New Nintendo Direct could confirm Xenoblade Chronicles remake release date
A new MSRB rating is a strong hint at bigger things to come, maybe even during a Nintendo Direct in February.
Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition was the final reveal of September 2019's Nintendo Direct, and finally, some new information indicates a release date announcement as part of a new Nintendo Direct might be imminent.
Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition ratings popped up in both North America and South Korea Sunday, suggesting that a release date has been formally scheduled for the coming months. As Nintendo still needs a good place to reveal this information, it also seems likely that another Nintendo Direct is coming soon. But will it be held on February 27 as some rumors claimed? Or sometime in March?
Speculation about an upcoming Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition release date began back in January when Express noticed that a Danish storefront had listed the game with a release date of May 29, 2020. That is a Friday, so it lines up with the day of the week Nintendo typically releases first-party titles. About a week later, a Swedish site also cataloged Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition with that same release date. Despite the fact that release date speculation has been rampant over the past month, Nintendo and Monolith Soft have not said much about the remake since September 2019.
Anticipation grew when Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition received a rating of 12+ from South Korea's rating board for games. Then, over the weekend, an ESRB rating of Teen was implemented on the Nintendo eShop. Ratings for a game are usually confirmed somewhat close to the game's release, so Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition should be coming soon, or at the very least some kind of major announcement will.
Nintendo might be waiting until an upcoming Direct presentation to confirm the release date for Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition. Some rumors claim it might happen in the second week of March and also focus on a new Metroid and/or Mario Kart game, but other rumors claim February 27 is the date of the next Direct.
The last major Nintendo Direct was the September 2019 one in which Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition was revealed. While we've received a smattering of game-specific Directs throughout early 2020, we have yet to see a broader presentation that goes over what we can expect for Nintendo throughout the rest of 2020. Basically, these ratings and release date leaks hint that a major announcement for Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition should happen soon, and Nintendo typically hold information like that for Nintendo Directs so one would expect that another is one the horizon.
The Inverse Analysis
It's very likely that Xenoblade Chronicles will release in May and that a full Nintendo Direct overviewing the rest of 2020 will occur sometime in the next three to four weeks.
While these new ratings have emerged somewhat early, I don't see Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition getting a release on such sort notice. It definitely won't be out before Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Then, April is already a packed month for JRPGs with games like Final Fantasy VII Remake and Trials of Mana, so it wouldn't make much sense to release it alongside such stiff competition. While it would have to compete with The Last of Us Part II in May, its niche will be more underserved in that period and could lead to a stronger launch.
As for the Nintendo Direct, it only makes sense that one would be coming soon. Multiple leakers have stated that two Nintendo Directs are coming in February, and we already got one related to Animal Crossing. If this is truly the case, then the Thursday, February 27 date is a possibility. Even if a Direct doesn't happen in February, another rumor suggests that it's coming in March and will cover Metroid Prime 4. Either way, Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition is likely to get some time in the spotlight as a major 2020 release for Nintendo, and these ratings all but confirm that we can expect it this spring.
Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition will launch on Nintendo Switch Switch in 2020.