Nintendo will broadcast an Animal Crossing: New Horizons Direct on Thursday to give fans of the series “in-depth” look at some gameplay. The company was widely expected to host a presentation for the life-sim set to release on March 20, so this isn't a huge surprise. But a head-turning leak suggests Nintendo has even bigger plans for March.
A now-deleted Reddit thread posted by u/new-horizons-th Monday night accurately predicted that Nintendo would announce a New Horizons Direct on Wednesday. The Redditor who said to have been tipped off by a “high school classmate” who’s now affiliated with the games giant, also claimed that there will be another Direct in mid-March that will include updates on the long-delayed Metroid Prime 4 and a few other titles.
“A general Direct will come in the second week of March. Metroid Prime 4 will be in it which is no surprise really,” they wrote. “They’ll also finally showcase Pikmin 4, to come out during the holiday this year. There were others mentioned but those two stuck out as they got me particularly excited.”
There’s no way to verify u/new-horizons-th’s claims at this point, but they were right about the New Horizons Direct, which adds some credibility to their predictions.
It has been six months since Nintendo hosted a general Direct that’s not pegged to a specific game. The last one took place on September 4 and included 29 individual announcements including a Nintendo Switch port of Overwatch and a remastered version of Xenoblade Chronicles. This is the longest Nintendo has ever gone without hosting a Direct of this scale, but it could soon make up for it.
Is a Metroid 4 release date finally on the horizon?
There has been no official word about Metroid Prime 4 since Nintendo’s 2019 announcement of an indefinite delay due to development being restarted under Retro Studios. A March Direct could finally reveal a release date window for the highly-anticipated follow up to 2007's Metroid Prime 3: Corruption.
Pikmin 4 might awaken from its slumber
Pikmin 4 has also been trapped in limbo since it was unveiled in 2015. Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto told GameRant in 2016 that the puzzle game was low on the totem pole of Nintendo’s priorities, but that it wasn’t dead. A year later, Miyamoto didn’t have any news to share but told Eurogamer that Pikmin 4 was still “progressing.”
The series has been dormant ever since, but March could finally bring a trailer and a release date window.
Mario Kart 9 could also be part of the March Direct
The original post only mentioned the possibility of Metroid and Pikmin announcements, but the Reddit leaker later elaborated that Nintendo has more up its sleeve. In a response to a comment on the original thread, the leaker claimed his source told him to expect some kind of Mario reveal in March, too.
“He mentioned Mario at some point but I kinda brushed it off because ‘It’s Nintendo, of course there will be Mario’,” they replied.
While the leaker didn’t go into detail, this vague prediction may support ongoing rumors Nintendo could be gearing up to announce Mario Kart 9. Gaming insider and reputable leaker Sabi tweeted that Nintendo could push out a new installment of its iconic racer since the development of Breath of the Wild 2 was proceeding slower than expected. Plus, it’s been years since a brand-new Mario Kart game was released.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (2017) was a port of the Wii U title Mario Kart 8 (2014) that came with additional DLC content and graphic improvements for the new console. The re-release became the fastest-selling game in the franchise's history after its release, racking up more than 1.2 million unit sales in only three days. There’s every reason to believe that Nintendo wants to continue the series’ momentum with a 2020 announcement.
Ready your Switch, the next few months could be jam-packed with hype Nintendo announcements.
The Animal Crossing Nintendo Direct is set for February 20.