings, but features a beautiful art style and all new gameplay in which you control Cereza and the demon Cheshire at the same time. Look for this title on March 17th.
Splatoon 3 will be getting a brand new expansion pass DLC in two waves, with the first of the two taking squid kids back to Inkopolis from the first game. The details were a little fuzzy on what exactly that’ll mean, save for new places to shop (though items are the same in both shops) , though we were excited to see that Marie and Callie will perform there during SplatFests. A little more intrigue came from the peek at Wave 3: Side Order, which seems to put the squids in a winter wonderland and feature some interesting lore, though that’s all speculation from a few artistic scenes. Wave 1 hits in Spring, but you’ll have to wait til “the future” for Side Order.
Some of the other big takeaways include the addition of Game Boy Games to Nintendo Switch Online, which went live yesterday and at launch includes Tetris, Super Mario Land 2, Link’s Awakening, Gargoyle’s Quest, Game & Watch Gallery 3, Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare, Metroid II: Return of Samus, Wario Land 3, and Kirby’s Dream Land
Game Boy Advance games are also coming to Switch for those with the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion and include Super Mario Advance 4, WarioWare Inc: Mega Microgames, Kuru Kuru Kururin, Mario Kart Super Circuit, Mario and Luigi Superstar Saga, and Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap and are also live for those subscribed at this level.
One of our favorite reveals of the day though had to be Metroid Prime Remastered, which is great for anyone who’s been pining away for something new in the Metroidverse, and features new dual-stick controls (though you can also play with classic or customized controls) and was an immediate digital release surprise, with a physical version coming on February 2022.
Meanwhile, Mario Kart 8 will see Wave 4’s DLC with a Booster Course Pass that adds a Yoshi’s Island course as well as Birdo, who first debuted in Double Dash, in Spring of 2023.
It wouldn’t be a Direct if we didn’t end on a big one, and there was no disappointments here, as Tears of the Kingdom got the expected spotlight. It looks gorgeous, expansive and every bit as enticing as the first, and you can expect it to drop on May 12, 2023, with pre-orders already underway. A special Collector’s Edition will also release on Launch Day alongside a brand new amiibo, so if you’re a collector, the time to reserve yours is now.
There is plenty more we didn’t get to cover, but luckily for everyone, the Nintendo Direct can be viewed in its entirety here. What did you think of this first Direct of the Year? Did it leave you hyped or disappointed? Let us know in the comments.