Nintendo hit a rough patch with the Wii U, but the Switch has been a monumental success for the Big N. Whereas the Wii U is one of the worst-selling video game consoles of all time, the Switch is in the top five and is on pace to overtake the PlayStation 4 in total lifetime sales. However, the Switch first launched in 2017 and its hardware is starting to show its age. According to the latest rumors, Nintendo may agree with that sentiment and could be shifting the focus of its first-party studios to the Switch successor console.
According to the rumors, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom could be pegged as the last "big" new first-party Nintendo Switch exclusive game. If the rumors are accurate, Nintendo would then focus on releasing smaller games, remakes, and remasters for the Switch while putting most of its attention on titles for the Switch 2 console. While it does seem likely that a new Nintendo console will release at some point in 2024 or 2025, these rumors do have a couple of big issues to take into account.
Also a reminder that this is specifically for Nintendo’s internal development teams, Game Freak/anything Pokémon is not one of them.— Centro LEAKS (@CentroLeaks) January 2, 2023
Though we believe/predict there’s only 1 main series Pokémon game left to be released for Nintendo Switch.
From what I’m hearing I wouldn’t be surprised if Nintendo starts talking about new hardware by 2024. I’m not convinced another huge first-party game other than Zelda is left on Switch (usual Nintendo prediction caveats apply…) https://t.co/96CSoLd0Dn— Andy Robinson (@AndyPlaytonic) December 29, 2022
The rumors ignore the fact that Pikmin 4 has already been announced for the Switch, with the game scheduled to launch at some point after Tears of the Kingdom hits store shelves. While the Pikmin franchise is not nearly as big as something like Zelda, Pikmin 4 should still prove to be one of the Switch's biggest releases this year. The other issue is that the rumors seemingly ignore Metroid Prime 4's existence, but perhaps there's another explanation for that.
Metroid Prime 4 was first announced for the Switch a whopping six years ago, yet it still has not seen so much as a gameplay trailer. This is because Metroid Prime 4 development was rebooted a couple of years after its announcement, with Nintendo taking the game from Bandai Namco and putting it in the hands of Retro Studios instead. It's possible Metroid Prime 4 will be skipping the Nintendo Switch in favor of the new Nintendo console, though it's also possible that the people talking about these rumors simply forgot it was on the way.
Reputable insiders have said that a Metroid Prime remake or remaster has already been made for the Switch, and it's just a matter of when the company decides to release it. There are also rumors of a new 2D Super Mario game in the works, but perhaps that project will be moved to the Switch's successor. Ultimately, fans will have to wait for Nintendo to reveal more information about its upcoming projects to know how much truth there is to these rumors, if any at all.
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