Gamers eagerly awaiting something that resembles a major Nintendo Direct presentation in June could be sorely disappointed, but there's one reason why gamers can still hold out hope for exciting Nintendo news in the near future.
Now that June is almost here, many fans continue to expect a Direct showcase that Nintendo would have aired during E3 2020 before the annual games conference was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, particularly because a new Arms character is still expected to join the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate roster as part of the Fighter Pass 2 in June. There's also a DLC for Pokémon Sword and Shield due out that month, so some kind of Direct revealing more details for both, along with other announcements, would be the norm. But a VentureBeat report published Tuesday revealed that Nintendo “isn’t planning a Direct at all” for the foreseeable future because the presentations have proven difficult to produce when employees are working remotely.
Anonymous sources from the company told the author of the report, Jeff Grubb, that Nintendo has told all of its development partners "not to wait for a Direct even if they have a big announcement" and to instead move forward with major reveals on their own. Even though the company isn’t organizing any flashy presentations at the moment, it doesn’t mean that Nintendo won't make any game announcements in the near future. It just means the halcyon days of sweeping Nintendo Directs may be over.
Grubb reports that Nintendo will exclusively be revealing all of its first-party titles with surprise trailer drops like it did for Paper Mario: The Origami King on May 14 until it can begin producing Directs again.
“Surprise trailer drops out of nowhere can still build a lot of excitement,” he wrote. “The company also doesn’t have to worry about meeting expectations if you don’t know something is coming.”
What could Nintendo announce in the near future? In a March 30 report, Grubb accurately predicted that Nintendo would launch a new Paper Mario title this year. The article also mentioned that the company was working on remastering a handful of Mario games for the franchise’s 35th anniversary in September.
The company is reportedly overhauling the 3D Mario collection for the Nintendo Switch, which would include Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy. A previous version of the report stated that Super Mario Galaxy 2 would also be included, but Grubb subsequently added a correction to his report stating that he could no longer confirm if Galaxy 2 would make the cut.
He also stated that a Switch version of Pikmin 3 is in the works with the title "Pikmin 3 Deluxe" and that the company could have other surprises beyond those games. However, it’ll most likely wait until it can begin producing Directs again before revealing anything else
The Inverse Analysis — There are a few other titles and updates that Nintendo fans should keep an eye out for over the next few months.
The company revealed that the first Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Fighter Pass 2 DLC fighter would be from its quirky boxing franchise Arms. Nintendo didn’t reveal who the new character would be but it did confirm that it will be added to the fighting game in June. There's also the aforementioned Pokémon Sword and Shield DLC to look forward to. Rather than a full Nintendo Direct encompassing these and more announcements, each will probably be relegated to a specific trailer dropped at a random time.
Sadly, announcements and updates for major games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 and Metroid Prime 4 will most likely wait for their own Nintendo Directs given how monumental both of those releases will be for the company. The future of Nintendo, specifically how the company distributes major announcements, could permanently change. Either way, we're still due for some exciting announcements in the coming months.